You've probably heard about the new trend, to by carbon offsets to help neutralize the pollution we generate by driving our cars, heating our homes, and all the other lifestyle choices we make in our culture. I didn't think too much of it until I read that David Suzuki personally buys carbon offsets for his family and when I read this quote on the Suzuki Foundation website:
"To solve the problem of climate change, we all need to take account of our personal carbon emissions and make continued efforts to reduce them wherever possible. But it is impossible to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, no matter how hard we try. Going carbon neutral by purchasing carbon offsets is a practical and affordable way to do something about those remaining emissions. "
Global warming is just that: a global problem. Thereby, if we can help reductions in the burning of fossil fuels anywhere in the world, we're helping to solve the problem. So until we can find alternatives for the fossil fuels we burn (by turning on our computer, or our lights, or driving our gasoline-powered car, or flying on a plane) we can help make up for the emissions by sponsoring wind or solar or some other alternative form of energy somewhere other than in our own backyard. This is in no way a replacement for doing everything we CAN do IN our own backyard. This is not the way to eliminate global warming. This is just going carbon neutral, not yet carbon negative. It's just another small but important way of doing your part...
Click here to see how to get started.
Keen to see who else is doing it (I find this list very encouraging and inspiring):
The Olympics, World Cup Soccer, Super Bowl and other major sporting events are going carbon neutral, as are many athletes.
Airlines and travel agents are starting to offer customers the option to offset their flights, and some airlines are offsetting all of their flights. Many hotels are also providing carbon neutral accommodations.
Movie studios have offset the emissions from the production of feature films and documentaries, and media companies such as BSkyB and MTV are offsetting the emissions associated with their broadcasts
Major conferences (e.g. United Nations World Climate Research Programme) and conventions have offset their emissions
Organizations as diverse as as Wells Fargo, Whole Foods, the EPA and the city of Vail, CO have purchased large quantities of renewable energy certificates to offset their electricity use
Large companies like HSBC, Swiss Re, and Vancity have committed to making their entire operations carbon neutral
Many businesses are now offering carbon neutral products or services, such as carpeting, clothing, flower deliveries, and taxi rides
Some utilities are offsetting their emissions and allowing their customers to purchase carbon neutral energy
Governments (such as the UK) are offsetting the flights of their employees
The World Bank has committed to being carbon neutral
Schools and churches are voluntarily offsetting their emissions
Rock bands like the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, and Dave Matthews Band have offset the emissions associated with their concerts and albums
Many people are now offsetting their weddings (including air travel by guests)
The list continues to grow – best-selling books, grocery store chains, and even entire cities are all offsetting their emissions. Many celebrities are also choosing to go carbon neutral in their personal lives to help raise awareness about climate change.