Offsetting Carbon to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
Conventional modes of transportation — car, plane, boat — burn fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The transportation system is based largely on these modes of transportation, but being eco-friendly requires that you consider ways to become carbon neutral, which means reducing your carbon emissions as much as possible and balancing the remaining carbon emissions by offsetting them with processes that consume carbon.
Carbon offsetting involves paying for or participating in programs that reduce the carbon in the atmosphere. Many of these programs involve planting trees, the most common carbon offsetting measure because as plants grow they take in carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere. Other programs fund research into alternative or cleaner conventional technologies.
Some of the organizations that do carbon offsets include:
Reducing the amount of carbon emissions you produce is essential for the planet and your green well-being, but it isn't always easy. You may not be able to control whether your local power plant runs on coal or solar energy, for example (although you can certainly advocate for solar energy and make your home as energy efficient as possible). That’s why carbon offsetting has become so popular recently.
Carbon offsetting isn’t the silver bullet answer to the problem of carbon emissions because it often doesn’t address the underlying problem. Tree planting, for example, deals only with the existing carbon; it doesn’t reduce the production of it, which is where the real emphasis needs to be. However, purchasing offsets helps if you’re careful about the programs you support.