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Carbon Offsets - What exactly IS it?!

Posted by Nyla Jano on
Carbon Offsets - What exactly IS it?!

If you spend a bit of time researching the climate crisis, the words “carbon offset” may come up.  It's is a buzzword that is being thrown around a lot these days. So what exactly does it mean? Does it actually have an impact on the climate?

The most simple definition of carbon offset is “a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere” (wikipedia).

A good way to look at it, is as an accounting system. For each tonne of carbon that is put out (by individual or company) you would then buy that amount in carbon offsets. Carbon offsets can be a multitude of different things from planting trees or work towards restoring natural ecosystems. 

If you just put the word carbon offset into google, 100’s of companies will pop up that market "carbon offsets". But as you dig deeper into what it actually means to offset your carbon, you see the grand illusion that has been curated, much like the recycling industry.

We are not arguing that carbon offsets are bad - of course we want trees planted and wind turbines built. The problem is that large corporations use carbon offsets as an excuse to continue polluting. Offsets don’t erase the carbon emissions, they just put money towards a good cause. Many companies use offsets to market that they are “environmentally friendly”. A whole myriad of companies use this tactic from airline companies to oil companies. As you dig deeper, you begin to see the irony. 

Carbon offsets give space for big companies that pollute, to continue doing what they do. To actually have any impact on climate change, we need global, systemic changes. We must hold big polluters accountable. 

That does not mean that it isn’t worth it! Especially on a small scale. You can offset your own carbon from you home! Check out this calculator to see what your impact is. 

We are big fans of NORI credits to purchase for your carbon offsets. In fact, TORRAIN will be offsetting our shipping with offsets purchased from NORI. 

We have linked a couple different articles that dive even deeper into this subject. It’s worth the read!

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