New Year's Carbon Offsetting

14 Jan 2020

We've kicked off the New Year with a slightly off-piste resolution. For the past few years our new year's resolutions have been things like 'develop new features' or 'write better code'. This year we've decided to offset our carbon emissions through tree planting...

Ancient Caledonian Forest

Planting A Grove Of Trees

We selected Trees For Life to plant and manage the trees as we wouldn't get far doing it ourselves!

The grove will be planted in the Scottish Highlands at Dundreggan, near Glen Affric National Nature Reserve and will be part of a larger scheme to return the ancient Caledonian Forest to the area.

The saplings will be grown from locally collected seed and will be from species such as: Scots pine, willow, birch, rowan, hazel, alder, holly, aspen and bird cherry.

Read on to see what was involved...

Calculating Carbon Emissions

Calculating our annual carbon emissions was easy using the National Energy Foundation's online carbon calculator. We simply input our electricity and gas usage and the calculator output the mass of carbon emitted.

We included not only the energy used for Downtime Monkey but all energy for our parent company Big Toe Web Design. With one office and a few servers the emissions are quite low: 1306kg of CO2e per year.

For those of you wondering what CO2e is, from ecometrica: "For any quantity and type of greenhouse gas, CO2e signifies the amount of CO2 which would have the equivalent global warming impact."

How Many Trees?

Trees For Life recommend planting four trees per tonne of CO2e so 5.2 trees would offset our energy usage for a year.

We decided to offset the emissions since we started business in 2010. For this timescale, 52 trees will keep us carbon neutral until the end of 2020. We aim to continue to mitigate our carbon emissions by planting more trees each year.

You can see details of our grove here.

Photo: 'Glen Affric, Scotland' by Stephen R Melling under Creative Commons Licence