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A carbon neutral trip

To minimize the carbon footprint of our guests we have some plots chosen for planting trees.  They will also serve as shelter from winds and eventually as places to forage mushrooms and berries.  Our initiative is also a part of reforestation of Iceland. 

 

A thousand years ago, when the first settlers came, there was a prosperous birch forest covering large areas of Iceland.  But in the “small ice age” in the medieval times, a lot of the forest was burned down for heating houses.  Until eventually Icelanders invented the more heat efficient turf houses.  Now the indigenous birch forest covers only a few percent of the land.

 

Modern forestry allows some non-native trees as well, some coniferous trees grow well here, along with poplar and willows.  In the last 100 years, Icelanders have planted a lot of trees, they are most visible in the capital area, and in the East of Iceland.  At first, people were not overly positive about trees growing here, but slowly we are introducing more sensitive plants to our gardens, some oak, maple, and elm.  In the last decade even, some hardy fruit trees have been tested, apples, prunes and cherries seem to work best, but they need very good shelter from the wind. Although there is already one apple tree in Jörvi, the sheltering trees are not yet enough grown for protecting the fruit trees, but it stands sheltered by the small house Ból and will hopefully survive.

The modern forestry in Iceland is helping the environment in more ways than binding carbon.  It also helps prevent erosion of soil due to winds and weather.  The soil gets bound by roots and is less likely to be loosened by ice formation and blown away by the wind.  Therefore the gain is double, preserving the carbon in the soil and binding it in the forest.

We have calculated the carbon footprint on an average trip of 5 days, with flight and driving.  It is around 1,9 tons of CO2.  18 long-lived trees will make up for that.  They cost around 30 euros.  If you want to help the planet and our forestry initiative, we will be delighted to sell you some trees and plant them in our plot for you.