52 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint – 9. You want CO2 with that?

Seems like everything we do these days pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Eating, drinking, heating, cooling, walking the dog, the dog, buying clothes, wearing clothes, riding, driving, flying! Hell, you are putting CO2 into the atmosphere just by sitting there reading this blog.

But enough already! There must be something effortless, quick and painless that I can do to stop this madness, without having to sacrifice any of the things I enjoy, I hear you say.

Well, there is. Sounds too good to be true right? Read on…

One word, Carbon Offsets (OK, maybe 2). In our imperfect world, here is a practical solution to an urgent issue that practically everyone can do, immediately. It is not perfect, it doesn’t get rid of the toxic gasses emitted from fossil fuel burning for example, but it does offset carbon and this is important if we are going to give ourselves a chance of reducing the impacts of global warming.20161118-carbon_offset1

So, what is carbon offsetting exactly?

Well, whenever our actions require the use of fossil fuels for energy (which is all the time), we are putting CO2 into the atmosphere (as well as other pollutants). Carbon offsetting then, is a system which reduces your CO2 emissions by offsetting, 20161118-carbon_offset2through activities such as tree planting. Think of it this way, a tree will absorb CO2 and then store it during its normal growing cycle. It actually converts some of the Co2 into oxygen, which it then releases back into the environment. So long as this tree is not cut down, the CO2 remains locked up in the tree and not in the atmosphere where it is causing trouble.

Think of it this way. A tree takes CO2 and
stores it during its normal growing cycle. It actually converts some of it into oxygen, which it releases back into the environment. So long as this tree is not cut down, the CO2 remains locked up in the tree and not in the atmosphere.

So, when you buy carbon offsets, you are in effect buying a tree to store your carbon for you. Not only that, but you are helping reforest the planet which has other benefits such as increasing habitat for animals, increasing rainfall, reducing land erosion, creating jobs and cooling the planet. Cool eh!

So, how do you do this? Well, there are many different ways to do this and they are all easy and cheap. Check out CarboTax  for example. In the example above, I first entered the Country I am from, Australia (Worst emitter per capita in the world 🙁 ). Next, the program automatically calculates my average carbon usage and gives me a cost of $19.46 per month. This is how much I need to spend to offset my carbon emissions. A little over $240 a year. Finally, I buy the credits and can live guilt(ish) free for the whole year.

That is it. Simple! So, what are you waiting for, go and buy some. Make sure to buy enough for everyone in the family or why not buy some for friends for Christmas.  A guilt free year makes a great gift!

Remember that it’s our future and no-one is going to protect it but us!

Quick note: CarboTax buys credit from Natural Capital Partners. I have never bought credits from them but they seem pretty good. If you are unsure about this company then search for one in your own Country, there are many. Below is the one we use.

If you are really keen, you can also make a more accurate calculation of your carbon usage. The WWF do a great one -> Here

There are so many ways in which we can help reduce our environmental footprint but with so much going on it is hard sometimes to remember. Rather than remember, the best way is to form a habit and the best way to form a habit is by utilising the 3 R’s:

  1. Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
  2. Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
  3. Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)

Each week, for 52 weeks, we will post a new idea to help you reduce your waste and work towards a cleaner less polluted lifestyle. Hopefully, by the end, some of the idea’s will become habitual and stick with you forever. Consider this to be your gift to the world.

#reducewaste #environmentalfootprint #onebrownplanet