Eco-Palms and Carbon Footprint
Eco-Palms are shipped by land in trucks from Guatemala and Mexico to San Antonio, Texas and then to Minnesota where they are distributed via FedEx to congregations. This route has been determined because Eco-Palms are a perishable product and need to be delivered quickly. Shipping by sea would take too long and the palms would probably spoil. Traditionally in the floral trade and with palms specifically, most if not all palms are shipped in trucks with the exception of some that may go by plane.
Some points to make about the palms:
- If congregations were to buy palms from another source, they would most likely follow a similar route, so the transportation footprint for Eco-Palms is similar to the rest of the industry. The savings on your carbon footprint with Eco-Palms largely takes place at the point of origin – the forests of Guatemala and Mexico.
- Eco-Palms are helping protect important natural forests - areas that store a large amount of carbon. Some 20% of the carbon that enters the atmosphere on an annual basis comes from deforestation. The palms help curb deforestation because they add value to the forest which makes it less likely that the forests will be cut down.
- Eco-Palms are harvestedin a more sustainable manner than palms from other sources. Prior to the initiation of this project 50-60% of the palms harvested were discarded because they were not fit for the market. With the training communities have received through the project, discarded palms have been reduced to around 10%.
- Eco-Palms are also providing significant social benefits to the communities; communities that harvest palms for the conventional Palm Sunday market do not receive such social benefits. Social benefits for Eco-Palms communities are determined by individual communities and include development projects such as the building of schools, health clinics, educational scholarships, improvements in Eco-Palms processing facilities, and more.