A DO-IT-YOURSELF carbon trading scheme is helping a farmer from Dilkoon run a sustainable business and wildlife refuge.
Jeff Keyes has a 15-year background in olive and cattle farming in the Southern Highlands, but has been running his 50-hectare property, the Sportsman Creek Conservation Area for the past two years.
A proportion of the running costs of the farm, including rates and insurance, are paid for by a carbon trading deal he has with an international publishing business, Horden House.
It is run out of Sydney and owned by his sister's family.
The publishing business increases carbon levels through its production and distribution process, and by using wood pulp for paper.
This is offset by the carbon absorbed into the trees on My Keyes' property.
The trees on the property generate 900 tonnes worth of 'carbon credit' that has been valued at $10 per tonne under Mr Keyes private agreement.
The deal is not part of any government program and Mr Keyes is adamant that he isn't aligned to any political party on the issue.
"This allows us to be flexible to changes in legislation," he said.
The publisher is motivated to offset its carbon because it makes 'good business sense' and is the right moral thing to do he said.
"They are an international business, and people expect them to be doing this," he said.
Mr Keyes 'conservation farm' has been divided into two distinct legal entities, a wildlife refuge and a conservation area, and is run as a not-for-profit basis.
"It is a legitimate small business model keeping me engaged in looking after the property," he said.
As he learns more about his property and shares this knowledge with other people it will generate other business opportunities.
So far he has photographed 230 of the species that live on his property.