How To Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Your carbon footprint is the sum total of your impact on the world. It takes into consideration your travel, your lifestyle and your daily habits. More and more conscious travelers are choosing to purchase carbon offset credits to negate some of their impact on the planet. How does it work? You purchase an amount of credits that equals your impact and then the proceeds go to projects that remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. It really is that simple to offset your carbon footprint.

However, for someone who’s never done so, knowing where and how to buy these credits can be tricky. There are a lot of options out there, but here are five to to start. 

Offset Earth

Addressing climate change is at the core of Offset Earth’s business. A monthly subscription service, memberships start at $6.50 to plant 12 trees monthly. It was created to make it easy for people to actually take action and help tackle the climate crisis. As a result, multiple package options make it easy to tailor to individual lifestyles. Air travel is one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprint, making this is one of the best subscriptions for travelers. To have an even greater impact, Intrepid Travel will match your subscription, tree for tree.

CarbonFund.org

Carbonfund.org offers two offset options, one for individuals and one for businesses. You can choose to purchase an offset that’s appropriate for your situation. So, for example, pay a predetermined fee that’s intended to offset the lifestyle of the average single person for a year, or the average four-person household for a year, etc. Or you can more specifically calculate your carbon footprint to find an offset option that’s tailored to you. 

The site’s calculator looks at home life, travel and major life events. When you complete your offset purchase, you’ll be given a choice of where you want your money to go among a selection of carbon reduction projects that might focus on renewable energy or water restoration projects.

offset your carbon footprint
Child drinking from a clean water pump | KML

TerraPass

TerraPass likewise gives you offset options for both individuals and businesses. You can make a one-time purchase of $5 of offsets per 1,000 pounds of carbon consumed or you can purchase a monthly offset subscription. 

In addition to carbon offsets, TerraPass also offers renewable energy credits, which support clean energy as you purchase these credits to offset the amount of traditional energy you use, as well as water restoration certificates, which you purchase to offset the amount of water you use.

Planting trees and reforestation projects are some of the best ways to offset your carbon footprint | PHOTOMIX

The Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation allows you to offset your carbon footprint through the purchase of credits that support forestry products. You can either purchase offsets in the amount you’d prefer or calculate your carbon footprint on the foundation’s website to determine the number of offsets you need to purchase as an individual. The credits are $15 per metric ton of CO2e that you would like to offset. 

Cool Effect

Cool Effect scours the globe to make sure that every project is measurably reducing greenhouse gases. They also guarantee that their projects are 100% additional, meaning that that specific reduction in emissions would not have been possible without your donation. Ninety percent of donations go to projects that include forest restoration, affordable clean cookstoves and methane capture.

-Holly Riddle