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What is the Tri-City Forest Project?

Here at EcoCart, we’re all about reducing carbon emissions and providing people with tools to manage their own carbon footprint. But how exactly does adding a few cents to your order total—or using the EcoCart Chrome extension—make any impact on the environment?

EcoCart funds several carbon offset projects with the funds created from affiliate links when you click the “make my order carbon neutral” button on our Chrome extension, or at checkout with a participating retailer. These projects are located all over the world, and tend to have unique mechanisms for reducing the effects of climate change. For starters, these projects reduce the amount of carbon emissions already in the air or prevent further emissions from being created, they help people in the areas they are located, and they seek to make real change in their communities in a sustainable way.

One of these projects that EcoCart supports is the Tri-City Forest Project. This project was created by three cities in Massachusetts—Holyoke, West Springfield, and Westfield—that joined together to protect over 6,500 acres of watershed lands. This area is home to a large number of tree varieties and plant groups that are able to clean carbon emissions from the air around them as a part of their natural lifecycle. 

The Tri-City Forest Project also makes money for the communities in the form of carbon stock in exchange for the benefits that the protected lands provide. This enables the project to benefit the environment, while not removing an essential form of income from the community surrounding it. This is a very important factor that EcoCart looks for in the projects that we support.

The ongoing elements of the project that require funding are to offset the financial loss to the communities they are in, for the business they would lose from not being able to operate logging companies in those protected areas. There is also a significant amount of work done to ensure that the forest land and watersheds are healthy and protected from harm.

This project not only helps reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the air around the protected areas but also provides more tangible benefits for the communities that surround it. By leaving this vast spread of land mostly untouched, they avoid costly water filtration facilities as the forest serves as a natural water filter. The project is able to remove an estimated 122,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air every year, in addition to the other benefits it provides. That’s equivalent to the carbon emissions of over 26,000 cars every year. It’s essential to support projects and communities like this, so that carbon offset projects can continue to grow in popularity as more leaders see their importance and the numerous positive impacts they can have not just on the environment, but also on people and communities.

When you use EcoCart to check out, this is just one of several projects that you can help support. Instead of lobbying for sprawling legislation that may end up doing more harm than good, EcoCart carefully selects projects that first and foremost benefit the communities they exist in and also help reduce carbon emissions. You can find a list of all the projects we support here. All of the projects and organizations we support are carefully vetted, ethically proven, and scientifically verified according to the world’s major carbon standards with over 90% of each dollar going directly to projects that are proven to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere.

Thanks to sustainable online shoppers just like you, EcoCart has been able to remove over 25 million pounds of carbon emissions from the atmosphere in the past year and we’re just getting started. If you haven’t gotten involved yet, you can play your part by installing the EcoCart Chrome extension and using it when you shop online. It’s free for you and you get to support projects like the Tri-City Forest Project every time you checkout online!