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Tourists Can Soon Offset Travel with Trees

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Tourists Can Soon Offset Travel with Trees

An Icelandic forest.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Tourists visiting Iceland will soon be able to plant trees to lessen the carbon footprint of their trip, RÚV reports. The company Landsskógar ehf. has signed an agreement with the Icelandic Forest Service on the cultivation of trees on behalf of tourists and others who want to offset their carbon emissions.

Arngrímur Viðar Ásgeirsson, Landsskógar’s managing director, states the company intends to raise funds for the project from tourists themselves. According to the agreement, the funds would be transferred quarterly to the Icelandic Forest Service, which will oversee planting and cultivation.

“The Icelandic Forest Service is prepared to plant trees and care for the forests for the next 50 years. They will use the land which the Icelandic Forest Service has and will acquire in the next few years. It is widely known that you can carbon-neutralize your travels. In this case we are talking about tourists in the near future being able to, as they book their flight or rental car or sightseeing excursion or whatever it may be, add to their booking that they would like to make this trip carbon-neutral and be satisfied with yourself in relation to the environment that you are visiting,” stated Arngrímur. Tourists will be able to buy 10, 20, or 30 trees, for example, and be sure that they will absorb carbon emissions.

Arngrímur believes the next step is to collaborate with companies in the tourism industry. “There are plenty of opportunities here and plenty of defined land which is suited for the cultivation of forests in Iceland. We Icelanders have not been doing an especially good job of that and this is maybe also an encouragement to strengthen forest cultivation again which has decreased a lot since the crisis and has not made a comeback,” Arngrímur added.

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