How To Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Posted on January 4th, 2011 by

You’ve examined your life and calculated the size of your carbon footprint. You took steps to reduce energy-intensive practices – replacing inefficient windows that leaked heat, combining errands into one trip before driving to the store, switching out old light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents. What’s next?

Most people hit a wall in their carbon reduction quest at some point. You’ve reduced everything you can, but you still travel. Or maybe your home is in a region that only receives coal-fired energy. That’s when reducing your carbon footprint to zero by going carbon neutral or offsetting helps you and the planet.

Offsetting means balancing out the emissions you can’t reduce by supporting third-party validated projects such as a wind farm or reforestation that are reducing emissions now. There are a number of places to offset your remaining footprint, but look for: third-party certification of a project; third-party verification that a project continues to meet the certification standards, and third-party auditing of a project portfolio.

Third-party certification, verification and auditing ensure that the projects you support to offset your carbon footprint are reducing the carbon emissions you expect. You can learn more about project standards by visiting

Traveling is one of the largest contributors of CO2 emissions, so consider offsetting your travel emissions on a regular basis. Also, leading companies like JetBlue, Virgin America and Amtrak have integrated carbon reduction solutions into their services, like offering travelers the option to offset their journey while purchasing tickets online.

Different projects, such a renewable energy and methane projects, energy efficiency and carbon credits, and reforestation, can help offset your carbon footprint.

Individuals and businesses can go carbon neutral by offsetting. Businesses can make their operations carbon neutral, even their products (through the CarbonFree® Product Certification program), shipping, events, or websites.

Written by lets donors choose the type of project to support, or to support a basket of these projects, which include::

  • Renewable Energy & Methane Projects: support clean energy projects that help to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel sources like coal and oil.
  • Energy Efficiency & Carbon Credits: The cleanest unit of energy is the unit you never use. Energy efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to reduce emissions while saving money.
  • Reforestation & Avoided Deforestation: Forest-based projects actually reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. These projects sequester carbon dioxide and have many co-benefits for the community and local wildlife, such as habitat preservation.

To learn more, click here.

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One Person has left comments on this post

» Gary Wollenhaupt said: { Jan 5, 2011 - 03:01:55 }

Here’s some interesting info on carbon footprints of homes:
Surprise, it’s not always the largest square footage home that has the biggest footprint.

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