Why Offset your Carbon Usage?– by Helen Baxter (Guest Post)

Many businesses and homeowners are choosing to offset their carbon usage (often from their utilities) in a bid to become as carbon neutral as possible. The desire to live life in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible has become increasingly popular, and carbon neutrality is a key part of this process.

It is possible to choose a gas and electricity supplier that falls within an eco umbrella and offsets your emissions as much as possible, but these suppliers cannot completely remove the emissions that you produce. The benefits of working with Grow-Trees to offset your carbon production are much more than simply replacing the tree power that you are using: carbon offsetting also provides employment, health benefits and educational opportunities for those that need them in developing countries.

Offsetting is a Great Incentive

Simply offsetting excessive carbon usage and then continuing to live your current everyday life is not sustainable. Instead, offsetting your carbon footprint should be used as part of a spectrum of lifestyle changes to lessen your footprint altogether, and the financial ramifications of offsetting provide a tangible incentive to do so. Carbon offsetting schemes, such as our own, have been designed to encourage both businesses and homeowners to reduce future emissions. Without this important step, the model is simply not considered to be sustainable.

According to The Guardian, carbon offsetting is viewed as something increasingly controversial. This is because of concerns that simply planting trees is counterproductive if the overall goal of the endeavor is to prevent climate change. However, the fact is that worldwide carbon levels are a numbers game: the more trees we can plant the better it is for the overall health and well-being of everyone. The valid aspect of these concerns around carbon offsetting though is that indulging in the practice without endeavoring to reduce your everyday carbon consumption is akin to paying to absolve your guilt whilst continuing to indulge in negative behaviors (such as flying frequently or driving a large diesel car). It would be much more beneficial to work out ways to reduce these negative behaviors than to simply continue offsetting them, in the long term.

What is Your Carbon Footprint?

It is possible to calculate your carbon footprint, and therefore work out exactly how much carbon usage you need to offset on an annual basis. Alternatively, you can offset more carbon than your carbon footprint, particularly understanding areas of your life in which these levels are particularly high, is essential in order to minimize it. No one is perfect, and everyone has their flaws: if you have a passion for international travel then it is likely that your carbon footprint will be much deeper than a homebody with a passion for cycling.

Offset projects such as ours deliver a wide range of social as well as environmental benefits: Grow-Trees works with local communities to ascertain where the best location to plant trees will be. If you are richer in cash than in time, then the good news is that you don’t have to travel to India (creating more carbon to offset) in order to offset your carbon usage and work with us. You can plant a tree with the click of a button, helping to promote immediate action in the battle against climate change. Climate change is the greatest battle we face, and the greatest challenge to human life. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and are vital carbon sinks. Planting is also quick, cheap and provides a very real solution to tackling this problem. If you want to do something proactive to reduce your carbon footprint and to counteract the effects of climate change then Grow-Trees provide a very real solution that is accessible to everyone, no matter where in the world you are.

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