Carbon Neutral Vacation and Travel?

Do you take carbon neutral vacations?

Do you take carbon neutral vacations?

I hope a recent survey and my own experiences are not representative of what people are willing to invest to reduce their carbon footprint.  Whether one believes in Climate Change or not it is a fact that forests consume CO₂, produce oxygen and help preserve water quality.

Just a note: While many people like to talk about CO₂ sequestration it is important to note that an acre of trees produces, on average, enough oxygen for 18 people.  That means our little 45 acre forests produces enough oxygen for over 800 people.

A Survey

“A new Daily Wire/Whatsgoodly online survey asked 1,250 millennials from all over the country just how much money they’d be willing to personally give this year to fight what the Democratic Party and the left-leaning media consistently reminds us is the greatest threat facing mankind: climate change. The answer is not much, if any.”

My Experience

Anecdotally, my experience confirms the results of the study. After hosting scores of families including many millennials I have not even once had anyone mention climate science or CO₂ sequestration in private conversations, reviews or guestbook entries.

La Casita in Swansboro

La Casita in Swansboro a Carbon Neutral Destination

We do provide a carbon neutral vacation destination.  Our La Casita in Swansboro provides travelers with completely carbon neutral travel and lodging by virtue of our 45 acres of forest.  The carbon neutral character of La Casita is clearly spelled out in our online descriptions on VRBO and Airbnb.

Take a Carbon Neutral Vacation by Staying with Forest Owners

Did you know that over 50% of the forests in the United States are privately owned? According to the Forest Landowner Foundation most forest owners, 95%, own less than 100 acres.  Of those owning less than 100 acres most forest owners own 10 acres or less. It is significant that 10 acres of some species of pine trees can sequester 40 to 70 tons of CO₂ per year. That is enough CO₂ sequestration for most American households.  Please see page 18 of “A Landowner’s Guide to Carbon Sequestration Credits” for more information.

The sequestering of CO₂ by over 360 million acres of privately owned forest is a major impact.  When water

A picture of the author in his forest.

A picture of the author in his forest

quality is included the importance of private forests cannot be overstated.  Coupled with economic impacts on jobs, industry and consumer products private forest owners are an important resource.  I encourage everyone who is traveling to seek out lodging that is carbon neutral by virtue of forests.

I hope the survey and my anecdotal experiences are not indicative of what millennials or any other age group is thinking.  I think people do care.  Remember, your stay at a forest owners home may make a difference.  Your decision could make the difference in having a clean forest producing clean air and water or the forest being destroyed for yet one more development or Walmart.

Think about it.

Building a Green Rubble Road

Some people run.  Some people lift weights.  It’s hard work…hard labor.  I’ve been fortunate to have some folks give me tons of concrete and marl rock.

A prisoner doing hard labor

Hard Labor

I break the concrete up into rubble that is used as fill for ditch crossings, stream crossings, or to construct roads and paths in our forest.

My tools are pretty basic.  I use an 8 pound sledge, a pair of gloves and my old F-350 truck.  I bought the truck back in the 90’s.  In fact I used the proceeds from logging our forest to pay for the truck.  We haven’t logged the place since.

Building a Green Rubble Road

A hand built concrete rubble road

A hand built concrete rubble road

What the heck is a green rubble road? I’ll get to that first let me talk about building the road. There is absolutely nothing fancy about this work.  However, it is very simple and satisfying.  I like to try to work at it about 5 to 8 hours a week.  The process starts at pile huge chunks of concrete rubble where, using the sledgehammer, I break the large slabs up into manageable 20 to 50 pound chunks.  I load these chunks by hand into the truck.  I do so carefully since I’d like my truck to last another 20 or more years.  I reckon I load about a ton or so at a time.  Just enough to get down on the helper springs.

When I get to the forest road I’m working on I lay the pieces down like cobblestone.  I then break the chunks up using the sledge until there is minimal movement.  This makes a rough but good enough surface to drive over with my truck or tractor.  Later I’ll be covering the ‘cobbles’ with a layer of sand/dirt which will help smooth the surface out. Here’s the green part. These paths and roads are great because they are permeable and minimize run off.  In fact they become covered with grass and help filter sediment out of the water. That’s important for keeping the wonderful waters around Swansboro nice and clean.  We are glad to do our part!

