10 Nov
  • By Tim Fijal
  • Cause in

Offsetting in Calgary

Every year, we return to my hometown of Calgary, Alberta to spend time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. This year, Calgary was not only a destination for reconnecting with family and the beautiful Rocky Mountains, it was also the place where we would atone for our carbon sins related to all our air travel on this world trip. Many of you might have wondered on how we could make a difference in the world while we travel around the world with a carbon emitting plane from one country to another.

Several months ago, whilst still in Bali, I noticed an entity called TreeEra that started following us on Instagram. I checked out some of their beautiful feed of trees and forests and started following them too. Then I noticed that they were on a campaign to plant a billion trees as a climate change mitigation effort. Cool! What’s more, when I looked into the fine print of their website, I realized that they are actually based in Calgary! So we reached out to the good folks at TreeEra and learned that in addition to a retail scheme they are using to get huge numbers of trees planted, they are encouraging air travelers to partner with them to offset their carbon emissions. So that’s just what we did.

Ben and Tree Era Team

Through a calculation of our flight routes multiplied by the 3 of us traveling, we reached the conclusion that our journey would result in the emission of 10 tons of CO2. To offset that, the TreeEra team determined that we would be advised to fund the planting of 455 trees. So this year, those saplings will be placed in the earth of southern British Columbia, in a forest area degraded from fires, where they will over time absorb an equal or greater amount of carbon that our trip released into the atmosphere.

So when we got to Calgary, we met with the TreeEra team at their very nice office called the ‘Tree House’ in the attic of an old house in Calgary that they’re sharing with a few other social entrepreneurs. Not only had a great connection with Ryan and Melissa there, but also with two other social enterprises. We met Andy, a fellow upcyclist, who is using wood and stone remnants from South East Asia (some of his materials are even sourced from Bali!) to create cool bracelets for his business called Playfield. Every wood bracelet purchased, they plant trees through partnership with TreeEra. Also, a portion of his profits help charities in Calgary that support under-privileged children to get access to nutritious food and educational programming.

We also met Bobbi Paidel who is also producing beautiful works of silver jewelry for her social enterprise called Tribe of Lambs, an ethical jewelry brand dedicating all of its profits to positively impacting the lives of HIV Positive Children in India. We shared details on one another’s respective projects and intentions for doing our parts to bring peace, justice and sustainability to this world.

Andy (Playfield) and Ben
Bobbi (Tribe of Lambs) and Ben


Once again, we are encouraged by how making efforts to connect with like-minded people consistently seems to result in building an ever broadening network of support and inspiration. We look forward to hosting our newfound friends in Bali when we return 🙂





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