MANOTICK, Sept 2, 2021 – Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride – except, perhaps, the simple process of going carbon neutral with the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation.
Velofix Ottawa owner Adam Kourakis said he was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to offset his mobile bike shop’s carbon footprint through the Foundation’s local tree planting program.
“The process was much simpler than I expected, and the price was a lot lower,” said Kourakis, who has gone carbon neutral through the Foundation for four years since he opened the franchise in 2015.
The Foundation helps businesses and individuals calculate their carbon footprint over time or for a specific event, and then plants the appropriate number of trees to absorb that carbon over the trees’ 80-year lifespans.
This year, the Foundation will help Velofix Ottawa offset 18 tonnes of carbon dioxide generated in 2020 by its fleet of mobile bike repair trucks by planting 196 vigorous, native bare-root seedlings in and around Ottawa.
Staff guarantee a survival rate of 70% at five years by replanting any seedlings that don’t survive.
It’s a simple solution to a complex problem – with many bonus benefits. Along with carbon sequestration, trees also help clean the local air and water, reduce the severity of floods and droughts, control erosion, create wildlife habitat and, in urban environments, provide shade and relief from the “heat island” effect.
“It’s pretty tangible and cool,” Kourakis said. “And the trees are planted locally so they make a difference where my business is based.”
Kourakis encouraged his fellow small-business owners to take the plunge.
“If you’ve been thinking about going carbon neutral, I recommend you give this program a try,” Kourakis said. “I think a lot of businesses can afford it.”