Ithaka Institut


In 2016 the Ithaka Institute created a monthly CO2-subscription offering which offsets the CO2-emissions of individual citizens via the establishment of complex forest garden systems in villages of central Nepal. Instead of purchasing anonymous carbon credits to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of a flight or the annual petrol consumption of a car or the heating of an apartment as has been  the usual way, our CO2-subscription creates a direct link between the individual emitter with specifically designated trees in Nepal that capture atmospheric carbon. Every CO2-subscriber thus knows exactly which trees in which specific forest garden capture the amount of monthly emitted CO2 and which farmer family planted and cares for the trees and carbon gardens.

All trees that were planted as part of our forest garden projects in Nepal are thus directly linked to a specific CO2-subscriber. Each subscriber knows the names of their carbon caretaker, the farmers that cares for “their” trees, and the farmers know the name of the subscribers for whom they provide climate mitigation services. Moreover, subscribers have an open invitation to visit their trees, participate in the caretaking of the forest garden, and to establish personal contacts with the farmers. Once per year, the growth of the trees is measured and documented. From mid-2018 on, the data and pictures of the trees and farmers corresponding to a specific subscription will be retrievable online.

The annual offset amount of the subscription is based on the per capita greenhouse gas emissions of the subscriber’s home country. In Germany, this amounts currently to 11.5 tons per year. At 35 Euro per ton this corresponds to slightly more than 400 Euro per year or a monthly subscription of 33.35 Euro. For about 1 Euro per day a European can live climate neutral.

Those who prefer to calculate their own personal carbon footprint instead of using the country’s average can do it rather easily with sufficient accuracy using a footprint calculator such as this. Ideally a subscription should be  considered as a longer-term commitment. However, you can decide every year if you want to extend it for another year or to opt out. If your personal carbon foot print decreases after the year as you decided to travel less, to drive less, to install solar panels or to plant your own trees, the annual subscription amount can be adapted accordingly.

Additionally, small companies can compensate their carbon footprint by sponsoring larger forest garden projects. The carbon footprint of a product from manufacturing to the client’s door can be calculated and made climate neutral through planting the corresponding number of trees.



Those who want to live climate neutral or to offer climate neutrality to a friend or family, please contact us via email. You will receive all additional information as well as the exact location and the name of the farmer families that provide the climate mitigation service.  

More detailed information about the forest gardens, about the base of our calculations and the guaranties we can provide that the compensated amounted of carbon is truly sequestered, are to be found in our long tBJ-article: Forest Gardens for Closing the Global Carbon Cycle.


Some further background information

Our goal is to develop models and demonstrate their practical implementation, so that they will be emulated and improved by as many other people as possible. We hope these models will open doors for the development and implementation of many similar projects. To be successful in effectively slowing down climate change over the next 20 years, we need millions of these kinds of forest garden projects. We regard it as our duty to not just design various successful models but to put them into practice as an example for others to replicate and improve. Only through practical implementation and sharing information can we discover and fix any weaknesses and flaws in the system. By dealing with such complications in an open manner, we can offer recommendations for action and establish eco-social methods that create opportunities to reverse climate change.

It is our outspoken and immodest goal to develop the CO2 Forest Garden Systems with such transparency and success that they will be emulated, improved and adapted to specific cultural and ecological conditions in many different countries and regions. From Istanbul to Shanghai there are millions of square kilometres of deforested areas, just as there are across the Mediterranean region, in large parts of Africa, Australia, Mexico, Iceland and the southern part of the USA. Converting depleted landscapes to productive forest garden systems holds the potential to change the way we manage our planet’s resources for the better, and to establish a global management of the carbon cycle (global carbon governance).