The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

05 March 2008

Increase your Carbon Fruitprint

You can offset your carbon emissions by paying for something which will reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Your offset may pay for a tree to be plated, an emissions certificate to be withdrawn from circulation or a wind generator to be constructed. But there are serious flaws with carbon offsetting – it may just be paying for something that would happen anyway; the unit cost of CO2 may be too low for all sorts of reasons; or what is being done may not take the carbon out of the atmosphere quickly enough or permanently. Even if your money is paying for something beneficial to take place, you need to reduce as well as offset. The CO2 crisis will only be solved if people everywhere start emitting less of the gas. So offset if you wish; but reduce as much as you can.

If you want to offset, here's an imaginative and very simple way of offsetting with a lot of benefits...

Mangoes don't just taste great, they can also save the planet! As each mango tree grows quickly in its tropical environment it absorbs carbon dioxide, cooling the atmosphere. 

But it gets better. By offsetting your carbon emissions through the Teach A Man To Fish project you will help schools in Kenya plant Mango Orchards and teach students how growing fruit trees can reduce poverty.

Each harvest time income generated from the orchard will be reinvested in the school - from buying books, and repairing roofs to subsidizing fees for HIV and AIDS orphans. Which means your one-off donation will bear fruit year after year after year.

Offset today:
1 tonne of CO2 = a European flight or one year’s London travel = £15 offset donation
2.5 tonnes of CO2 = a long-haul flight = £37.50 offset donation
3.5 tonnes of CO2 = one year’s car usage = £50 offset donation

Then money really will go to planting Mango trees, and will help change people’s lives as well as suck CO2 from the atmosphere. This is an imaginative solution developed by Teach A Man To Fish:


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