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On Line Store Supports Reforestation as a Means to Slow Climate Change

(PRWEB) December 10, 2005 -- Going shopping isn’t the first thing you’d think of doing if you wanted to help stop global warming. But now you don’t have to trade your SUV in for a hybrid or install solar panels on your roof—all you have to do is buy some flip-flops. That’s because Tropic Joe’s, an online store that sells summer clothing such as bathing suits, T-shirts, shorts, and sandals, has pledged to use its profits to plant one tree for each item it sells. Their plan is to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions through a concept called carbon neutrality.

Carbon neutrality advocates planting trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions. The guiding hand behind Tropic Joe’s is the Tropical Sierra Foundation, a Costa Rica-based nonprofit that has made educating the public about carbon neutrality its mission. Instead of drastically changing driving and consumption habits to cut emissions, the Tropical Sierra Foundation suggests that people live a carbon neutral life by planting trees to counteract the carbon dioxide they emit by driving and consuming energy.

“Most people in first-world countries won’t give up their lifestyle; it’s too hard,” says David McKenzie, a representative of the Tropical Sierra Foundation. “What we’re saying is you don’t have to give it up; compensate for it instead. Balance your lifestyle by planting enough trees to offset your carbon dioxide production.” According to the Foundation, the average American produces 22 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The amount of trees it would take to clean up that mess? About 26.

But the Foundation goes out of its way to make carbon neutrality easy to embrace. They don’t even insist you plant your own tree—they’ll do it for you. The profits from Tropic Joe’s pay for the Foundation to plant trees to reforest Costa Rican land bought from ranchers, farmers, and industries. If you want to do it yourself, they’ll suggest trees that grow well in your environment. There’s even a carbon calculator on their website, where you can calculate your yearly carbon dioxide emissions and the amount of trees you’d have to plant to clean it up.

The Tropical Sierra Foundation is a non-profit, politically neutral organization devoted to preserving the Earth’s natural resources, with primary emphasis on the environment of Costa Rica. The Foundation uses donations to reforest devastated areas and purchase rainforest acreage to protect from industry development.

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