Any questions?

Then you've come to the right place!

This project is close to our hearts and we critically question ourselves and our actions. Here you will find honest answers to your questions.

That’s not enough for you? Then feel free to contact Walter directly with your request at

Does it really work?

Yes, indeed, it works. And it works in Africa, many people think that nothing works in Africa.

It works because we’ve made the whole process as easy as possible. There is no need for lengthy training and no large investment, you can start with 50 euros. Because anyone can weed and dry water hyacinths and anyone can also learn how to use the kiln within a day, all you need is a video via WhatsApp.

With the purchase of water hyacinth coal, we ensure that the start-up phase of each project is completed. Once the local market for water hyacinth coal is established, we will phase out the purchase of water hyacinth coal. We advise and coach the water hyacinth entrepreneur further so that the local business expands and he can hire more people.

We bear the costs for this at the beginning and refinance the whole thing with the sale of our CO2 compensation certificates. This means that we have money again for the next project in another place, for even more climate protection.

Does the money really arrive in Africa?

If everyone is supposed to do something, then often no one does anything. That’s why we just started and we stay true to our values. So we are not only doing without empty words and hot air, but also without bureaucratic detours. This way we can guarantee that your money goes exactly where it has the greatest impact.

We have been active in Africa with renewable energy projects for almost 20 years and know the local structures and problems, which is why we deliberately avoid government agencies. Our path leads directly from us to the local people who produce the water hyacinth charcoal. For this we use WhatsApp&Co, because it may be hard to believe, but the mobile phone network coverage on site is much better than the one we have here in rural Lower Bavaria. We also send the money easily and directly by bank transfer, which can now be done worldwide for only 2-3 € fees.

And because the local people are poor, they also spend the money locally again. This leads to additional added value in the region. Every euro that we send to the region for the purchase of water hyacinth coal has a value creation factor of at least 2.7. With your annual compensation of 197 euros, you generate a regional added value of 532 euros and this amount is higher than the average annual income in the region.

Is carbonation harmful to the environment?

No, it is not harmful to the environment. The resulting gases are burned in the kiln. In addition to a lot of water vapour, some of the carbon is released back into the air as CO2. Approximately 20% of the carbon that the plant has bound during its growth is permanently fixed in the coal. The other 80% goes into the air and then serves the other water hyacinths to grow again.

Aren't you eradicating the water hyacinth?

No, no chance. With a doubling speed of only 14 days, no one can compete with the water hyacinth.

For example, 5,000 citizens of Gogora on Lake Tana/Ethiopia completely cleared their shoreline of water hyacinths by hand within one month, and after half a year the shore was completely closed again.

The water hyacinth grows back again and again by itself, a weed. As long as the lakes and rivers are not yet free of wastewater and nutrients, there will be enough water hyacinths for harvesting and climate protection. And if the waters are so clean at some point that the water hyacinth can no longer grow? Then we are simply happy about a healthy, clean planet.

Will CO2 really be bound in the soil for more than 1000 years?

We’re fans of Indiana Jones and what he’s discovered. But Indiana Jones is cold coffee compared to a German professor who set off for the Amazon to see why so many people are said to have lived there. He was driven by a hundred-year-old story of a Spanish Jesuit. He wrote of having seen thousands of people on the banks of the Amazon. But where there are people, there must also be food and the Amazon bank was considered infertile soil, even a “wet desert” with nutrients that lie so deep in the soil that they are inaccessible to plants. So how was the Amazon shore supposed to feed thousands of people?

This question drove the professor to the Amazon region, where he found black earth, the so-called Terra Preta, in the places described. This soil is very fertile and an optimal breeding ground for many plants. This proved that the Jesuit was right, because Terra Preta can certainly prepare the ground for feeding thousands of people. And what does this have to do with our water hyacinth charcoal? Terra Preta (Portuguese for “black earth”) consists of biochar and is partly over 2,000 years old, so the black earth can still be found in the Amazon today. Biochar is therefore a soil conditioner that does not degrade, such as compost, and can thus bind CO2 for more than 1000 years.

Aren't we lying to ourselves with the CO2 certificates?

… a much-discussed and absolutely justified question. We believe that there can be no universal right or wrong, but that everyone can critically question themselves and thus find their own truth.

We have questioned ourselves and our answer is: No, we do not believe that we are lying to ourselves with CO2 certificates. For us, the certificate is no longer an excuse to emit CO2 and live less environmentally consciously. No matter how ecologically we live, we unfortunately do not manage to leave no CO2 behind. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, we would like to do even more for our climate and appreciate the opportunity to be able to compensate for our footprint and to ensure that our own CO2 emissions can be offset by climate protection elsewhere. But of course, this is only our personal answer to this complex question.

Why don't we have a standard like the gold standard, for example?

If you go to a website that offers compensation, you will often find projects that have been verified according to certain standards. The gold standard, for example, was developed by the UN, but in our opinion it is of little value.

As is so often the case, these standards only benefit large-scale projects, because consulting firms collect up to €150,000 to evaluate a project. Often the facts and figures are then bent and calculated in such a way that it becomes the gold standard.

We don’t have this money and even if we did, we would prefer to put it directly into climate protection. We rely on transparency and trust and provide you with proof at any time or are there to answer your questions.

Why do other CO2 certificates often not really work?

Our main point of criticism is that the avoidance of other certificates should only take place in the future and that there is no guarantee of future success.

A small example: Standard projects for CO2 compensation are often stoves and small biogas plants. Once purchased, they are supposed to compensate for CO2 over the years. That’s nonsense and we dare to say it because biogas plants are our core business!

As a rule, biogas plants do not function permanently. This was already shown by a report in India in 1995. Of several million small biogas plants, 60% were out of operation again. Wood-saving cookstoves are used for the smallest

Problem no longer used, because they are free of charge and they are treated as such.

We say: first avoid and then issue a certificate.

We only sell a certificate when the climate effect has already been achieved and the water hyacinth coal has been produced. In order to avoid possible double counting on site, we also verify that the biochar has really been applied to the soil. Because 1 ton of biochar that is already in the ground cannot be counted twice.

With the income from the certificates, we are organizing more climate protection through new water hyacinth projects at new locations.

What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the SDGs?

On behalf of the United Nations, a team of scientists has developed a target concept that is intended to lead to a just and sustainable world. We think the SDGs are really logical and make sense.

In the beginning, the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) were still called Millennium Development Goals, but unfortunately they did not work out by the year 2000. Nice words – too little action.

The SDGs are arranged according to priorities. SDG1 is “No Poverty”. SDG8 is “Good jobs and economic growth” (but we put a question mark internally when it comes to economic growth).

We use the goals as a checklist for our activities. Are we meeting the SDGs? Which of them? Can we structure the process to fulfill more of it? In the end, we managed to make a positive contribution to every goal.

Do you have any questions?
Then let us know here how we can help you.

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