What are the reasons we should Carbon offset? In short, Carbon offsetting is a good way to offset your Carbon footprint. Simply put, Carbon offsetting lets you compensate for the Carbon emissions you produce by offsetting them elsewhere. This is done by funding projects that offset Carbon dioxide either through catching existing CO2 in the air, or preventing new Carbon emissions from occurring.
The first project in the UK which uses Carbon offsetting to its full potential is one tonne of wood pulp. The pulp is harvested from a huge forest in the north of England, and after being processed the wood is then used to make a number of high quality soaps, as well as paper. As the forests are deforested, more land is being cleared and, as a direct result, more Carbon is being released into the atmosphere. So the project is not only saving money for the company but also for future generations. In addition, the wood which does not need to be burned is one tonne lighter than what would have been required if trees were not cut down.
A further popular way in which Carbon neutral is helping to save our environment is by reducing the amount of Carbon emissions that are produced by companies. For example, a furniture manufacturer, Ikea, uses a unique ‘Carbon Dioxide Emission Screens’ system. These special emission control panels are placed between the panels within an Ikea store so that any Carbon emissions from the wood powering the shop-pens are reduced. Other companies, such as Google, have also used Carbon offsetting to reduce their Carbon emissions. A recent report from the environment think tank, Global Witness, showed that Google had reduced their energy consumption by 20%.
The other major way in which voluntary Carbon offsetting helps to make a difference is in its ability to deliver long-term climate benefits. By putting a price on Carbon emissions, companies are able to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. In doing so, they help to protect the ecosystems, wildlife and the global climate. For example, Google has made efforts to implement a Carbon offsetting scheme with one of its European branches, which the company claims will deliver up to a million trees being saved every year.
By putting a price on Carbon emissions, companies are able to address the biggest single source of environmental damage. However, it should be noted that the Carbon footprint is not the same thing as the Carbon emissions themselves. Carbon footprints include the extent to which the energy that is consumed will harm the environment and exacerbate climate change. The Carbon footprint is measured over the life of the Carbon emitted, rather than the life of the individual emitting the Carbon. While it is true that cutting down Carbon emissions will help to reduce the impact on the environment, it is equally important to note that cutting down Carbon emissions will do little to reduce the amount of Carbon that is stored in the environment due to the simple fact that once Carbon is emitted it is in the environment for a very long time.