Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Carbon Offset Purchases: “Does it help or just feel good?”

The business trip begins: 6:30 a.m. at the airport. Flying this week has me thinking about carbon offsets. It’s a controversial idea: make a donation (to plant a tree or take a related action) that allegedly helps “neutralize” the environmental damage from the flight. The video below touches on both sides of the issue. The narrator is skeptical — yet he donated $7 to to plant a Douglas Fir to help offset the carbon produced on his flight. (For a less skeptical perspective, visit Care2’s Race to Save the Planet, which includes a clickable link to reduce 1 lb. of carbon.)

New programs at Travelocity and Expedia offer carbon offsets as add-ons when booking a flight. (If you book through iGive or GoodShop, you’ll also be making a donation to charity, whatever the effects of your offset.)

Today’s mitzvah: Check out TerraPass or the Conservation Fund’s Go Zero Calculator to take a quiz and measure your own carbon footprint, as well as steps to reduce it.

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