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The best ways to offset carbon

Updated: May 21, 2020

Many people, businesses and countries are talking about becoming carbon neutral or even carbon negative. One way to work towards this goal is to offset your carbon.

What is carbon offsetting?

There are global schemes that aim to reduce CO2 emissions around the world. Such projects include solar, wind and hydroelectric power generation as well as implementing clean drinking water, using fuel-efficient stoves and planting trees.

By funding these projects, you can help reduce global emissions and offset the carbon that you are creating through such activities as flying or driving your car.

What is carbon offsetting

How do you offset carbon?

The first step to offsetting your carbon is to calculate it. Several websites have calculators that enable you to determine your carbon footprint. Carbonfootprint.com has a calculator that breaks down this calculation into various areas such as transport, home and food consumption. By entering a few relevant details, you can quickly see an estimate of your carbon footprint.

Once you have calculated your footprint, you can then choose which schemes you wish to support. These schemes support projects that will also help to tackle biodiversity, health issues and other social concerns.

Which carbon offsetting projects work best?

To truly offset your carbon footprint, you must support a project that would not be viable otherwise. In addition, by choosing a project backed with an internationally recognised standard, such as Gold Standard or Verra, you are ensuring it is an effective scheme.

It is crucial to realise that reducing your carbon footprint is the best way to become carbon neutral. Carbon offsetting should complement a decrease in your carbon footprint and should form part of a broader change in your behaviour. It should not be a way to avoid taking action to reduce your carbon footprint.