Eco-Friendly Mauna Lani Resort in Hawaii Plants Trees to Offset Air Travel Carbon Footprint

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The eco-friendly Mauna Lani Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii sells guests trees to plant in order to offset their travel carbon footprint.

Kailua-Kona, HI (PRWEB) October 3, 2008 -- Visitors to Mauna Lani Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii will have a chance to buy and plant a tree to help offset their travel carbon footprint, and then reap part of the profit when it's cut down in 30 years or so.

Guests of the eco-friendly resort in Hawaii will also be able to monitor the tree's progress on the Internet, including how much carbon dioxide it absorbs and whether it ends up as a skateboard, koa canoe or part of a wind-power generator.

The Mauna Lani Resort and True Offsets, a company that is setting the world standard for carbon offsets, are partnering in the new ecological restoration project to help reduce the carbon footprint of air travel to Hawaii.

Guests will be offered the opportunity to buy a tree sapling for $37, plant it in Hamakua, located near-by the eco-resort and then watch it over the next several years via a Web site. The plan is to mail tree investors a check for 5 percent of their plant's value at harvest time, which could be up to $2,500 on a koa tree that's worth $50,000 in today's market.

Mark Glickman, Mauna Lani Resort marketing director, said the partnership reflects the resort's commitment to environmental stewardship in the hospitality industry.

"It allows our guests the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their trip here as well as to provide them with a hands-on ecological enhancement experience," he said. "We're already receiving numerous requests from our guests that want to plant trees here for their children and grandchildren."

True Offsets founder and director Jonny Dubowsky said Hawaii is the ideal place to kickstart this kind of eco-friendly tree planting project that he hopes will set an example for the future of forestry management and the growing carbon offset industry.

"It's an investment toward a carbon neutral planet through transparent reforestation and renewable energy projects," he said "If we can't do it here, we can't do it anywhere. If you don't harvest a tree at the end of its life and turn it into a wood product, it's bogus," Dubowsky said. "A dead, decomposing tree emits all that carbon back into the atmosphere."

Mauna Lani Resort has committed to buying 135 trees -- bamboo, ohia, avocado, royal palm, koa -- for their guests, who can help reduce the carbon footprint in Hawaii during their visit and can expect a check sometime in the future.

Each tree will have a unique bar code to help investors track it, and Dubowsky has researched the carbon sequestration rates of tree species at different elevations to ensure the process is at maximum efficiency.

"We've patented the process and it's the most accountable one out there," he said. "You can literally trace a tree through its life, until it's a skateboard or some other product."

Guests at Mauna Lani Resort can purchase a tree(s) during their stay. For reservations and more information, visit http://www.maunalani.com or call 800-367-2323. For more information on True Offsets or to purchase a tree, visit http://www.trueoffsets.com.

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