So you’re concerned about climate change. You have every reason to be. You do your part by composting. Perhaps you’ve changed all the light bulbs in your house to compact florescent bulbs. You’re car is a hybrid or maybe it runs on biodiesel, vegetable oil, or E85. Even better, you take transit or walk. You recycle plastics and ink cartridges and everything you can think of. You are living your life in the most environmentally responsible way you know but you still want to do more.
On average, every American generates about 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year from personal transportation, home energy use and from the energy used to produce all of the products and services we use and consume. Want to know much you generate? Use a carbon use calculator to make an estimate. When you are doing all you can to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, consider buying renewable energy credits to offset the rest. Here’s how to get started:
* Read The Consumers’ Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers.
* Review this cost and performance comparison of carbon offset providers.
* Purchase your offsets. Consider one of these providers:
–> NativeEnergy is Native American-majority owned and offers “traditional renewable energy credits and offsets from operating new projects.”
–> Green Tags offets support solar and wind power projects across North America.
–> The Climate Trust is a nonprofit offset provider.
–> TerraPass uses offsets to fund wind, biomass, and energy efficiency projects
–> Atmosfair focuses on offsetting air travel.
–> Co2 Balance will calculate your carbon footprint, advise you how to reduce it to the minimum and then help you offset the rest.
* Visit http://sowhatcanido.blogspot.com/2007/06/reduce-renew-offset-guide-to-carbon.html for links and more information.
Carbon offsets often take the form of renewable energy projects, energy efficiency programs and reforestation efforts. It’s important to remember that your offset purchase must mean that something new happens (for example, a new windmill is constructed) that would not have happened without your purchase. Also, the action that you’re buying must actually offset your carbon production. Here are a few organizations that certify carbon offsets:
*CDM Gold Standard
*Chicago Climate Exchange
*Environmental Resources Trust
*Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management
Carbon offsets aren’t the only solution; we’ll all have to make lifestyle changes because we can’t buy ourselves out of the climate crises. But offsets can help. Remember, reduce your carbon emissions through decreased usage and increased energy efficiency, renew by choosing renewable energy sources like wind energy or biodiesel, and for the rest, offset. So check out renewable energy certificates. They make great gifts, for yourself, for others, for all of us.
“The greatest pleasure I have known, is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.” – Charles Lamb