Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 102 of our Green Year: Carbon Offsetting

No matter what Layla and I do, unless we completely go off the grid and not go into civilization at all for anything, we are going to have a carbon footprint. It is an unfortunate byproduct of our society that no matter how green we want to be, there will still be cases where we cause a detriment to the environment. Perhaps it is just our nature as humans to destroy what caters to us, even if it is in a completely unintentional manner.

As a result, Layla and I have decided to find a way to ensure that we can offset what we do by helping the environment, rather than taking something away from it. One way we do this is with Layla's work with the Provincial Green Party, and our work as directors with Natural Control Alternatives. However, there is an even better way to do this and a more direct way, and it comes in the form of carbon offsetting.

Carbon offsetting is a financial instrument that represents a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsets are measured in carbon dioxide-equivalent, and one carbon offset represents a reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide.

We have chosen, which will allow us to purchase carbon offsets to in easy packages of home, car and air. Since we do not travel by air and barely use the car, we are going to be purchasing home packages each month to offset the amount of carbon we generate in our home. It will cost us $5.50 per metric ton of carbon dioxide. According to our calculations we have reduced our CO2 output from about eight tonnes per year to two tonnes per year, which means we will purchase at least two carbon offset credits. However, we will most likely purchase several more beyond that.

Now, it should be pointed out that just because we buy carbon offsets, that does not mean we can now leave the lights on all the time. Instead, we will continue to reduce what we have, while paying into carbon offsets that will fund environmental programs and help push renewable energy.