LOCAL environmental charity, The Word Forest Organisation, is thrilled to announce a corporate partnership with Go Eco Cabs, Dorset’s first fully electric vehicle taxi service.
The taxi firm is donating 50p for every journey over £5 which is helping plant fast-growing trees in the tropics to tackle climate change.
Go Eco Cabs was launched in 2020; it has two electric vehicles and is run by Jay Major and Jo Walker who have a Nissan Leaf and a MG ZS electric vehicle.
The partnership will see a donation from journeys over £5 by Go Eco Cabs, being made to Lyme based charity, The Word Forest Organisation, helping them get urgently needed trees in the ground in Kenya.
People who travel with Jay and Jo will be actively mitigating climate chaos twice over, once by riding in an electric vehicle and additionally by helping clean the air that blows all over the world via tree planting.
Jay explains: “We, like many families, want to do what we can to lessen our impact on the climate crisis, so we created West Dorset’s first eco friendly, zero emissions, 100 per cent electric taxi company.
“We’re based in Lyme Regis and serve Charmouth, Axminster, Bridport, Seaton and beyond. Our clients are locals and tourists who like to use our services to get to where they need to go, knowing they are doing their bit for the environment.”
Jo added: “We are really excited to be corporate partners with Word Forest as it is a cause we are passionate about. During the summer season, by choosing to use Go Eco Cabs, our customers are helping to plant on average one tree per day.”
The Word Forest Organisation was co-founded by Lyme residents and passionate environmentalists, Tracey and Simon West. They plant trees, build schools, facilitate education and support women’s empowerment in rural Kenya, and aside from the building, they do much the same in the UK.
During lockdown, they’ve shifted their focus from face-to-face fundraising and are moving to a 100 per cent digital fundraising strategy, finding new corporate partners and devising creative ways to strengthen their income and mitigate climate chaos.
Since March, they’ve been distributing vital food aid, helping more than 1,500 members of tree-planting communities keep starvation at bay.
The reason they plant predominantly in the tropics is because trees there grow up to 10 times faster in Kenya than anywhere else on the planet. This makes them incredibly efficient at drawing down and locking in CO2 and other pollutants, thereby mitigating climate change and sea level rise.
According to a recent report in The Guardian, the National Grid is preparing itself for a boom in renewable energy projects, including at least 3GW of new wind power capacity and 1.4GW of solar generation every year from now until 2050.
Alongside this there will be a widespread rollout of electric vehicles, which will effectively act as smart-charging “batteries” to help balance the electricity grid.
The Wests are strong proponents of electric cars and recently traded their six-year-old Nissan Leaf for newer model.
Simon explains: “We wanted to be early adopters of the technology so we could help it grow. Back in 2014, the charging infrastructure in the South West was almost non-existent and I did have ‘range anxiety’. We could only do about 80 miles before needing to charge up and that was drastically reduced if we encountered hills.
“We managed though and only turtled it once and our old car notched up 60,000 miles over six years. We’ve probably saved about £8,000 on petrol and other associated costs like car tax, insurance and servicing. “Thankfully, there are a few more charging points around Lyme, Bridport and Axminster, but we’ve got a long way to go before we match places like Bristol or the outskirts of London, where abundant charging options are commonplace.”
Simon continued: “Our coastal towns and villages are so vulnerable to sea level rise. There should be far more renewable energy projects countrywide but particularly here, to make the area more sustainable and our world healthier.
“In North Wales, they’re decommissioning a seaside town called Fairbourne. House prices have plummeted and the council have basically washed their hands of the inevitability of it being reclaimed by the sea. What would happen if that occurred in Charmouth, West Bay or Lyme Regis?”
Tracey added: “More and more businesses are getting to grips with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and going green. Forging a partnership with an environmental charity like Word Forest is a surefire way of attracting clients to your business who care for the planet too.
“There’s lots of money to be made in responsible, sustainable, ethical trading and quite frankly, it’s the way all businesses should be heading. If we don’t take care of our world and plant more trees, we’ll end up with an even more inhospitable climate in northern latitudes.”
She concluded: “Many of the folks we’re working with in Kenya live just three degrees south of the equator, they’re quite literally on the front line of climate change and it’s getting hotter all the time as desertification creeps in.
“Crops stop growing once it hits a certain temperature – how will they survive then? We have to do more to keep weather extremes and sea level rise at bay.
“We are working flat out to do all we can and we’d love to talk to more inspirational business owners like Go Eco Cabs to help them become #TreeHeroes too.”
For more details, email Tracey on tracey@WordForest.org, visit the website WordForest.org or watch the documentary #TreesAreTheKey narrated by Kate Winslet. And for a good, green lift around Dorset, Devon or Somerset, contact Jay or Jo at Go Eco Cabs on 01297 445 444 or visit go-ecocabs.com