Nomad Green seats – travel Responsibly In Africa By Offsetting Your Carbon Footprint

Images credited to Rhodes Restoration Research

Nomad gives you the opportunity to offset your carbon footprint by purchasing a “Green Seat” We constantly strives to “give back” to Africa

We have founded not only a non-profit Trust to preserve and uplift the people, places and animals of this continent, but we are also the first in the Adventure Touring Industry to offer passengers the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint.

What Is Your Carbon Footprint All About?

New World – Green Seat

Carbon Dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. During photosynthesis carbon is absorbed from the atmosphere, reducing the unnaturally high levels that mankind caused. The planting of trees and vegetation is basically the only way to offset carbon.

Nomad has developed “Green Seats” on their tours to allow clients to travel responsibly in Africa and to offset the carbon footprint that is created through the fuel consumption on tour. One of the best plants when it comes to carbon absorption is the Spekboom (or Elephant’s Food as it is commonly known).

What Is Spekboom?

Spekboom is an evergreen succulent that can reach a height of 2,5m and native to the arid cape region of South Africa occurs mainly in the South-Eastern Cape, especially around Baviaanskloof and the Addo Elephant National Park. Spekboom (Afrikaans, meaning “pork bush”) thickets can store 20 kilograms of carbon in every square meter of vegetation, or 200 tons of carbon per hectare – roughly the same as what is absorbed by a moist, sub-tropical forest of the same size. That’s equivalent to taking 37 cars off the road for a year. Since most dryland areas similar to the cape store less than 50 metric tons of carbon per hectare and deciduous forests are estimated to store 120 metric tons per hectare, this nearly 8-foot-tall plant could be a key to future carbon-capture trading markets in arid regions… The use of Spekboom delivers the most value for money in carbon capturing terms, and it also has the most significant ecological benefits in terms of replenishing degraded areas. Unlike many arid plants, when soils are dry, spekboom can switch from the photosynthetic process that most plants in the world use to a less common and water-conserving photosynthesis pathway called “CAM”. Because of this, the carbon sequestration process in the plant is highly efficient for its environment, allowing it to thrive on only 10-11 inches (250-350 millimeters) of rain a year. Researchers also believe spekboom’s umbrella-shaped canopy allows organic material to accumulate at the base of the shrub, improving the water-holding capacity of the soil below.

How Does It Work?

You can choose to offset the carbon created on your tour in full, or 50% thereof by simply ticking a box on your booking form or by letting your agent know. For example for a small contribution of ZAR 150 you can let us offset you carbon footprint of a 15 to 21 day tour, or ZAR 120 for an 8 to 14 day tour or ZAR 90 for a 1 to 7 day tour. All the funds that are collected are administered by the Nomad African Trust who will manage the project in conjunction with South African National Parks as well as the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and the Rhodes University. This project will benefit the ecological zones, the communities that are employed due to it as well as the global climate. Once you have bought your green seat you will receive an e-certificate providing you with all the details of the project as well as contact details should you wish to receive further information.