Carbon offsetting is an efficient way to reduce the greenhouse effect and address the resulting climate change. An individual can easily purchase what are called carbon offsets by funding a project that aims at reducing one ton of greenhouse gases (GHGs) for every ton you tend to emit one way or the other. It is easy to purchase carbon offsets with projects like methane-capture facilities, farms and forestry management to name a few.
Carbon offsetting has gained a lot of prominence over the past few years, contributing over $705 million to various carbon reducing projects around the world in 2008 alone. Hence, it would be easy for you to find a trusted carbon offset provider for your needs. However, here are some pointers you would need to take into consideration when opting for a carbon offset project.
Calculate the Climatic Impact of your Activities
Find out exactly how many tons of Green House Gases emit due to your activities. In many cases, a carbon-offset provider would be able to provide you with a calculator to check the same. Choose a carbon calculator that uses radioactive forcing index for the calculation as this would give you the correct value you are looking for.
Hunt for Certified Carbon Offsets
There is no way you can see, touch or feel the reduction of GHGs. Hence, you need to know what type of reduction you are about to purchase as well as how the same would be affected if you choose not to buy it. So choose projects offered by leading carbon offset providers as well as those that have been verified by independent third parties. This would assure the best value for your money.
It is considered wise to look out for projects and providers certified by the Green –e climate program or the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance. This ensures that the carbon offset you purchase has been tested for efficiency and uniqueness by these programs.
Your goal is to choose a carbon-offset provider who offers you a reduction of the same amount of CHGs you add to the atmosphere. Accordingly, here are some project types you can opt for to achieve the same.
Renewable Energy Production
This is the most common type of carbon-offset project supported by major carbon offset providers. These projects aim at displacing coal-fired electricity, thus reducing emissions and the need for coal power in developing countries. You can team up with providers like 3Degrees that offer Green-e Climate certified offsets via wind facilities located in India and China. Many such projects usually lack the funds needed to start development. By contributing to these offsets, you will be giving them the boost they need to make the world a better place to live.
Some carbon offset projects aim at preventing the release of highly toxic methane into the atmosphere. For instance, TerraPass offsets help capture methane emissions from landfills from South Dakota and Maine.
These projects involve planting trees to combat the Green House effect. The more recent carbon offset projects via forestry aim at reducing GHGs in an immediate time frame. You can check out such forestry projects worthy of investing it at the ICROA –member offset retailer list.
Other Carbon Offsetting Projects
You can also choose to purchase carbon offsets and contribute to a variety of other interesting projects that aim at reducing GHG emissions. Take the Carbon Neutral Company for example which offers carbon offsets to fund the installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs as well as other energy saving devices in myriad hotels around Jamaica.
Carbon offsetting is a great way to give back to the environment. By purchasing carbon offsets, you directly contribute to the betterment of the society by investing in projects that help reduce the amount of Greenhouse gases emitted every single day.