Buying Carbon Offsets – Which Company Do You Choose

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Holy Moly, which one to choose? This is just a small sampling of the companies that are offering carbon offsets for sale so that you can take action against the CO2 that you emit, whether from your house, your car, airline travel or whatever the case may be. Since we have been looking at using one of these services for quite some time, I thought doing a little investigating would not only be beneficial for us, but hopefully for some of you out there as well that just don’t know what the differences are between the companies.

And for those of you that don’t have the slightest idea what I am talking about, carbon offsets aim to reduce global warming gases by allowing you to purchase credits that go towards alternative energy, tree plantings, social issues and the like – to offset the gases that you create. (No jokes here please) Simple enough, right? Ok, let’s get started looking at the different programs, using my car (a 2006 Mini) as the base example:

First up,Terra Pass. To be perfectly honest, this is one of the first companies I heard about when I started looking into these programs a little while back. For one thing, they certainly are well-known, with stories being written about them in the newspaper and many online sources. Their slogans are great and they have different programs for car, flights and your home. If I were to buy a carbon offset for my car through these guys, it would cost me $29.95 per year, and they say my car emits 3,913 lbs of CO2 per year. Now, that’s a low number because I don’t drive much; I work from home. And for that $29.95, not only do I offset my emissions, but I also get stickers for my car so I can tell the world how great I am. (Not) My money, according to Terra Pass, goes to programs such things as an entrepreneurial wind farmer receives funds to expand his plant or a small dairy farmer gets capital to install digesters on his farm to control methane emissions. Pretty cool, not too expensive, well known, and they guarantee that the money is used for what they say it will be used for.

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