Green Steps Group gives you confidence that the tree you have purchased is in the ground. Each and every tree you sponsor is GEO-tagged and photographed can be viewed on a public platform.
View an example here
Each tree in an account is GEO-tagged, photographed and date & time-stamped at the time of planting. This set of information is then pinned on our map as a marker and each marker has a unique ID. The saplings planted are then re-confirmed at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months. After 24 months the trees are visible and can be tracked on public satellite imagery such as google maps.
No. Each tree you buy is a specific tree and you can view individual trees on-line. Donating money to general tree planting programs is commendable but this model is similar to aid donation where there is no link back to the sponsor of where your money went. Some organisations are better than others -but you have to take their word for it.
Proof of purchase
While it is cheaper to just plant trees en-mass than to geo-tag each tree as proof of purchase, the unfortunate reality is that many organisations find it cheaper still to take the money and not plant at all. Many of these tree planting operations are run in remote areas by 3rd parties with little over sight and sponsors are working on blind trust, we prefer to have verified trees.
Reclaiming C02 credits
Trees offer the most financially viable route to off-setting company C02 impact. This however can only be legally claimed if there is a transparent and auditable chain of proof that the trees are real and reflect the numbers claimed.
The only route to long term success is working with local communities looking to heal their own depleted land. The farmers are planting trees on their own land. The benefits they receive are two fold as they are compensated for planting trees on their land which they want to do anyway. They in turn are motivated to protection and nurture the trees.
The trees planted depend on the region - in Uganda we are planting tough acacia trees which provide on-going animal fodder and shade for food crops that perish under the hot African sun, while in Borneo we are planting indigenous trees to reforest areas the local community benefit from eco-tourism.
Saplings take time to capture carbon why not buy adult trees? You haven't moved the needle - that tree already existed so you are making no impact and are not creating any new carbon off-set.
Sequestration is the correct term for trees "capturing" C02. Tree do not capture C02, rather they break up C02 into carbon & oxygen. They kick out the oxygen and use the carbon as a building block for wood. Roughly half a tree is carbon which means for two tons of tree, one ton is sequestered C02.
Couldn't somebody just google images of trees and upload fake trees? Best way to address this is to say - "Try it" - see how many photos of unique planted trees you can find with google that are not stock-photos- then you would then need to find a way to hack the GEO-tagging and time stamp token- and then find a way to do this en-mass.
Submitting the same tree photo multiple times
We have two levels of control - an algorithm checks photos to see they are unique and then photos are processed by a human to check the photo is indeed a tree and that the tree is in focus and clearly visible.
The trees are also GEO-tagged so if 50 trees show up within a 1 meter radius it is immediately noticeable on our map
Photographing wild trees
We are operating in specific areas where we are reforesting - as we record the GEO-tags trees outside of the area are discounted. It is also quite easy to see saplings that have been planted vs those growing wild.
Our tree-tokens are protected by unique IDs on Amazon AWS servers which offer military grade security.
We publish the most frequently asked questions