Frequently Asked Questions
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- CarbonForest Membership
- Tree Talk
- Fighting Climate Change
How do I know you planted the trees I bought?
We’ll notify you when your carbon offset tree planting project has started, and send you engaging updates on the progress of the project.
What if I create more or less than 34,000 lbs of carbon per year?
We are currently building a carbon footprint calculator with personalized pricing. Once built, we will work with you to reassess the correct number of trees needed to offset your carbon footprint at a price that is fair and transparent.
What if I want to cancel my monthly subscription? What happens to the trees?
If you want to cancel, no problem. Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that we will charge a maximum Early Termination Fee of $300. As it relates to the trees, our status updates will show you how many of your 680 trees have been planted to date. The trees that have planted will continue to be nurtured and we will stop planting any remaining trees.
Where are the trees planted? Are they planted in the country and state where I live?
We currently don’t have the ability to plant the trees where our customers choose, but will have those features soon. In the meantime, CarbonForest works with our tree planting partners to have trees planted in the United States where there is the greatest need
Can’t I just plant my own trees?
Of course you can! In fact we applaud you for doing that. Let us know if you need help finding a place to get seeds or mature trees. We know a lot of good local tree planters across the U.S.
And you’re right, if you plant about 680 of your trees you probably don’t need our service. One of the reasons CarbonForest exists to help those who care about the environment and want to do their part to stop climate change, but don’t have the time, land, or experience to plant all the trees required. We have spent countless hours finding planting partners and sites so our customers can have a simple, easy experience.
Is this a charity? Can I write this off?
No we are not a charity. Our goal is to create awareness that planting trees is a critical part of solving climate change, and to provide a simple, low cost and transparent solution. Your payments will go towards the planting of and caring for trees (first and foremost!), user experience, status updates and marketing.
Can I gift this to someone?
Absolutely. We agree, it is a terrific gift for someone and likely one they’ll never forget. Email us at email@example.com and we'll help you make the gift of erasing that someone's carbon footprint extra special.
Are we a “scam”, do we “exploit for profit” and/or is this “propaganda”?
No we are not a scam. We are an American, tax-paying company registered in California and Delaware and Utah we do exactly what we say we are going to do – get trees planted on your behalf and erase your carbon footprint.
We are a for-profit organization, but we do not exploit anyone. When we came up with the idea of CarbonForest we considered becoming a nonprofit. We spent weeks evaluating and interviewing people at greentech and climate-change nonprofits and NGOs in order to understand the pros and cons of both worlds. In the end, we decided we could make a greater impact by being a for-profit company because it enables us to raise capital for marketing, consumer outreach and an improved digital experience for our customers. Could our services be cheaper if we did not have to market it to consumers and provide a nice digital experience? Yes — but then we would not likely plant as many trees.
We are in beta testing, and very much a work-in-progress. Our goal is to completely digitize the carbon offset experience so you never wonder: “Was my tree planted?”; “Are my trees growing?” “Am I making an impact?”
We believe it will take a collective global effort to solve climate change – in other words every last thing we got! Many technologies and solutions, NGOs, governments, companies, voters and consumers alike will need to get involved and play a part. A for-profit company is where we choose to participate in the green economy.
We do not promote or create propaganda. Our marketing and business decisions are based on scientific studies and research. In fact we first came up with the concept of CarbonForest after reading research done by a collection of global scientists.
We are an American, tax-paying company registered in California, Utah, and Delaware and we do exactly what we say we are going to do – get trees planted on your behalf and erase your carbon footprint.
Trees? That seems so simple. Can you take me through the math again?
No problem! We know the average American creates about 34,000 lbs of carbon dioxide per year and lives to be about 80 years old. The best carbon consuming trees, at maturity, take carbon dioxide out of the air at a rate of 50 lbs of carbon per year. These trees live to be 150 – 500 years old. 34,000 lbs of carbon emission ÷ 50 lbs of carbon extraction = 680 trees to offset your carbon footprint. Let’s say you decided to offset your carbon footprint with CarbonForest at age 30. You select the $16/month product where you make payments for 10 years. We start planning your 680 trees at a rate of about 70+ trees / per year. At age 40, you will make your last payment to CarbonForest and all 680 of your trees will be planted. At age 50, all of the 680 trees will be at maturity and consuming 34,000 lbs of carbon / year. At age 80, you pass. At this time the 680 trees will have offset 30 years of your carbon footprint and still have hundreds of more years of life. Meaning you have left a legacy of cleaning our planet’s atmosphere that will last for decades!
What kind of trees are planted?
Usually, the bigger the tree the better the carbon extraction. The trees that are usually planted are: ponderosa pine, douglas fir, western larch, white fir, and red fir. You can learn more about these trees here.
Does CarbonForest plant customers trees sustainably?
We are working on it but admittedly it’s not perfect yet. Two recent studies have argued that tree planting is not a simple solution to climate change. We agree. Tree planting today is largely a manual process that has its own carbon footprint. Additionally, planting massive tree plantations with little thought to the native tree species and ecological environment can negate the desired impact.
Nevertheless, it is settled science that trees remove approximately 50 tons of carbon from the atmosphere per year. This means that even with the small carbon footprint associated with tree planting, trees have a huge net-negative carbon impact on the world. In addition, we have spent a lot of time finding planting partners who care deeply about the tree species, locations and ecological impact of the plantings we sponsor.
As we look to the future, we are working on improving our process even more. Some of the things we are evaluating with our tree planting partners are drone tree planting technology, geo-tagging of seedings and germination monitoring. Not to mention partnering with local landowners to understand what is the best vegetation that achieves our customers goals while maintaining the integrity of the land. Keep an eye for our blog, where we will announce the introduction of new technologies and processes as we deem them ready for our customers.
Is carbon pollution real?
Is this a “short-term carbon sink” and does it do anything for long-term problems?
I’m a vegan, buy fair trade, support small businesses and invest in alternative energy, why do I need CarbonForest?
Go you! Seriously, it takes effort to be “green” and the fact that you have made all of those changes in your life is commendable.
But that is just it. It takes effort on your part. What about people who can’t afford an electric car; can’t or don’t want to go vegan for health, religious or personal reasons, and/or the city or town where they live doesn’t have a recycling and compost program? Unfortunately, living a carbon neutral life either a) takes a lot of effort or b) is not accessible for many people in the United States.
We believe in order for us to stop climate change we can’t wait for every industry and local, state, and federal government to make “going green” accessible and easy. We help our customers invest in a solution that can be executed today and have impact for many years to come.
If I’m “not having children” should I care about the future of the planet?
What you care about is of course personal, but the reality is there is a high likelihood you will be negatively impacted by climate change in your lifetime, regardless if you have children or not. This is why we founded CarbonForest, so every person can take responsibility for their personal footprint, for just a few dollars a month.