Ecologi (finally)

About Time!

It’s definitely about time I wrote the long planned blog on Ecologi*. It’s been six months since I “relaunched” the blog and plain old inertia has stopped me from actually writing it.

I was prompted by this post on Monzo’s community to take another look at Ecologi and why I use them.

What is Ecologi?
Ecologi (previously known as offset.earth) is a simply way to offset your carbon emissions *and* help rewild/replant the planet. The aim is to make your carbon footprint positive without having to put too much effort in. You simply choose one of their subscription packages, input your card deals and away you go.

Your money then gets invested in two ways: tree planting and carbon reducing schemes.

Tree Planting
Ecologi work with The Eden Reforestation Project to plant trees around the world. At the moment Ecologi are focusing their efforts on replacing the mangroves in Madagascar. These trees don’t count towards your carbon reduction, so the benefits of these are a bonus. This is particularly important because it takes a long time for most reforestation projects to make a climate positive impact and therefore you aren’t lured in a false sense of security about your impact on the planet.

Carbon Reduction Schemes
These schemes and projects are where your money really makes a difference. Each month Ecologi invest your subscription in a variety of carbon reduction schemes across the world. These tend to focus on the developing world, such as Geothermal Power in Indonesia, Hydropower in Uganda and Forest Protection in Zimbabwe.

They’re also totally transparent about how their money is spent and on which schemes. You can see all the investments, including the receipts on their Ecologi Public Impact and Operations Ledger. Equivalent data exits for their Tree Planting Projects.

What’s good?

In short, the best thing about Ecologi is how simple it is to use. You can signup* in just a few clicks. Then everything happens in the background; with a monthly email explaining where you money has been invested and a handy dashboard which shows how many trees you’ve got in your forest and what impact your subscription has had on your carbon footprint.

An overview of my carbon reduction over the last 12 months.

They’ve also introduced UK tree planting scheme. For an optional extra payment you can choose to plant at least one UK tree each month. These are more expensive than the tree planting schemes abroad, but they make a difference to our immediate environment. The feel good factor is an important one here, because it helps the motivation!

Why Carbon-Offsetting?
Personally I felt guilty about the impact our lifestyle was having on the planet. We’ve started being more environmentally friendly around the house switching to more eco products such as smol but there are some things that we either can’t change (such as commuting to work) or stubbornly don’t want to, like our foreign holidays. It also feels like the responsible thing to do.

There’s a lot of research out there about the pros and cons of carbon-offsetting, so it’s best to check out the guide on ethicalconsumer for a detailed overview.

Let me know what you think in the comments in the section, and share any eco friendly tips you’ve got!

What’s the Point?

A Bit of Context
Back in 2016 I stumbled across a challenger bank called Monzo. Until then I’d always banked with one of the big banks, but Monzo changed my view on everything financial. I joined in the days when it was nothing more than a pre-paid Mastercard with big ideas. I was super excited when they launched their current accounts and I moved my salary and all my direct debits over.

It was a completely new banking experience, and it allowed me to manage my money in ways I’d never been able to before. In fact I was so impressed with the Monzo way that in 2019 I applied for a job there, and now I’m on the inside looking out.

Doing it Differently
Monzo made me realise it’s possible to do things differently and there are now lots of companies in different industries trying to emulate what Monzo did. In other words they’re trying to build challenger companies in markets which have traditionally been dominated by several, often international, giants. They tend to be companies which are aiming to be more ethical, put the consumer first and avoid the baggage which comes with being titanic-esque.

My mission is to find as many of those companies as possible, move my business there and take advantage of the benefits they offer. Many of the companies are small and agile and have a transparent approach to communicating with their customers. By getting involved early you can help shape their ethos and trajectory. Of course the true test is what happens as the company gets bigger and you can no longer have the impact you had at the beginning. We’re starting to see this at Monzo, now we have 4.5 million customers it simply isn’t feasible for us to host open office events, or engage with each individual customer as we once could. However that initial period set the trajectory for the future and the motto of making money work for everyone isn’t going anywhere.

I’m aiming to share some of those companies that I’m trying to out, sharing my experiences and my thoughts as they grow and hopefully encourage others to give them a go too.

Let’s see how this goes…

(My first post will be on ecologi a rather fun carbon offsetting website)