Mar 13, 2019 - 5min read
Tonik Energy is serious about making a difference - not just in your home, but farther afield, too.
Each Tonik member makes a positive impact on the environment when they sign up for our 100% renewable electricity; the average household on our tariffs will use 697kg less carbon dioxide a year - which is the same as driving an Audi A1 from Birmingham to Beirut and back again! But for those looking to go even greener, we also offer the opportunity to add in 10% green gas and carbon offset the remaining 90%.
Our members on our greenest tariffs are making an even more tangible, measurable difference, in one of the most preciously biodiverse places on the planet: the Kasigau Corridor. Located between the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks of Kenya, it’s home to a fantastic variety of over 50 species of large mammals, more than 20 species of bats, and over 300 species of birds. The Kasigau Corridor is also an important habitat the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species such as Grevy's Zebras, Cheetahs, Lions, African Wild Dogs as well as over 2,000 African elephants.
Through this inspiring project we are helping to protect this threatened forest and the wildlife in the region, and at the same time provide social, economic and environmental opportunities to the rural communities.
For every unit of non-green gas used by our greenest members, we buy carbon credits that helps fund the protection of 500,000 acres of CO2-gobbling, oxygen-creating dryland forest that make up Kenya’s Kasigau Corridor - a project that will avoid the emission of more than 55 million tonnes of CO2 over the course of this projects initial 30-year lifetime. When we choose to make brighter choices about our energy, incredible things can happen!
“Our aim is to create enough sustainable infrastructure in the area so that the community can independently provide for themselves without relying on deforestation,” says Joseph Mwakima, Wildlife Works’ Community Relations Officer. “When a company like Tonik purchases our carbon credits, the majority of the funds remain in the community directly benefiting approximately 4,500 local Kenyan landowners, the broader community of 120,000 people including the funding of more than 300 jobs at the project.”
The ‘REDD’ in Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project stands for ‘Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation’, which is a UN envisioned programme to end the damaging slash-and-burn agriculture that is a major cause of greenhouse gases and poses a grave threat to biodiversity.
“Job creation is our core conservation strategy,” says Joseph. “We employ over 300 local people so that they don’t have to rely on destroying their environment to survive.” All of these jobs either directly or indirectly work towards the preservation of the local habitat. For example, the project has trained 120 young men and women to become Wildlife Rangers who carry out daily foot patrols of the Kasigau Corridor to guard against any damage.
Money from the programme also goes towards improving the community, whether that be through building schools, health clinics and infrastructure, or by supporting youth and women’s groups. Most importantly, the community is able to decide how their share of the funds is invested.
“The community voted to allocate a substantial portion of their revenue to improving access to water,” says Joseph, “so the Kasigau Corridor project has been carrying out multiple water harvesting and distribution projects and, as a result, more than 25,000 community members have been provided with access to clean water.”
By working to improve the lives of the human population of the Kasigau Corridor’s surrounding areas, the pressure placed on its forests and its wildlife is greatly relieved. This is a project that quite literally benefits all life in the local area - and the 55 million tonnes of CO2 emissions that will be avoided as a result stand to benefit the entire planet.
So this is why we buy carbon credits from the Kasigau Corridor REDD Project to make our greenest tariffs 100% carbon neutral. It goes much, much further than simply reducing emissions; it’s making a direct and quantifiable impact on an environmentally crucial corner of our world - and its inhabitants.
We’re proud to be a part of an initiative that’s aiming to make the biggest difference it possibly can. We hope our members are too. If you're interested in switching to one of our greenest tariffs, get a quote here.