Welcome to my 8 Billion Trees review! If you want to help save the world and are wondering is 8 Billion Trees a scam, I'm here to help you find out!
If you saw their ad and are thinking about joining, you are probably if the company is legit. Does the money go where it's supposed to, planting trees?
I don't think 8 Billion Trees is a scam. I actually joined their monthly membership myself. They seem to be running a legit operation and have partnered with some very credible organizations that confirm their partnership on their websites. That said, there seems to be no way to know how much of the contributions are being used to the actual cause. The company also seems to have a very small digital footprint, and media coverage so it's hard to find information about them.
This is a bit different from my regular reviews since it doesn't really have anything to do with online business opportunities or SEO.
I'm creating this review partly for personal reasons. I joined 8 Billion Trees recently. Before I did, I did a lot of research. I know there are a lot of scams disguised as charity operations. I'm not affiliated with 8 Billion Trees in any way, the links to their site are not affiliate links.
I realized other people are looking for this information as well, so I decided to do a quick write up to help you make your mind if you want to participate in the program.
I saw 8 Billion Trees Facebook add about their reforestation project and about the condition of your rain forests. The sad truth is that due to deforestation, over half of our plantes rainforests have been destroyed.
What's even sadder is that we have managed to drive thousands of animal and plant species into extinction. At the current rate, there won't be a planet to save by the end of the century.
I care for the environment dearly. I'm actually an environmental engineer by profession and I try to live my life as ecologically as possible. I eat mainly plant-based diet and avoid buying unnecessary stuff. But unfortunately, it is virtually impossible in the western world to reduce your CO2 emissions to a sustainable level.
I've always felt I want to do more. When I saw 8 Billion Trees add, it really resonated with me. I know how huge of an ecological catastrophe deforestation is and 8 Billion Trees seemed to have a program that was actually doing something about it. If I could chip in, I'd be glad to.
To be honest, I'd want to participate in this type of action more directly, but maybe that will be possible in the future.
But back to the subject. So I clicked on their ad, read their sales page, watched their video and I was convinced. Well, almost.
I never jump in on FB or YouTube ads without doing research. Besides being an engineer, I'm an online marketer. I know exactly how enticing a sales letter can be even if the product is nothing to write home about.
So I did some research before pulling the plug on 8 Billion Trees membership. At first, I wasn't convinced, I'll tell you a bit later on why, but let's look at what the company is about.
What Is 8 Billion Trees
According to their website, 8 Billion Trees is a "Social Enterprise" which means they combine commercial and social goals with the emphasis on the latter. So profits are reinvested in the community or company.
So they are technically a company but they focus on social goals, in this case, reforestation. You see, as the name suggests, 8 Billion Trees has a very ambitious goal of planting 8 Billiob Trees.
They aim to accomplish this by selling ecological products and carbon offset packages to fund planting new trees and conserving existing ones.
The reason why they are focusing their efforts on planting and reserving trees is that it is one of the most environmentally beneficial things to do.
Trees support our global ecosystem and consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They also support countless species of plants and animals.
Trees also play a crucial role in natural water cycles, spreading of deserts, preventing erosion, and revitalizing unusable areas. Deforestation is the leading cause of habitat destruction.
According to their website, 8 Billion Trees has managed to plant over 900,000 trees in 19 different countries and funded the conservation of over 166,000 acres of existing forest.
8 Billion Trees both fund other organizations and runs their own organization in many countries.
People Behind 8 Billion Trees
8 Billion Trees was founded by Jos Chambers and Michael Powell. There's not much information about these guys. I guess Jos is the guy in most of the pictures on their site but neither seems to have any kind of digital footprint I could find easily.
You can see him in this video for example.
Jos apparently has a Military Background and his love for the forests stem from his childhood when he was scouting and spending time in nature to cope with his mothers' death.
Michael is apparently from a family with a passion for environmentalism and conservation. They shared a common passion for saving the environment and decided to do something about it.
Is 8 Billion Trees A Scam
So is 8 Billion Trees legit? Or is it a scam that's taking advantage of people's desire to help further the environmental cause?
Well, I must say I saw a few red flags when I started investigating them. That said, I'm now actually a monthly member of theirs, so I was eventually convinced enough to join.
I truly hope they are legit. Because I believe so much in the cause, I'm willing to take the financial risk and hope it goes to where they say it's going.
I actually contacted them about some of the concerns I had and I did receive a reply that they will discuss my ideas and concerns. If they will get back to me, I'll let you know.
The main concerns I had were:
- Their YouTube channel has only 6 videos, with the latest from about a month back. All videos are professionally produced mini-documentaries or downright ads. Why not create a social proof with weekly videos showing the reforestation in action?
- There is almost no information about the founders. Besides their short backstory, I couldn't find anything online about them even being real people. While I understand that not everyone keeps social media accounts, if you are running a social enterprise, you need to build social trust. It's the best way to get more people on board!
- There is very little information about the company online other than their website. With such an ambitious goal, you would think that major news organizations would be thrilled to cover their story.
- There is no member platform of any sort, where people could ask about the project and maybe see where the funding is going. I think this would be very important for both transparency and user engagement.
What made me change my mind was a couple of videos on their YouTube channel showing them actually at work and meeting with officials as well as their partners which include:
- Amazon Watch
- Eden Restoration Project
- Ideflor-Bio Institute
- Government of Para, Brazil
- International Tree Foundation
- and many others...
Those are all real, legit, trustworthy organizations and they have (at least most of them) confirmation on their sites that they are in fact partnered with 8 Billion Trees
I also found out they are focusing their social media effort to Instagram, where you can find more recent updates.
So I would say 8 Billion Trees is not a scam. Or it would have to be a very elaborate scheme. It's much more likely that they have a very small organization dedicated to the cause, and they simply can't cover all the bases so there isn't that much information online about them.
But since they are essentially asking charities, even though they are sold as products, I think they need to be transparent and improve their digital footprint.
This would go a long way in getting people convinced to join a very important cause.
I found this great article about tree-planting scams & deceptions. Apparently tree-planting scams are relatively common and there are dishonest organization capitalizing on people's willingness to help the planet.
I think 8 Billion Trees answers most of the questions presented on that document quite well, but I'd still prefer there was more information about the owners and the teams, how money is allocated etc. Transparency is extremely important in these types of operations, even if it's not a non-profit.
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I hope you found this 8 Billion Trees review useful and it answered your questions. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me through the comments section below.
8 Billion Trees seems to be a legit operation with a mystifyingly small digital footprint and media coverage. But they are working towards a very noble cause. So consider joining their monthly Carbon Credits program if you can afford the $43 dollars for a very good cause or buying something from their online store.
Thanks for reading and if you found this review useful, please consider sharing on social media!