If you’re interested in living a more sustainable life, you’ve probably heard of carbon offsetting. But what is it, and why should you care? Here’s a quick introduction to carbon offsetting, and how it can help you reduce your impact on the environment.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions. Over the past 171 years, human activities have raised atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by 48% above pre-industrial levels found in 1850. This is more than what had happened naturally over a 20,000 year period.

Why is so much carbon dioxide bad? The increase in carbon dioxide is bad for the earth because it contributes to climate change. Climate change is the long-term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place. Climate change has caused more extreme weather conditions around the world.

carbon offsetting

There are more frequent and more intense hurricanes, floods, and heat waves. In addition, it is causing droughts, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels. All of these things can be very harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. We all can see the how flooding is at an all-time high.

Animals are becoming extinct because of their natural habitats being eliminated. Forest are being cut down to build new and unnecessary buildings. As a result, animals are being forced out of their homes. Ice is melting more each year in the north pole due to extreme temperatures. Soon polar bears and penguins will have no way to survive. Now that we know how bad this will be for the environment, let’s look at ways we can help.

Polar bears - Carbon Offsetting

Ways to Offset Carbon

  • Tree Planting

It takes about 1,025 trees to offset the average American’s emissions in the United States. Each tree absorbs about 31 lbs. of carbon dioxide each year. If you are a serious gardener, then planting a tree in your local community would be a great first step. However, you don’t have to have a green thumb to assist with planting trees.

There are many companies that offset carbon on your behalf. Some companies have offset projects that will plant a tree on your behalf. This is a convenient way to give back to the earth, without actually planting the trees yourself.

planting trees - reduce carbon footprint
  • Energy Efficient Appliances

When purchasing your next major home appliance, look for energy efficient replacements. They designed newer appliances to use clean energy. This is a very easy way to start reducing carbon emissions. Upgrading your appliances like your refrigerator, washer, dryer, and water heater at home can offer huge savings.

  • Home Improvement

Everyone loves a good home renovation. If this resonates with you, look for ways to upgrade your insulation on your home. Add curtains or blackout blinds to your windows to help reduce heating loss. Adding solar panels, which is renewable energy, to your home or business is also another great option.

  • Energy efficient vehicles

Today cars are now being made more energy efficient. Everyone should be familiar with electric cars. In addition to the highly popular, expensive cars, many brands are offering affordable electric car options. If you are not comfortable with a fully electric car, a hybrid may be of interest.

Hybrid vehicles use both electric and natural gas. This is a great option for those who want to test out electric cars without fully committing. Both options will offer carbon reduction.

  • Purchase carbon credits from a verified retailer

When you purchase carbon offsets from a verified retailer, you know your money is going towards a good cause. Carbon offsets are a way to offset your own carbon footprint by investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By buying carbon offsets, you can help to make a difference in the fight against climate change. You can look for companies that are in your local community that are offering way to offset carbon.

  • Support businesses that have proven to be committed to being environmentally friendly.

When you purchase from businesses that have proven to be committed to being environmentally friendly, you can be sure that your money is going towards a company with values that align with your own. You can also rest assure knowing that the products you’re using are sustainable and won’t harm the environment.

Carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases are at a record high. Together, we can make a difference. It only takes one small commitment to start. There are many things we can do to reduce our own carbon footprint. It starts with just one small change. Over time, our actions will add up to make a huge difference and improve for the earth overall.

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