What Is Carbon Offsetting And Why Is It Important

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Carbon offsetting isn’t a new concept but it’s not a particularly well know one. Basically, it is a way of reducing your personal carbon footprint.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Every person on the planet has their own carbon footprint. It is a measure of how much carbon dioxide you create by doing your everyday activities.  Here is the official definition…

The amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community.

Everyone’s carbon footprint is different and you can take different actions to reduce yours. Examples of activities that increase your carbon footprint are driving a car, flying regularly & not having an energy efficient home.

How Can I Measure My Carbon Footprint? 

There are lots of free online carbon footprint calculators that can tell you what your personal footprint is. Each calculator asks for slightly different things so the answers will vary slightly but they will give you a good indication of how you are doing.

What is Carbon Offsetting? 

What is carbon offsetting and why is it important Carbon offsetting is a way of compensating for your carbon emissions by funding a carbon dioxide saving scheme someone else in the world.  Here is the official definition…

The counteracting of carbon dioxide emissions with an equivalent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Say you are going on holiday this year and you are going by plane. This creates a lot of carbon and increases your carbon footprint for the year. To balance this out you can invest in an environmental project somewhere else in the world.

Essentially you are balancing out the carbon emissions.

Types of Carbon Offsetting Schemes

There are hundreds of different types of carbon offsetting projects out there. Here’s an example of some…

  • Tree Planting
  • Renewable Energy Projects
  • Energy Efficiency Projects
  • Fuel Switching

How Do You Do Carbon Offsetting?

There are various online companies that allow you to offset your carbon. One that I have recently been made aware of is the Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX)

‘Carbon Trade Exchange is the World’s First and Largest Electronic Exchange for Buyers and Sellers of Voluntary Carbon Offsets.’

CTX has helped companies offset millions of tonnes of CO2. They have also launched a Carbon Calculator called the Carbon Widget so that individuals can get in on the action.

There is a range of different projects to Offset with and prices start at $10 (approx. £7.19) per tCO2e. All projects are verified by the Gold Standard or United Nations and each Offset purchased will be publicly retired using a unique code to identify your purchase.

 

Here are some examples of the type of projects you can fund…

Carbon Calculator and Offsetting Tool

Anyone can use this Carbon Widget to calculate and offset the carbon footprint associated with their lifestyle or business.

The process is very simple and only takes four steps…

  1. Calculate
  2. Review
  3. Purchase
  4. Offset

Carbon Offsetting Widget

Carbon Offsetting Tool

Here is the tool…

This particular carbon offsetting tool is really easy to use. You can choose the following options depending on what it is you wish to offset…

  • Quick
  • Travel
  • Home
  • Event

Say for example I wanted to offset driving my small car for a year I can use the ‘Quick’ option then select a quick package > Small car (o – 1.4 litre). Then click ‘Add To Cart’.I’d be offsetting 1.00 co2 tonnes and it would cost me £13.34 to offset.

Alternatively, to get a more accurate assessment for your particular car you can click on the ‘Travel’ section. You then have the ability to input more information including the make, model and distance travelled.

Why not give it a go now, click the ‘Click Here to Begin’ button and see what carbon offsets you could be making.

In the interest of honesty, I am an affiliate for CTX. This means if you use the carbon offsetting tool on my blog to offset your carbon I will receive a small commission at no extra costs to you. 

Gina Caro

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