As the issue of climate breakdown continues to mount, environmentally conscious investors and citizens may wonder what more they can do. One option Blue Summit utilizes is a carbon offset, so we wanted to do a short write up about what this is, and some of the many companies that work in this space if you would like to research more for yourself.
Carbon offsets are a way to counterbalance the carbon emissions that are inevitable in our everyday lives. With a carbon offset, an individual (or business) can pay to have a given quantity of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere. A typical unit is a metric ton. Most commonly, it comes as a credit for restoring a section of tropical forest, mangrove forest, wetlands, or planting trees that absorb the given quantity of carbon from the atmosphere. There are also other methods, including financing wind turbines to displace fossil fuels on the power grid. Furthermore, there are offset projects that focus on other greenhouse gases such as methane or nitrous oxide, which are more potent GHGs.
What quantity of carbon emissions does one person produce? A quick average in the US is 36,000 lbs/yr per person. Most offset providers have a calculator to help with this, like the one here.
We have listed 3 options below, but there are many more. We would advise you to do your own research to make sure you find the best fit to forward your environmental values.
Terrapass uses such projects as methane capture on farms/landfills, clean energy from wind farms, and forest tracts in Northern California. Their projects are registered under the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) or Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) for quality and audit purposes.
NativeEnergy uses such projects as renewable energy, land use for carbon capture and methane destruction, and all projects meet leading carbon standards for quality. NativeEnergy is used by progressive companies like Ben and Jerry’s and Clif Bar.
CoolEffect uses such projects as mangrove restoration, providing low emission cookstoves to developing countries, and renewable energy to provide offsets. Every program of theirs is reviewed by at least two 3rd party certifiers.
At Blue Summit, we utilize carbon offsets to counterbalance our emissions footprint at the end of each calendar year.
We hope you find this article interesting and insightful.
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