How to Offset Your Carbon Emissions
In business and at home.
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Today is the 21st of September, it’s also Zero Emissions Day. Which is a day where we’re asked to give the planet a day off. A pretty simple idea – switch off your appliances, don’t use the car. But, in reality pretty much everything we do in our modern lives creates some level of emissions. That is unless you want to live like Daniel Suelo. So what’s the solution? And what can we do to reduce and offset our carbon emissions at home and in business?
Before we dive into how to offset your carbon emissions, we need to look at reducing our them as much as possible first. 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. This article from The Guardian gives you 15 different ways you can make a difference.
As for this article, well it’s all about how you can offset the carbon emissions that you can’t reduce. It’s not an ideal solution, ideally we’d create zero emissions, but unless we stop breathing that ain’t gonna happen. So the main solution to this is, you guessed it, carbon offsetting. Which is something we invest in to make Kakadu HQ not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative.
First thing’s first…
Emissions being released into our atmosphere from factory processes.
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, as more often than not you get 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 in projects that are working to reduce carbon emissions worldwide. These projects cover a whole host of different activities, from reforestation to clean energy initiatives. Meaning 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…
Young trees ready for planting as part of a reforestation project.
Why is it so 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 all don’t make a change and try to do something about it then we’re heading for a dangerous future. But, we do still have a window of opportunity to limit the damage.
How can you offset your business and personal 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.
Just like the calculators, there are many companies that trade in carbon offsets. However, not all of them are above board – where there’s money to be made there will always be people who will take advantage. But, never fear, as we’ve already done a LOT of research and recommend using The Gold Standard. They’re considered the most rigorous climate standard by many NGOs, including WWF. And we like the fact that they have so many different types of projects for you to support.
We’ve already invested in a number of different initiatives with The Gold Standard and will continue to invest each month to help support the vital work being done to protect our planet for this and future generations.
Some of the projects we’ve supported
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. CO2OL Tropical Mix is introducing 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, save and filter water and contribute to the mitigation of climate change.
Clean Water Programme
In Laos, over 80% of households must boil their water to make it safe for their familes to drink. But with a water filter at home, they can produce their own safe water every day. Plus, the filters do more than just fend off thirst and illness. Without the need for boiling water, families are able to buy or collect less wood and fossil fuels, reducing smoke in the kitchen, and protecting Laos’ beautiful forests from further deforestation.
We understand that climate change is a big topic and it can feel incredibly heavy and hard to get your head around. It can also bring up some really difficult emotions that can be hard to cope with (trust us, we’ve been there). So, if you want more resources and information on the subject, or want to have a chat with someone about it all we’ll be happy to help. Drop us a line and let’s talk. We’re stronger together.
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