Thursday, August 1, 2019

How To Pick A Good Carbon Offset Organization To Purchase Carbon Credits

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In a recent blog post titled, 5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Help Reverse Climate Change, I suggested that people should purchase carbon credits. One of this blog's readers asked me how to find a good carbon offset organization from where to purchase these credits to offset one's carbon footprint.

There are many organizations that do this type of work for you. The key to finding one that you like is to take a look at the projects they do to offset carbon. By buying carbon credits, you are essentially investing in those projects. 

It's sort of like investing in a stock. You want to put your money into something that you believe in and that will make a difference. Let's take a look at a few companies to see what projects they use to offset carbon. Note there are far more companies than these and this is not an endorsement of any kind for any of them.

1. Terrapass. Terrapass focuses their carbon initiatives in 4 main areas:  energy capture from farm waste, wind power, landfill gas capture, and water restoration initiatives. Their work focuses exclusively in the United States. If you go to their project list page you can scroll through the types of projects they support.

2. Carbonfund.org. Carbonfund.org, like Terrapass, invests in focused types of projects:  energy efficiency, forestry, and renewable energy. Their projects are located in many different areas of the world. Check out their projects here.

3. Cool Effect. Unlike the other two companies mentioned, cool effect lets you pick exactly which project you want to support. There is some differential pricing due to the variable costs associated with each project. They work all over the world. Check out their page here to see their 15 focused projects. You could, for example, pay $9.89 a ton of carbon to help preserve a swamp in South Carolina, or pay $7.69 a ton of carbon to preserve old growth forest in Alaska.

There are more companies that you can use, but I wanted to give you a flavor about the kinds of things the companies are doing and a bit about the variation that is out there in the carbon capture business. 

The big thing for all of us to try to do is to commit to one organization and continue to cover our annual carbon footprint. As noted in the post referenced in the introduction, it is not that expensive for most people. If you cannot afford the credits, do not forget that there are many things that you can do right now to try to make a difference.  It is important that we all do something right now.

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