Carbon Part Two - Carbon Offsets, are they helping the environment?

Big Oil Carbon Offsets Climate Change Reforestation

Last week we pulled the blindfold off the term Carbon Footprint. Every person, company and country has a carbon footprint so this week we shift to reducing carbon emissions.

For many companies the answer is carbon offsets defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as, "an action or activity (such as the planting of trees or carbon sequestration) that compensates for the emission of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere". Not exactly reducing carbon emissions. Is this just more marketing propaganda? 

Search the term carbon offset online and there is no shortage of organizations and programs willing to take your money. Often the call to action revolves around reforestation. Defined as renewing forest cover by natural seeding or artificial planting of seeds or young trees.  Deep dive into REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) for case studies and research. Unfortunately, it is not always as positive as we want it to be.  

Other companies like Tradewater destroy old refrigerants.  Terrapass allows individuals and companies to choose from a range of projects that destroy greenhouse gases and/or produce renewable energy.  There are many others and for offsetting consumption it is a wonderful way to be a conscious consumer and live responsibly, but for big industries such as oil, is it really enough to buy carbon credits to offset the emissions they are responsible for creating?  What if they put that money towards reducing or eliminating emissions in the first place?  

Carbon offsets seems to be a catch phrase marketers are using to make it sound like big oil and other industries are committed to climate change, but there are better ways to have a larger, longer lasting impact and we want to continue to hold manufacturers accountable.

We keep the conversation going next week, reviewing what it means to be Carbon Neutral, Carbon Negative and Climate Positive.  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

BTW - We recognize selling products online is not the smallest carbon footprint business model, but if last year taught us anything it is the importance of being able to shop online. So what are we doing? We partner with brands that are Certified B Corporations because they are audited to ensure they are taking necessary steps towards sustainability.  We also look at other certifications and highlight these accomplishments in product descriptions. We offer products that ship from the US and from companies that use Earth friendly shipping supplies. But we can do more so we are also looking for effective carbon offset programs and hope to be making an announcement soon. 

Thanks for reading,

Savvy

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Inspiring Reads - BetterWorldBooks.com
Fall in love with trees with these books.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They CommunicateDiscoveries from a Secret World

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate Discoveries from a Secret World
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Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World

Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World
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From Josh Tickell, one of America's most celebrated documentary filmmakers, comes a "fascinating, easy-to-follow blueprint for how eating in ways that nourish and regenerate the soil can not only help reverse global warming, but also bring greater vitality to our lives" (Wolfgang Puck)... 

The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet

The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet
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The inspiring story of David Milarch's quest to clone the biggest trees on the planet in order to save our forests and ecosystem--as well as a hopeful lesson about how each of us has the ability to make a difference...

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