Thursday, September 3, 2009

Planting in Vichada, Colombia
There are 3 principle ways of offsetting carbon. The first, and my favorite, is to be pro-active and to do something that will actively sequester CO2 from the atmosphere. Planting tropical trees qualifies in spades, because as each tree grows it absorbs carbon at an average rate of about 50 lbs or 22.6 kg a year. The second way, and my least favorite, is what I call the status quo or do nothing approach. This is where you agree to not chop down the forest or to not fly someplace. In other words, if one doesn't do something then no CO2 will be generated. The third approach, almost as important as the first one, is to actively reduce the CO2 one is producing, so for instance insulating one's house, turning the thermostat down, changing to energy efficient light bulbs, installing and using alternative energy sources like solar, wind or hydro power. Well, I'm sure you get the idea.

I actively promote CO2 Tropical Trees, which is a program dedicated to helping consumers like yourself make your car carbon neutral. The program relies on the US Environmental Protection Agency's finding that the average North American car emits 12,100 lbs of CO2 every year. That means that it takes an average of 242 tropical trees, each absorbing 50 lbs of CO2 a year, to offset the emissions of your car. The CO2 Tropical Trees program plants 250 tropical trees and cares and maintains them for you for a 10 year period, meaning that your car can be carbon neutral for those same 10 years. The cost of doing this is only $750 for all 10 years, or by annual subscription of $85 a year. To make it simple, you could offset your car's annual CO2 emissions for the price of just a single fill-up at the pumps, or about $0.20 a day.

Acacia mangium seedlings
Besides knowing that you did the right thing, your funding of the tropical trees they plant gets you an annual bumper sticker and windshield decal that lets you brag to your neighbours, friends and associates about the fact that you are doing something "real" in the fight against global warming and climate change. Equally important, the tropical trees being planted provide invaluable habitat and food for endangered wildlife. Part of the CO2 Tropical Trees program is dedicated to setting up a Natural Reserve on plantation land in cooperation with the world renowned Omacha Foundation. Simply put, this is a socially responsible and "green" activity you need to do right away.

No comments:

Post a Comment