How carbon offset works?

Feel guilty about your carbon footprint and consider carbon offsets? Here how it works:

Who buy carbon offsets? Individuals, any business despite it’s size (from small to huge corporations), non-profit organizations, governments.

Mostly online carbon footprint calculators are used. Various carbon emission categories included:

  • Household (heating, cooling, ventilation, cooking),
  • Home appliances and gadgets.
  • Car (diesel, petrol, energy efficiency).
  • Public transportation (less gas emissions but still there).
  • Air travel (there’s huge difference in carbon emission between economy and first class)
  • Food & drinks (high consumption of red meat, food waste, highly processed food, food items which is not locally manufactured)
  • Pharma.

After completion of simple carbon footprint calculations total number of CO2e mostly calculated per year.

On screenshot represented my carbon footprint for last one year. Such a high number because of international travel by flights, car usage, air conditioning. I don’t use cooking gas (only induction stove) and food prepared only for two people.

To offset my 13.08 tones of CO2e cost minimum $102.49. More expensive carbon offset options also available but that’s quite costly.

Mostly cost of carbon offset depends upon the project in which you want to invest. A few examples of projects:

  • Renewable energy (wind power, small solar panels with energy storage units, small hydropower units, geothermal power units, wave power generating units, etc)
  • Energy efficiency (people underestimate need of basic energy efficiency education).
  • Household cookstove projects.
  • Clean drinking water (water filtration systems, fog catching units)
  • Tree planting and forestry.
  • Landfill gas power generation.
  • Industrial gases
  • Capturing methane on landfills before it gets into the atmosphere.
  • Carbon capture and storage.
  • Education about “reduce, reuse, recycle”.

Carbon offsets are useful only in combination with day to day reduction in produced waste. But let’s don’t forget that companies which provide offset also burry cost of non-profit organization and not a 100% of your money is used for offset.

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