OUR EMAIL IS bookings@orcafoundation.com


Frequently Asked Questions          

What is the issue?

Human beings are generating more carbon than the earth's dwindling number of trees can absorb and neutralise. Carbon emissions are building up in the earth's fragile, finely-balanced atmosphere, and causing a 'blanket' effect - which means that the heat radiated from the earth isn't being dissipated as effectively as in the past. As a result we are experiencing global warming.  

What is the cause of carbon emissions and who exactly is responsible for global warming?

Every one of us who use cars, buses, taxis, trains, aeroplanes, electricity and paper.

What are the consequences of global warming?

·         Violent weather changes and rising oceans.

  • Loss of lives and homes on coastlines and islands.
  • The loss of millions of hectares of forest every year.
  • Loss of topsoil.
  • The extinction of countless species of plants and animals.

·         The spread of deserts.

  • Crop failure and threat to world food security.
  • Rapid disappearance of the supply of drinkable water.

·         Heavy precipitation and floods and storms.

·         Heat waves and extreme cold.

·         Increased pathogens

Who should neutralise their carbon emissions?

Everyone who has a conscious and cares about the planet.

Can I make a difference as an individual?

Yes! Each individual can make the choice to take responsibility for his or her impact on the planet.

Who is Planet Green Ocean Blue?

Planet Green Ocean Blue is one of the initiatives of the ORCA Foundation – a non-profit organisation set up in 2001 based in Plettenberg Bay on the world famous Garden Route in South Africa. We focus on actively making a difference to the health of the planet by educating people about the choices they have to improve the health of the planet, and thereby themselves. Planet Green Ocean Blue's work embraces best practices in sustainable environmental activities that use local labour while also playing an important role restoring indigenous forest and reducing the carbon emissions that are threatening our planet.

What does Planet Green Ocean Blue do?                          

1. Awareness:

We educate local members of our community, overseas guests, school children, businesses, hotels and other tourism establishments about their personal impact on planet earth by making them aware of their carbon footprint and advise on the action they can take to reduce their footprint.

2. Reforestation:

We calculate how many trees you need to plant to offset your personal carbon footprint. We plant these trees on your behalf in denuded areas of the Southern Cape Garden Route and in the process Afro-montane forest is being restored to its former magnitude and beauty.

3. Research and Monitoring

We monitor the growth and health of your trees and are conducting continuous research to ensure that our restoration programme mimics as far as possible the natural succession of an indigenous forest.

How do you calculate the carbon I am responsible for, and where does this information come from?

We make use of a Carbon Calculator initially developed by internationally-respected auditing firm, Price Waterhouse Cooper, which makes it easy to measure the carbon emissions of an individual, or a family, or a business – and to become aware of the carbon consequences of various activities.

Average individual emissions are calculated from lifestyles such as heating and lighting the home, cooking, driving a car, travelling in a taxi or bus, flying in an aircraft, paper usage and so on.

v      Air Travel and Motor Car definitions and factors are from the GHG Protocol Mobile Combustion Tool

v      Guidance for reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from SANS 14064-1:2006 specification

v      Electricity consumption emission factor from Eskom 2006 report

v      For the purposes of vehicle classification and figures for emissions based on distance  in terms of CO2 emissions we have used figures provided by UK DEFRA(Tables 7&, annexes to guidelines for company reporting carbon emissions, updated July 2005 http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/envrp/gas/.

Using the calculator we can assist you to determine the amount of carbon you are responsible for producing. Furthermore, we can then determine the number of trees that you need to plant to offset this carbon – using figures scientifically derived how much carbon a tree absorbs in its life time - thereby making you Carbon Neutral Approved.

How does planting trees help this global problem of high carbon levels?

Trees are green machines that act as natural filters of the air. Through the process of photosynthesis they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their trunk, branches, leaves, roots, soil and foliage, while releasing oxygen back out into the atmosphere. Each tree will absorb about 500kg of CO2 over its lifetime! Therefore a simple and easy solution to reducing and neutralising carbon emissions is planting trees.

Where is the best place to plant trees and where do you plant your trees?

We are restoring denuded areas in the Garden Route, South Africa. Trees must be planted in areas where conditions are ideal for an indigenous forest to be restored to its former status. Therefore we plant trees specifically in areas where:

Ø       A site assessment has been completed which approves the site (soil, aspect, other plant species etc) as suitable for restoration.

Ø       Afro-montane forest existed previously.

Ø       Alien vegetation has been cleared to prevent invasion of the trees planted.

Ø     We have signed contracts with the land owners ensuring that the trees will be protected for life.

Where do you obtain the new trees from?

All our trees are purchased from certified nurseries to ensure that your trees are healthy, correctly handled as well as ensuring that the seedlings were not taken illegally from protected areas.

Who plants these trees?

The tree planting process is managed by certified nursery growers who understand the detrimental factors of age, height and health of a seedling to ensure it has the best chance of survival once planted. We provide employment to people from poorer communities in the vicinity of the restoration sites to plant your trees.

What is the cost of planting trees?

The cost of each tree is R 95 or $ 12. The breakdown is as follows: .


Meeting with community leaders, property owners, officials and councilors



R 2.00


Site assessment and selection of community guardians to care for the planted areas.



R 4.00


Printing and signing of contracts with property owners



R 4.00


Marketing costs



R 5.00


Sowing of seed in nursery into seedling trays.



R 3.00


Maintenance fee



R 6.00


Transplant of seedling into 4kg bags



R 7.00


Growing of tree to 1m height 



R 9.00


An indigenous tree of at least 1m in height delivered with planting instructions



R 2.00


Planting of tree-Labour



R 7.00


Providing educational material for Guardian



R 4.00


Public relations, small events, sponsor branded invitations and programs, and media release distribution


R 4.00


Project Management, coordination, administration, accounting, reporting and media , advertising


R 11.00





R 6.00


Follow up assessment of trees distributed following event, three and six months later



R 3.00


Transport for all meetings and workshops, collection of materials etc.



R 2.00


Contribution to Orca Foundation – Conservation and Education



R 5.00


Commission to Tree seller



R 6.00





R 3.00





How can I be assured that my trees which I have contributed towards will be planted?

  • Trees are kept in a database with specific GPS readings indicating their specific location to ensure that there is no double accounting of trees in the future. We give you the specific GPS co-ordinates of your trees for you to keep track.
  • We are audited by the international standards auditing group, TUV Reinland.

How can I be assured that my trees will be looked after in the future?

  • We have entered into contractual agreements with landowners of restoration sites to ensure that your trees are not cut down and remain intact for generations to come.
  • We provide you with a newsletter to update you on the status of the particular site where your trees are planted.        

How do I identify which are my trees?

We give you the exact co-ordinates of your trees so that you know their exact location and can watch them grow on googleearth.com

What do I receive as confirmation of being carbon neutral approved by Planet Green Ocean Blue?

We issue you a certificate to certify that you have successfully joined those responsible world citizens who are making a difference to improving the state of the planet. Also we issue you with the carbon neutral approved stamp (useful for marketing your business as being environmentally conscious).


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