• Please select what you would like to do, where and for how long!

My carbon footprint: 10 Trees for every participant!

Mweka Tree Nursery
Are you worried about the CO2 emissions of your long-haul flight and wondering whether it would be better altogether to stay at home?
We are indeed happy about the fact that you have this concern, as it proves your awareness about the issue of climate change.
As a starting point of the consideration whether it's not better after all to stay at home for reasons of sustainability, we would however please use the chance at this point, to mention once more the overall goal of your trip.

Travelling against ignorance and prejudice

World Unite!'s programs are ideally not pure pleasure trips (although fun is of course a part of them:-), but there are higher goals. Goals that are important, if not fundamental, for the future of humanity, namely to encounter people of other cultures and people in other circumstances in their everyday lives on equal terms, and thereby to develop the ability to at least particially understand their ways of thinking, values, norms, interests, dreams, concerns and plans. No World Unite! program takes place in an isolated environment in which you only spend time with your peers, but the daily interaction with people from your host country is an integral part of all our programs, whether it's a volunteer placement, internship, Working Holiday, or any other program we arrange.
Ideally, even if this sometimes takes time, this may lead to an understanding, an openness and a sense of moral equality when dealing with people from other cultures, which is fundamental for securing the peaceful coexistence of the people of our earth.
Without these experiences, ignorance, prejudice, exclusion, hatred and lack of understanding will arise and, as a consequence, wars and destruction - including destruction of our environment.
The philosopher Hegel realized that the true tragedies of the world are not conflicts between right and wrong, but between two "right" positions. The representatives of two opposing points of view, each of which might be totally comprehensible on its own, insist on being right and do not come to a peaceful solution, since they can not understand the other's way of thinking.
It is difficult to overcome this limited view of the world in another way than by travelling and by deeply immersing into the society of your host country. These are exactly the type of trips we at World Unite! arrange for our participants.
World Unite! helps you to maximise the learning effect of your time abroad: Intercultural training and the overcoming of patterns of post-colonial thinking are part of the preparation of every stay with World Unite!.


That sounds great, but what about my carbon footprint?

Your long-haul flight in economy class blows CO2 into the atmosphere, roughly in the following quantities (according to
  • Frankfurt to Tangier (Morocco) and back: 0.8 t
  • Madrid to Kilimanjaro and back: 2.4 t
  • Melbourne to Mumbai and back: 3.5 t
  • Oslo to Myanmar and back: 3.1 t
  • London to Nicaragua and back: 3.3 t
  • Paris to Cape Town and back: 3.6 t
  • Copenhagen to Tokyo and back: 3.3 t
  • Seattle to Tokyo and back: 2.9 t
  • Calgary to La Paz and back: 3.3 t
But did you know that World Unite! plant 10 trees on deforested land on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro for each participant of our worldwide programs?
These 10 trees absorb about 30 tonnes of CO2 during their life expectancy of around 150 years, convert it into oxygen. Trees are most productive between their 10th and 40th year.
You will generate 0.8 to 3.6 tonnes of CO2 through your journey, but your trees will absorb 30 tonnes of CO2!
The 30 t are a rather conservative estimate. Due to the size of the indigenous trees, the rapid growth in the tropical climate, the high humidity on the Kilimanjaro area and other factors, the total amount of CO2 absorbed is likely to be higher.
Urgency! Since you are emitting CO2 through your long-haul flights NOW, but the trees we plant need time to be most productive in the absorbtion of it, we have expanded our tree planting program to include the planting of bamboo. For this we have acquired plots of land in Moshi/Kilimanjaro and in Kisauni/Zanzibar, where we plant bamboo together with our Mother Nature volunteers. Bamboo occurs naturally on both Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.
With a growth of up to one meter per day, it is one of the fastest-growing plants. A complete bamboo forest grows within 3 years. Bamboo is very effective at absorbing CO2. One hectare of bamboo forest can absorb around 17 tons of CO2 per year. In order to avoid monoculture and ensure biodiversity, a permaculture specialist is involved in the project.
In workshops we teach the diverse uses of bamboo as a sustainable material that can replace plastic or wood in many areas of application. In Zanzibar and Tanzania, wood is mostly not sourced sustainably (cutting wood contributes to deforestation of mangroves and rainforest).

Tree planting in May 2019 in Mweka/Kilimanjaro

For the about 500 participants who arrived in the months January to April 2019, we have planted 5000 trees at the beginning of the rainy season in May 2019. The next tree planting will take place in the next rainy season in November 2019: 10 trees per participant arriving from May to October 2019.

What else do we do for the climate?

  • We run some programs and cooperate with several partners about the active protection of existing forests. You can also volunteer or do an internships with these programs. An overview of the projects can be found under "Internships & Volunteering"> "Ecology, Environmental Conservation, Animals".
  • We try to save energy and to reduce/avoid fossil fuels, for example by using solar energy, energy efficient lighting (LEDs), energy efficient cooking facilities and energy efficient heating/cooling facilities in the accommodations of our participants. Our Mother Nature Forest Camps in Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro are maximally optimized and up-to-date in terms of environmental technology.
  • We try to reduce the number of flights and other trips of our own team members to an absolutely necessary minimum. Of course, we always fly in economy class. We also plant 10 trees for each flight of our team members.
  • We try to purchase or make supplies locally, which are needed to carry out our programs as much as possible, rather than having them transported over long distances.
  • When we provide food, it uses almost entirely locally produced ingredients. Due to the expectations of our participants, we do not completely abstain from meat, but we reduce the amount of meat. Vegetarian food is always available.

Our Partners

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Learn your host country's knowledge.

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