When you donate money to help save species, SavingSpecies ties your donation to the amount of carbon absorbed. This is one of SavingSpecies key distinctions from other conservation organizations. Your donations are linked to offsetting your carbon emissions.
In this way, your donation works twice. First it goes directly to land purchase and restoration. This preserves and creates habitat to save species from extinction. Second, tree-planting programs undertaken to restore land absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon is a key greenhouse gas, so by reducing carbon in the atmosphere you are helping slow down global warming.
How does a carbon offset work?
We all produce carbon as a result of using fossil fuels directly, or indirectly when we use products that were produced using fossil fuels. For example, we directly produce carbon when we drive a car or take a flight. When you eat food that has been produced with artificial fertilizers and pesticides (which are made from oil) you are indirectly producing carbon. The amount of carbon you produce is your "carbon footprint." On average, each US consumer produces about 7 tons of carbon per year.
An offset works by engaging in an activity that does the opposite. Instead of producing carbon, you do something to absorb carbon. Luckily, plants are very good at this. Whenever you plant something, the plant will be absorbing carbon that would otherwise remain in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
How does donating to SavingSpecies offset carbon?
When you donate to SavingSpecies, we channel funds to pay local people to do the planting for you. The land we help acquire sequesters about 5 tons of carbon per hectare per year. This sequestration rate continues for about 30 years. Therefore, each hectare we acquire sequesters 150 tons of carbon. We make deals to purchase land at under $600 per hectare, so we are recovering carbon from the atmosphere at about $4 per ton.
Therefore, you can offset your entire annual carbon footprint by donating 7 tons of carbon, which at $4 per ton is $28. This is one of the best deals in the carbon offset market (see price survey below).
Read more about carbon offsets at the following sites.
Wikipedia - Carbon offset Wikihow - How to Buy a Carbon Offset Ecobusinesslinks - How much does Carbon Offsetting cost? Price survey! Calculate your carbon production
Remember, 7 tons of carbon is the US average. Your carbon production may be higher or lower.
To calculate how much carbon you produce each year, and hence your personal contribution to global warming, use our carbon calculator.