Carbon Offsets: Creating Something Real from Hot Air

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You’ve probably heard about carbon offsets. They’re everywhere these days, and it seems not a week goes that I don’t hear about a company pledging to go carbon neutral. And yet, it all seems so…full of hot air. What’s real? What do they really do? Which will make the most impact? How are the different purveyors, well, different?

I have a suggestion: Take a look at LiveNeutral.

Why? Well on a basic, financial level, they are a non-profit. And? And that means that offsets purchased through them are tax deductible. More, you say? The resulting lower overhead means better priced offsets as compared to similar for-profit companies offering similar quality offsets.
LiveNeutral trees

Proceeds go towards education efforts around climate change, in schools, corporations, and more. LiveNeutral is quite passionate on this front, as they see the real difference being made when people choose to alter their actions to reduce their carbon footprint. When employees of a company that’s going carbon neutral have a deeper, more nuanced understanding of what exactly it is that their company is doing, it can cause a greater impact.

Where do their carbon offsets come from? The Chicago Climate Exchange. Who are they? They are:

…the world’s first and North America’s only active voluntary, legally binding integrated trading system to reduce emissions of all six major greenhouse gases (GHGs), with offset projects worldwide.

And this means? This means that it is directly correlated to emissions reductions at companies. CCX is composed of member companies that pledge a certain percentage reduction in their emissions each year. If they cannot meet that, they can purchase offsets from other member companies that are exceeding the reduction goal.

So that means you, as an individual or company, are able to purchase those same credits to support companies that are successfully reducing their impact on the planet. It also means that all offsets purchased through LiveNeutral make a difference that same year, and are not expired, as is the case with some other, bargain basement/large volume operators.

No smoke and mirrors here.

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