TerraBluTeam Practice #48

The WHAT and WHY:

Last year at this time I recommended you measure your carbon footprint on a choice of carbon calculators as preparation for our 2012 TerraBluTeam 52 weeks of sustainable practices.

This week’s practice is to measure your carbon footprint more accurately (the scientific community changed their methodology this year); note and honor what changes you have made over the year and purchase carbon credits to offset your remaining footprint.

THE HOW:

  1. Identify all the sources of carbon dioxide production in your life (transportation, travel, home energy use, consumption of non-local goods, waste management)
  2. Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions directly, your DIY offsets. (Shop at CSA’s, compost, organic garden, drive less, bike and walk more, make your home energy efficient, install solar, get to net zero)
  3. Calculate your “carbon footprint” today and compare to your December 2011 footprint. Some online calculators very in methodology so take some time to research the one best for you.
  4. Understand how offsetting works. Different offset providers balance out your carbon impact by ensuring that an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is reduced elsewhere on the globe as a result of your purchase.
  5. Find a quality provider of carbon offsets. Be nosey, do some research. Are they certified? Make sure they meet the highest US EPA standards and that their portfolios are audited annually. Do they have a solid client list? Go for the Gold standard. Otherwise, invest locally where you can see that the greatest percentage of your offset dollar is being used for the purposes you have designated.
  6. Buy the offset and you are on your way to clean living.
  7. Offsets are a useful tool. Send the market a signal by ensuring all your shares and stocks are invested in renewable energy utilities and companies rather than fossil fuel ones.

Global warming is a crisis. It serves none of us to cry over the fact that it may cost us more than both World Wars and the Great Depression combined. In my lifetime alone, I have witnessed courage and determination resulting in increased equality for minorities and women’s rights, the end of communism, apartheid, colonial rule, polio, etc.

We can overcome the seemingly unassailable.

The future is ours to jointly create. So smile. Give your children a cause for hope while you craft your net zero lifestyle, one step at a time.

Please send us your comments and feedback!

The Deep Dive:

List of Carbon offset providers:

http://www.atmosfair.de/en/home/

http://www.climatefriendly.com

http://www.carbonfund.org

http://www.terrapass.com

http://www.nativeenergy.com

http://www.greenmountain.com/green-mountain-energy-company-store

http://www.b-e-f.org

http://www.sterlingplanet.com

Carbon footprint calculators:

http://www.wri.org/climate/safeclimate

http://www.carbonfund.org/individuals

https://www.earthlab.com/createprofile/reg.aspx

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