Offsetting Carbon Footprint at Burning Man? Yes We Can!

A few more details on the CO2 offsetting plan we are pursuing through our latest fundraising effort on Indiegogo, announced last week. As our followers already know, we decided to offset the carbon footprint generated by our Burning Man project by planting trees in Nevada. Let us tell you how we are working on it.

cooling-man-logoWe calculated our impact on the environment using the online calculator for CO2 emissions provided by Cooling Man, a “cool” project launched by a group of environmentally concerned burners back in 2007. Unfortunately, the site seems to suggest that the Cooling Man project never had a follow up. Also, such a shame that, as we just found out, Nevada EcoNet shut down after 22 years of activity…

It’s a bummer for those projects’ failure, but we got inspired by the sustainability attitude anyway and decided to offset our playa carbon emissions, asking the burners community support to reach our sustainability goal. According to Cooling Man’s CO2 calculator, our playa project will produce about 30 tons of CO2. Five trees are needed to offset each ton of CO2, so we’ll plant 150 new trees in Nevada!

Not only we want to offset our CO2 emissions, we promised and we confirm our promise that, if our fundraising goes beyond our goal, all the excess money will go straight to the tree-planting and carbon offsetting initiative, so we can help offset also some of the CO2 impact generated by our fellow burners, and by the event itself. Environmental gifting! Let’s cover Nevada with trees!!! =)

As we were expecting, according to the Cooling Man CO2 emissions calculator (but also to other online calculators we benchmarked, all with similar results in terms of impact), the big part of our CO2 pollution won’t come from the burn, or from the gasoline used in generators or even in the use of cars from San Francisco and trucks from Reno.

Pretty much 80% of our impact comes from the fact that most of our team will have to fly to the United States from Europe, and planes generate a lot of CO2!!! Not only the overseas flights consume CO2 – if you are catching a flight to Reno from anywhere in the US, you will probably contribute to carbon footprint more than the burn of the Man! If you share our sustainability and carbon offsetting plan and you want to offset the carbons emissions you and your campmates will produce by hitting the playa this year, you can join our tree planting effort and offset your own carbon emissions by donating to our Indiegogo campaign – we’ll plant that tree for you!


We are now in contact with several organizations in the US to figure out which is the most reliable and sustainable partner to plant trees in Nevada through a donation. We are looking at getting good advice from various sources ranging from environmental NGOs to the Northern Nevada Bureau of Land Management. We’ll let you know soon which local Nevada carbon offsetting project will grab our trust and attention, and will be the collector of our donations. If you have any suggestion for Nevada environmental NGOs that are worth working with (i.e. burner-driven) please let us know, and we’ll get in touch with them to investigate the opportunity to work together.

Don’t forget to support and donate to our online campaign, here is a direct link to the fundraising on Indiegogo, please share it with your friends (burners and not) to maximize the success of the offsetting operation!

Thank you for following and supporting Stairway to Heaven at Burning Man 2013, and our sustainability dream!