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Cash for Trees | September 20, 2010

In the mail on Saturday I received a silver airpoints card from Air New Zealand. This card means I get a few privelages when flying, which is nice, but it also means that I have notched up enough miles in the air for me to have to at least look into carbon offsets.

But offsetting is a murky world where it seems only a fraction of your money does the job it’s meant to, such as planting some trees. The lion’s share goes to shareholders, admin and wheel greasing. Even then the project might fail.

This strikes me as a sub-optimal use of my hard earned cash. I don’t really want my money to be another scoop of caviar or one more spread of faux gras on a fat cat’s cracker. To my mind, having any kind of corporate body touching this equation is a bit like BP selling devices for soaking up oil spills.

I want trees planted but I don't want fat men in suits to surcharge the system...

What I really need is a place I can go online, where I can find folk that want to plant trees but don’t necessarily have the cash to buy the sapplings. (I can’t just plant trees myself because I live in a rented house.) It would be a kind of ‘sponsor a tree’ program.

Is that too simple to work? Is there too much faith in the system. What do you think?

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