UWEC Alums Start Carbon Offset Co. to Fund Reforestation
duo’s venture helps individuals and companies offset carbon emissions
When it comes to environmental conservation, oftentimes people want to get involved but aren’t sure how. That’s where The Carbon Offset Company comes in.
The main goal of The Carbon Offset Company is to work with individuals and companies to help neutralize the carbon emissions they create. Individuals can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription or a one-time purchase which helps plant five trees a month. The monthly subscription is only $5 a month.
They also work with businesses to create a plan that works best for them, whether that be a tree planted per purchase of the business’s product or services, or an option to plant a tree at checkout. The Carbon Offset Company also works with these businesses to market and promote this impact.
“Our idea is that they can continue doing business as they do it, without damaging the planet,” said Matt Kallstrom, who co-founded the business with Anthony Meshnick.
Kallstrom and Meshnick met when they were students at UW-Eau Claire. They share a concern for nature: In fact, the Carbon Offset Company was started in Kallstom’s cabin in the woods.
Kallstrom and Meshnick founded the Carbon Offset Company in September 2020 after another company idea they had didn’t pan out. Right when they were about to give up, a hairstylist expressed his wishes to plant one tree for each haircut he sold. This idea sparked what is now The Carbon Offset Company.
“It affects everybody, the environment does,” Meshnick said. “No matter what your background is or what you believe, it’s something that’s important to all of us. If we don’t take action now to get our earth on the right path environmentally, it’s gonna have some bad consequences.”
The Carbon Offset Company has planted trees across the U.S. including California, Florida, Oregon, and other U.S. National Forests. They also have reforestation projects happening across the world in Mozambique, Appalachia, Haiti, Madagascar, and Senegal. They have already planted about 330,000 trees across the globe.
Eau Claire Ford and Midwest Meals are both Eau Claire-based companies that are partnered with The Carbon Offset Company.
“Little actions add up,” Meshnick said. “One person might think, ‘Oh I don’t make a difference,’ or ‘I can’t make a positive impact’, but if everyone has that mindset then nothing is going to ever get done.”
The Carbon Offset Company is creating an app for Shopify store owners which will allow them to give shoppers the option of purchasing trees to plant at checkout. They are also hoping to become more involved with the planting sites and possibly add a prisoner reform program for tree planting.
“Is planting trees the do-all, end-all? No,” Kallstrom said. “But it is something that’s super manageable, that does create a positive impact and it’s super affordable.”
Learn more about the Carbon Offset Company at thecarbonoffsetcompany.org.