Carbon Offsetting: What is it & should I be doing it?
This is a question we have received frequently lately, so we thought why not answer it like this, to inform others too.
We have recently been witnessing the world shifting and becoming more eco-conscious, seeing many of us experiencing an environmental awakening. The more awareness and accurate information is available, the easier it will become for us to make informed decisions about making environmentally friendly lifestyle changes. This will hopefully help create a greener and cleaner planet for future generations.
Climate Change Vs Global Warming
The first thing I have noticed is people using the words 'Climate Change' and 'Global Warming' interchangeably, when they each have their own meanings. Maybe this is where some of the confusion stems from, so lets address it now.
Global Warming is when the average temperature of our planet begins to rise, which is the process we have been observing over these passed years.
This temperature increase occurs with the build-up of Greenhouse Gases in our atmosphere, such a Carbon Dioxide.
Climate Change is a broader term which we use to describe the changes to the climate locally and globally, over a longer period of time. The climate of a specific location is measured by the average conditions experienced over many years.
For example, when we think of the North Pole, we tend to think of cold & snowy conditions and when we think of the Sahara Desert, we think of hot & dry conditions. Now imagine if the desert was wet or snowy, or if the North Pole started getting hotter; these changes in the locations' normal/average conditions is what climate change refers to.
How Can We Help?
Reducing our impact on the environment will hopefully see these negative conditions begin to slow down and maybe even reverse, if we are lucky. Making small eco-friendly changes to our old wasteful ways such as, turning off lights when not in the room, reducing the heat of your washing machine & dishwasher, having 5 minute showers instead of baths, carpooling and the list goes on. These are small adjustments we can make, which will begin to lower our carbon footprint (Check out our blogs on Home Eco-Swaps & Food Waste for more info).
What is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is a method which we can use to help us neutralise our carbon emissions by compensating with a carbon reducing action. I know, it sounds a little confusing.
So, for example, if I purchased some items and had them delivered to me, that would increase my carbon footprint. But if at the same time I also funded an eco-project that removes greenhouse gases from our atmosphere (e.g The Eden Reforestation Projects), I have made my purchase carbon neutral. It's all about compensating our emissions with an emissions reducing action.
Calculate your footprint by using a free online calculator
Reduce your footprint by making lifestyle changes
Compensate by taking part in or funding an emissions reducing action or project
In summary, I think it is important for us to inform ourselves about our current climate/environmental situation and find ways in which we can help reduce our impact on the planet. Even if we were to make small but meaningful actions, multiplied by many people, will help us create a greener and cleaner planet for future generations.
I hope this has answered some of your questions and has given you some food for thought. Please keep those questions and suggestions coming in, we love hearing from you. Together we can make a difference.