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What are carbon offsets?

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What are carbon offsets?

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Its a voluntary way to offset your carbon emissions (CO2) produced by various forms of personal energy consumption. You may purchase carbon offset credits from carbon offset providers. The carbon offset market is currently unregulated, unlike the emissions trading market, which has a strict legal framework; however, a standard is emerging for the carbon offset market. What type of projects do carbon offset providers support? Carbon offset providers fund and support various types of projects. They can include reforestation, renewable energy initiatives (solar, wind, and hydro power), fuel substitution, energy conservation, and methane capture. How do I purchase carbon offsets? There are over 50 carbon offset providers and growing daily so choosing one can be confusing. Most carbon offset providers offer their offsets as a single unit of one metric ton of carbon for various prices. Each provider has a list of projects which they support. Are carbon offsets tax deductable? Yes. If they ar

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Carbon offsets, if they are of high quality, are the most efficient and cost-effective way to keep carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (GHG) out of the atmosphere. However, in a market with mostly voluntary regulations, it is very important to recognize that not all offsets are equal. Before buying carbon offsets, you should first directly reduce your carbon emissions as much as possible. Where this becomes too difficult, too expensive or just unrealistic, valid carbon offsets can effectively keep an equivalent amount of GHGs out of the atmosphere. The quickest and most efficient way to stop climate change, is to reduce emissions as quickly as possible where they are most efficiently reduced. Carbon offsets give you a way to pay for an amount of emissions to be reduced or eliminated more efficiently than you could reduce your own emissions.

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Well, suppose that your activities contributed to the release of too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, perhaps by excessive reliance on personal travel by air or automobile. However, you aren’t able to reduce this travel, but you still want to plant trees to compensate for your emissions. This would create a carbon offset. Similarly, if you had a company and wanted to compensate for your emissions, you might create an offset by implementing energy conservation practices or by developing renewable energy sources. Another method of compensating for excessive pollution is by purchasing or trading emission credits. Government entities set a limit on the amount of pollution companies are allowed to discharge into the atmosphere, and the companies have a given amount of emission credits. Let’s say that your company may be unable to stay under that cap. You would then have the option of purchasing credits from a company that is able to keep their emissions below the cap and therefore h

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While most Americans are aware that we increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel to drive our cars and heat our homes, we tend to think less about the greenhouse impacts of other daily activities. Says Tim Considine, professor of natural resources at Penn State, we shouldn’t forget that half of the electricity we use for everything from toasting our morning bagels to running our computers is generated by coal-fired power plants. Carbon emissions are considered to be major offenders in the global warming crisis, a fact that has spurred researchers in academia and industry to seek cleaner coal technologies. (For instance, Penn State and Chevron recently formed a strategic alliance to explore the possibilities.) Cleaner-burning coal and natural gas are poised to become a much bigger part of the energy picture, says Considine, who believes that despite the promise in renewable energy harvested by solar panels and wind turbines, we are still “a long way off” from actu

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Carbon offsets are a way to reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint by purchasing what is essentially a donation for a specific purpose — to offset the impact from the greenhouse gases you produce every day. Because carbon dioxide is measured in metric tons, one carbon offset is representative of one metric ton of greenhouse gases. These offsets are a great way to encourage “green” living and sustainability, and emphasize the fact that while every individual is responsible for climate change, every individual can make a difference. Your carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases you produce every day. These might come from an individual, a family, a business, even a nation. The greenhouse gases might come from driving a vehicle, running the heat in your home, flying on a plane, using electricity and water — nearly every activity produces some form of greenhouse gas, whether directly or indirectly. There are carbon calculators online to help you figure out an app

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