Our goal is to grow each of our forest plots organically. As such, Our Forests have been and will continue to be prepared, planted and cared for in ways that are consistent with the environmental consciousness our Carbon Plus Credits represent. We also plan to continually improve our forest management techniques as we develop best practices for our specific plots.
We will not be using any synthetic fertilizers and our fuel use will be limited due to the fact that our own hands will be doing most of the work needed to plant and care for our trees. We plan on minimizing our use of pesticides (herbicides and insecticides) throughout the years, but at some points we may have to factor in the health of the forest in making choices to apply such products. To maintain transparency in our practices and operations we have included a reporting system that shows Our Offsetters the synthetic fertilizer and pesticide consumption for each forest. You can find these operations reports, which will be updated at the end of every calendar year, under the menu heading Our Forests. Our operations reports also include a comparison of the synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use that would have occurred if the land would have continued to be farmed conventionally.
Conventional farming practices used to produce grain and forage crops are carbon intense and in some cases ecologically damaging. This is not to say that today’s farmers are not good stewards of the land. But simply that the realities of making a living off the land today often requires heavy use of synthetic fertilizers, multiple applications of herbicides and insecticides each year, as well as high fuel consumption.�
Planting trees on the land instead of continuing to farm it in this manner means that beyond the carbon Our Forests store, there is a change of use factor attributed to each one of our Carbon Plus Credits. When you become one of Our Offsetters you will also be decreasing the amount of carbon intense synthetic fertilizers and fuel it takes to care for the land, which represents a carbon footprint decrease all on its own. That decrease is a PLUS associated with our Carbon Plus Credits and we will not be quantifying and selling this reduction. Instead the amount of credits we sell will be based solely on our Third-Party CO2 Storage Assessment.�
The Carbon Farmer Inc. does acknowledge the loss of food production that converting cropland into forest represents. However, just as The Carbon Farmer Inc. chooses its plots for factors such as habitat potential, we also consider the land’s ability to effectively produce food products. As such, aspects like soil type and farming efficiency are included when determining where Our Forests are located. For example, the land on which Dad's Forest grows has high soil quality but�is only a five acre parcel surrounded by forested borders. The relatively small size of this field means that the large equipment used in conventional farming�would have to be�constantly turning and overlapping the surface. Overall, this�situation leads�to inefficient use of synthetic fertilizer, fuel and pesticides, while at the same time contributing to excess soil compaction. This means that per unit of food produced, the inputs necessary�to farm such a�plot are�high, leading to a high environmental impact compared to larger fields.
In terms of the daily operations of our business, we have taken many steps to limit our environmental impact. For example we use recycled paper for everything possible, use e-billing services and have recently switched to an e-fax service. We minimize our electricity use by using only compact fluorescent light bulbs and eliminating phantom load on our electronics by utilizing power bars.