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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 5 Spring 2008

Offset your carbon

We have heard so much about reducing our carbon footprints but can individuals make any worthwhile difference? One suggestion for small-scale carbon offsetting is to plant trees: carbon dioxide from the air is locked up in the wood of the tree as it grows.

In the Mara Province of Tanzania (south-east of Lake Victoria), a village called Mara has set aside a 300-acre plot for sustainable mixed woodland. Saplings of Acacia, Grevalia and Cypress will be planted, but 7,700 will be needed to supply them and clear the land. Issenye Secondary School and the village will use the wood for firewood, furniture and building, but as the Tanzanian Government has a policy to replace every tree removed from the natural environment, new trees will continue to recycle carbon

The Diocese of Wakefield, linked to the Diocese of Mara, has set up the Mara Tree Project to raise the 7,700 needed by contributions made to offset individual carbon footprints. These have been calculated by giving a monetary value to carbon dioxide released as energy is used, based on the cost of 1 for planting each sapling:

So to make our car use or holiday carbon neutral, we could make the appropriate donation to the cost of trees for Mara. It would ensure genuine carbon dioxide absorption and would benefit an indigenous community.

Would this be a worthwhile individual contribution? Of course it will work better if we all join in.

Making contributions:
Through website: www.wakefield.anglican.org/maratrees or by cheque payable to Wakefield Diocesan Board of Finance Mara A/c please write Mara Trees on reverse of cheque, and send to Mrs Joanne Arnold, Church House, 1 South Parade, Wakefield WF11LP

Further information from: Mrs Peta Moffat, Mara Link Officer, Wakefield Diocese (0785 432 3107) or e-mail wakefieldmara@btinternet.com