Friday, December 21, 2007

Offsetting the jet setting.

It all began with the snow blower discussion.

"I don't mind shoveling. I like it." This was me pre two New England storms.

My husband on the other hand does not like shoveling....he likes skiing. This requires leaving one's house to pile up with snow and to return when it is sufficiently buried.

“My back hurts and my shoulder blade feels like its been stabbed” This was me post two New England storms.

I revisit what hubs said, “Let’s offset”. Hmmmmm….

Carbon offsetting is something that I’m begrudgingly accepted as necessary in some cases. I know I am difficult to live with in that I want to do everything unplugged and fossil fuel-less, but there are instances where I have to compromise.

Take my car for instance. It’s a Subaru Impreza that gets decent mileage but I’d much rather a hydrogen vehicle ($$), a hybrid or run a Mercedes on bio-diesel. The problem of course: $$. I don’t doubt that I will attain one of these options in the not to distant future but for now, how do I mitigate my current emissions?

First step, calculate my personal footprint. There are a number of online resources to help with this:

Second step, reduce what I can. There is the usual, change to CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs), insulate doors and windows, unplug unused appliances to prevent phantom loads and the list continues on the following sites:

For the items left over which are in green transition or for which there is no compromise, I turn to offsetting.

I need to re-calculate my emissions after the above reductions, determine the cost of how much carbon I am emitting per year and spend that amount to fund emission reducing projects. Here is where the research comes in. As with anything else, I have to be an educated consumer. I'm paying for an intangible good so I need to find a reputable organization or investment.

I'll start with this comprehensive comparison and guide of non-profit and profit carbon offset providers:

Ahhh yes, isn’t it about that time for New Year resolutions? I think this will be mine.

Perhaps you are in need of one? :)

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