Encouraging Exploration and Conservation.
We are the pioneers of sustainable travel. Through operating global reforestation projects, we are proud to state we aim to offer worlds first 100% Carbon Neutral Travel Platform.
Just under a third of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are related to the travel and accommodation industry. By booking your journey through our booking service, we offer the unique opportunity to offset all carbon released into the atmosphere as a result of your trip.
Carbon offsetting is the compensation of CO2 emissions. We measure how much carbon will be released into the atmosphere as a result of your trip, then plant your trees during our yearly reforestation projects, creating a “carbon bank”.
Do I have a carbon footprint?
Yes. But don’t worry, every human on planet earth has a carbon footprint. It’s up to you to decide what to do about it! Your carbon footprint is simply a measure of the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases you emit by your activities. We’re a travel company, so we’re interested in the emissions you create while travelling. The video below should explain in a little more detail.
How do trees reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere?
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, used for photosynthesis and stored in the trees trunk, crown and roots. Carbon offsetting is the compensation of CO2 emissions. There are different carbon offsetting projects operating around the globe, which include the development of energy saving devices in third world and developing countries and new and sustainable forms of generating energy.
At Gone West we choose to plant trees, as it allows for ourselves and our users to feel a direct relationship with their natural environment. When you travel over land, air or sea, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are released into the atmosphere. CO2 is THE LARGEST contributor to climate change in the world today.
The CO2 stored in the tree is called a ‘carbon sink’. This means that CO2 can be stored during the trees life and afterwards in the form of timber products. As we vow never harvest our Plant & Protect Zones we will create beneficial ecosystems providing land restoration, biodiversity enhancement, flood defenses and an ever last carbon sink.
We measure all electricity, gas and fuel used on your trip. We multiply these quantities by factors provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in its ‘Draft Code of Best Practice for Carbon Offset Providers - February 2008’ to estimate the total CO2 produced.
What is the Process?
What Kind of trees do we plant?
Trees for life and Trees for living.
We plant a variety of different species: Softwoods for Re-Stock and Hardwoods for A-Forestation. Our aim is to plant trees which are native to their environment, for example when we are operating in Ireland we plant Douglas Fir, Larch, Scotts Pine, Oak & Ash just to name a few. Then, when we make our way to more exotic parts of the world like Australia with our Plant & Protect Scheme we will plant Eucalyptus, Banksia, Willow Bottlebrush, Grevillia & Native Beech.
What kind of land do we work with?
We started our journey planting trees within deforested areas in order to contribute to a more sustainable future. As time has gone on we have made the decision to not only continue carrying out these jobs but also to get involved with 'afforestation', purchasing land ourselves and placing it under the protection of the GW foundation. We plant trees amongst two different land types:
This is planting on land which has been untouched.
Here we are actively enhancing areas of pristine wilderness, creating habitats for animals and improving ecosystems. These trees are for life.
This is land which has been subject to deforestation.
Here we are repairing and replacing trees that have been felled as part of the timber industry, creating valuable carbon storage. These trees are for creating new life.
Who are the people involved?
Working hard for the planet.
Every member of Gone West is directly involved. Through becoming a member and using our services, you are contributing towards replanting the worlds forests and protecting our natural world and atmosphere. The labour is carried out by a combination of volunteers and our reforestation crew. Whilst similar carbon offsetting companies out there tend to outsource their forestry work, we in fact don't, we do it ourselves and that's the way its going to stay. Each year new faces and personalities arrive to join our mission, below are some of the amazing people we have had the pleasure of working with!
Past & Present Projects
The last three years have been a major learning curve. We have performed projects within Europe, gaining experience in all areas of forestry and our team is growing and so is our knowledge. Our plans are to become independent from commercial planting and take matters into our own hands. We are now ready and willing to begin the process of purchasing our own land to perform our "Plant & Protect" project on, however we need further assistance financially. If you would like to contribute towards a world with more trees and an abundance of forest, wildlife and clean air click the button below to become involved with our crowdfunding campaign. All images below are shot by our "Plant & Protect" project photographers Joanna Furgal & Thomas Silcock.
How many trees do we aim to plant & for what benefit?
50,000 trees = 50,000 tons of carbon offset
We aim to plant a minimum of 50,000 trees per year on our own land, this will mean 50,000 metric tonnes of carbon will be offset from our communities travelling footprint via our booking system annually at a minimum.
The land and trees we acquire and plant will be for the sole purpose of our service, to create a positive impact the travel industry has on our environment.
Why should I care about my carbon footprint?
An unnatural increase in greenhouse gases has raised global temperatures to levels that are causing distress for natural life on our planet, not to mention sleepless nights for our scientists. Climate change is real, and it’s up to us to make small changes in our lifestyles in order to do our bit. Here at Gone West, we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for our users to contribute to the fight against climate change by doing most of the work ourselves. For more information on the effect CO2 has on our planet, see the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s report “Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report”.
Can I visit a Gone West forest?
If your a member of our platform and have made successful booking through us, and/or own a business or organization that has purchased a grove of trees as part of our Green Affiliate scheme then yes, you can visit a forest you have directly contributed to for years to come.
What species of tree do Gone West plant?
This all depends on the planting land we’re working on. We only plant trees native to that environment, because non-native trees can have a negative effect on wildlife and their habitats. For example, during our current operations in Ireland we plant a mixture of Douglas Fir, Larch, Oak, Scotts Pine, Sitka Spruce, Alder, Broadleaf.
Will using Gone West reverse climate change?
At Gone West all trees we plant within our Plant & Protect Zones will never be cut down creating an ever lasting carbon sink. We have a realistic idea of where we stand in the fight against climate change. Yes, using our services will ease the strain that pollution has on the planet, but we also advocate making other small lifestyle changes to help the earth. These include installing energy saving appliances around your home and generally trying to reduce your emissions altogether by using green transport services. Always be on the look out for exciting projects which are kind to the earth and reduce emissions, and if you find any, please let us know about them. If we’re going to save the planet, it’s going to be a collective effort!
So, Gone West have planted my trees. How does this actually offset CO2?
The trees we plant will absorb CO2 during photosynthesis. The CO2 will remain in your tree until it dies and decomposes. Even after a tree has died, the wood can be harvested and used in products, therefore trapping the CO2 and not releasing it back into the atmosphere.