With the added focus on how we are having an impact on the environment, carbon offsetting has been introduced as a way for businesses and companies to reduce their impact on the environment. But what exactly is carbon offsetting and how can you do your part?
A carbon offset is the act of reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions through investing in a greenhouse gas reduction project elsewhere as you cannot reduce your emissions any further. The carbon offset results in less carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than would otherwise occur. The offsets are measured in tons of CO2 equivalents and are bought and sold through a number of avenues including online retailers, brokers, and trading platforms.
Carbon offsets typically involve projects that are involved or invest in:
• forestry activities
• energy efficiency projects
• the avoidance of methane emissions
• renewable energy
Additionality is an important concept in carbon offsetting. This is because the whole idea of carbon offsetting – the purchasing of credits from another project in order to neutralise your own emissions – is based on the fact that these reductions in emissions would not have happened otherwise. You should look for carbon offsets that meet the additionality criteria.
There are various schemes and providers that will offset your carbon emissions for a certain fee. Some companies, such as electricity companies and airlines, make it easy by adding an option to your bill. You can also choose to seek out a carbon offset provider yourself – with the money that you are paying to offset your emissions going towards something that you really believe in. This could be replanting trees, green energy, reducing methane emissions etc.
If you have decided to offset with a company, be sure that you are not being redundant. If you have offset all your electricity for example, you don’t need to offset your internet. Another example would be buying carbon neutral car insurance when you’ve already offset your vehicle’s emissions.
Some providers that provide carbon offsetting include:
• Origin Energy
• Bendigo Bank
There are some things that you can do to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that you are pumping into the atmosphere. First, measure all the emissions from your home. Next, do whatever you can to reduce these. This could be choosing to use renewable energy, installing energy efficient appliances, etc. Finally, once you have done all you can, use carbon offsetting to account for the emissions that you can’t really afford.
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