Help Me Help the Environment

Do you want to help build permeable roads and paths in my forest.  You can and I’ll make you a commemorative piece of concrete with a name chiseled into it…roughly, cause I ain’t no artist.  The concrete stones will be about 50 pounds and the cost is $25.  Your stone will be used to mark a spot in the trails, a point of significance or provide a piece of a structure.  You bet, I’ll send you a picture.

Order your commemorative stone by pressing the Paypal button below.  Let me know if you want your stone to be a trail marker, a point of significance or a piece of a structure like a wall or pillar or stairs or patio…etc.

I never will work as long as hard as these guys did back in the day…wait until the 1 minute mark for some singing.

Ignore the Large Glowing Orb in the Sky!

Are you a Believer?

Ignore the large glowing orb in the sky! Dismiss historical factoids like the Thames Frost Fairs (Little Ice Age) or Vikings growing barley in Greenland (Medieval Warming Period). That is just recent history in geological terms. 

Frost Fair on Thames 1814

Frost Fair on Thames 1814

Go further back and you’ll find the Sahara was green or that my hometown (Swansboro, NC) was once at the bottom of the ocean as evidenced by the fossilized sea life in the marl beds.  What’s the point?  The point is that the climate changes, sometimes radically, and has done so since the beginning of time.  Some people might argue about the ‘rate of change’.  Just so you know, the average global temperature has not changed in the last 10 years. Yes, I know, in geological times 10 years is as insignificant as 100 years. Never the less, my opinion is that the Sun’s energy output has much more to do with climate than .03% of the atmosphere.  Others tend to agree.  Maybe you don’t.  That’s OK but before you banish me to the outer reaches of the Internet…Think about This.

Before I am Banished…

Let’s skip the politics and philosophy (neither allowed on my property).  I believe in conservation. My wife and I took a leap and purchased a forest back in the 80’s. Why? because I have always enjoyed forests and all of the benefits they provide: clean air, water and wildlife habitat.  Slowly, but steadily development is encircling our little forest.  As this development grows closer the importance of our forest grows correspondingly.  Likewise it is a scientific fact that our forest is a carbon sink.  So, if C02 sequestration is something that you are interested in pursuing…why not buy offsets from someone you can actually talk to who has land you can actually walk on?

You’ve Got to Be Frick’n Kidding Me!

Well as an active small landowner conservationist, I can sell you carbon offsets (yes, I am serious).  Our little 45 acre pine forest was purchased in 1987. The forest sequesters about 270 metric tons of C02 per year.  This makes my family carbon negative meaning that we sequester more C02 than we emit.  Also, guests who stay at our guest house, La Casita, enjoy carbon neutral travel. Both of our homes and our lifestyle emits about 50 tons of C02 per year.  Guest travel averages about 40 tons per year.  This leaves us an excess of, very conservatively, 180 tons of C02 sequestration per year.  What do you get.  Fresh air and if your in Swansboro, a tour of our family forest.  You also get discounted rates on our vacation house!

Got C02 Offsets?

Got C02 Offsets?

Got C02 Offsets?

Use the calculators at Native Energy to calculate your offset.  Like Native Energy, we will charge you $14 per ton of C02 offset.

Individual 6 Ton C02 Offset $84

48 Ton Household C02 Offset $672

So calculate your C02 emissions and decide how you’ll offset. The Paypal buttons provide an option of selecting Individual (6 ton C02 Offset @ $84) or a Household Offset (48 ton C02 Offset @ $672).  If you would like to purchase another amount please contact me.  Once you make your purchase don’t forget to start planning your trip to Swansboro!

A C02 Offset with a Difference

The difference we offer is that you can come and visit your Carbon Offset. Starting in 2018 you’ll be able to walk on the woodland trails, observe wildlife and walk through a forest that ranges in age between 25 and 100 years in age.  It’s hard to do that when you send your money to some nameless faceless corporation planting trees in South America or Africa. Plus when you purchase at least 6 offsets (enough to make most individuals carbon neutral) you will get a 10% discount when they stay with us at La Casita or our soon to be available rustic camp cabin, La Paranza. Read our reviews.
So buy a C02 offset from a real life forest owner.  When you visit I promise not to call you a poopy head and I expect the same from you…after all, there are birds to watch, wildlife to watch, and fresh air to breathe; all with the trees silently and majestically looking on.
Special thanks to Dr. Booker T. Whatley.  I never met him but his little book, “How to Make $100,000 Farming 25 Acres” has always been an inspiration and guide. (You’ll find the book on the shelf at La Casita.