How to Offset Your Carbon Emissions
In business and at home.
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Reduce Before Offsetting
Before we dive into how to offset your carbon emissions, we need to look at reducing them as much as possible.
There are some pretty simple steps we can all take, from leaving the car at home, to switching to a green energy deal for your gas and electricity. And this article from The Guardian gives you 15 different ways you can make a difference.
As for our article, well it’s all about how you can offset the carbon emissions that you can’t reduce.
What Is A Carbon Offset?
Carbon offsetting is something you’ve probably already come across in your day to day life. Especially if you travel.
For example, when flying you will often be given the option to pay a little surcharge to offset your flight emissions. But, what exactly are you paying for?
Well, the extra money you pay for your flight is taken by the airline and invested into projects that are working to reduce carbon emissions worldwide.
These projects cover a whole host of different activities, from reforestation to renewable energy projects and cleaner energy usage. Meaning that you’re funding a project that will capture or reduce enough carbon to balance out the emissions from your flight – well, your share of them at least.
Why Is It Important?
We’re in a position where our planet is warming up at an unprecedented pace.
Human activity is having an extreme effect on our climate and wildlife and it is now categorically agreed within the scientific community that we are facing a catastrophic future thanks to man-made climate change.
Mass deforestation, extraction of the Earth’s resources and increasing levels of insulating gases being emitted into the atmosphere by human activity are key drivers.
And the figures are scary. Really scary.
If we don’t all make a change and try to do something about it then we’re heading for a dangerous future.
But, we do still have a small window of opportunity to limit the damage.
Calculate Your Emissions
The first step is to calculate your emissions. There are many calculators online but we like this one as it gives you options to work out your personal and business emissions.
Once you have your emission total in tonnes you can start offsetting.
Offset Your Emissions
Just like the emissions calculators, there are many companies that sell carbon offsets. However, not all of them are above board.
As always, where there’s money to be made there will be people who take advantage.
But, never fear, as we’ve already done the research for you and recommend using The Gold Standard.
They’re considered the most rigorous climate standard by many NGOs, including WWF. And we also like the fact that they have so many different projects for you to support. Meaning you kind find one that aligns with your businesses mission.
Some of the projects we’ve supported
Here at Kakadu we’ve already invested in a number of different initiatives with The Gold Standard and continue to invest each month to help support the vital work being done to protect our planet for this and future generations.
Kenya Biogas Programme
Domestic biodigesters provide a way for households with livestock to reduce their dependence on polluting firewood and expensive fossil fuels. Cooking on biogas is fast and smokeless, improving family health, especially among women and children. Leftover slurry from the biogas process is an excellent organic fertilizer that improves crop yields – and having more vegetables to sell, provides families with extra income.
By sourcing timber from primary rainforests the timber trade has significantly depleted tropical rainforests. This project introduces sustainable timber production while reforesting degraded pastureland with a mix of native tree species and teak. The resulting forests offer a natural habitat for native animals and plants, protects and enriches the soil, saves and filter water and contribute to the mitigation of climate change.
Clean Water Programme
In Laos, over 80% of homes must boil their water to make it safe for families to drink. But with a water filter at home, they can produce their own safe water every day. Plus, without the need for boiling water, families are able to buy or collect less wood and fossil fuels. In turn reducing smoke in the kitchen, and protecting Laos’ beautiful forests from further deforestation.
Carbon offsetting is not a free pass to do whatever you like. The most important thing you can do at home and in business is to reduce your carbon footprint.
Offsetting should be the last resort for any emissions that you can’t avoid.
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And if you have other suggestions on how to make a business more sustainable please let us know.
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