As a business person and a climate solutions fan, I look for trends where the two intersect. Corporations and families are learning to nullify greenhouse gas pollution produced by their operations or by family energy and travel.
How? Pay others to plant trees, build wind turbines or solar farms, develop sustainable agriculture, or capture escaping methane from landfills.
There is a new saying among sustainability advocates: “Reduce what you can, and ‘offset’ the rest.”
This is called “buying carbon offsets:” We can now easily fund global warming solutions to the same extent our actions create it. The former zeroes out the latter, mitigating net harm.
This is especially necessary for folks who use air travel… in a stark wake up call, many frequent business or vacation fliers find literally three fourths of their carbon footprint comes from air travel!
(Do a carbon footprint calculator on yourself if you don’t believe me…)
The practice of buying carbon offsets has thus emerged as an ethical-business trend by many companies that have publicly adopted corporate responsibility goals, or are being pressed by shareholders to do so.
And, a bonus: A growing number of families have joined the trend, and I joined them today with my 2019 re-up. It was a quick two-step process any family can do…
First, I did the quick Carbon Footprint Calculator at the TerraPass website, and discovered that our home energy use, transportation and air travel put about 19 tons of carbon into the air each year. The calculator only took five minutes, and it is very easy to follow its questionnaire – similar to TurboTax.
Second, I paid the cost for mitigating that many tons of pollution for this year, using a reputable organization called TerraPass. It was $95.99USD. That’s it… and we’ll have enough new trees, wind and solar farms, sustainable agriculture or landfill methane capture to zero-out 19 tons of greenhouse gas pollution this year.
Convenient and not very expensive, but very important: this plugs what I would consider a big ethical and moral hole in how I used to run my family life!
Today, we did our part to fight the emerging climate crisis: As the saying goes, “To Save the Planet, Change Yourself First.”
P.S. Again, beware air travel… for many in the advanced economies, it is their largest personal source of carbon emission, more even than our homes, our day-to-day transportation, and our diets!
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Not sure how to start saving the planet (civilization, really)… Start by remembering Al Gore’s saying: “Hope is a renewable resource.” Keep your morale up.
Then, our immediate practical first step becomes “Deeply know our personal Superpowers,” those skills over which we all have 100% control:
1) To save the planet, CHANGE OURSELVES FIRST;
2) To save the planet, INVEST OUR WORKING LIVES;
3) To save the planet, USE OUR VOICES and take advocacy seriously in all its many flavors: Never miss a vote and never stop influencing your government. Influence the vast business world by voting with your buying power… business listens when you speak its language. Set a solid example in your personal life. Tell friends what we must do. Finally, have a carefully-chosen annual donor program. All of these are ways you can use your voice.
No one can take your personal power away. Stay focussed on the list of substantive global warming solutions.
And at all times, cast aside the “learned-helplessness” that infects so much of modern life… the time is now for action.
Never give up.
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