Friday, November 14, 2008

Carbon Offsets

I recently started buying carbon offsets from Planetair. For example, it cost me $650 to offset our flights to Australia and $25 to offset flights to Calgary. I also signed up for $30 per month which is what I calculate our electrical and heating equate to.

There's a lot of debate over carbon offsets and claiming to be carbon neutral. Do I think it will solve our climate change problems? No, but I think it's better than nothing. Just arguing about the best solution won't solve it.

The other question is where the best place to buy carbon offsets is. I just looked for a Canadian company with a good reputation. Planetair is recommended by quite a few organizations and is the only Gold Standard offsets in Canada. (for whatever that's worth) They're definitely not the cheapest, and for air flights they suggest doubling the offset because of the increased affects of emissions at high altitude. But to me it doesn't make much sense to look for the lowest cost.

Even if carbon offsets aren't the best solution, I can always just look at it as donating money towards the development of renewable energy.

As you can tell from the amounts above, it's my long distance travel that is the worst offender. In most other respects I think I'm doing quite a bit better than average. But so far, despite feeling strongly about the issue, I can't bring myself to quit traveling. So I'm also trying to offset a certain amount of guilt.

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