There are a number of ways to offset carbon emissions for people and companies who are concerned about their carbon footprint. It is important to be aware that offset programs should also be combined with reduction programs, which are designed to reduce the overall amount of carbon emissions a person or company is producing, rather than just mitigating the pollution.
In some industries, offsetting carbon emissions is obligatory, so that companies can meet carbon emissions caps which are designed to reduce greenhouse gases. People and companies can also engage in voluntary carbon offset programs. Numerous companies all over the world offer ways for people to offset carbon emissions, with participants paying a flat fee for every ton of carbon they generate.
Companies which provide programs to offset carbon emissions use several methods to offset the emissions of their customers. One of the most common is investment in renewable energy using the funds provided by participants in the program. Companies can also invest in environmental cleanup, greenhouse gas reduction programs, and reforestation programs. The most reputable programs are affiliated with an organization which oversees the trading of carbon allowances and carbon offsets.
People who want to offset their carbon emissions without having to purchase carbon offsets from a company have a number of options. They can invest directly in renewable energy and in environmental remediation, for example, and they can also sponsor tree planting and reforestation activity. Urban residents might want to consider participating in programs which are designed to add more greenery to the urban environment, whether by establishing rooftop gardens, installing green walls and roofs in commercial structures, or landscaping road medians.
People can also offset their CO2 emissions by using renewable energy sources for their homes and vehicles. Someone who wants to offset carbon emissions from a car, for example, could use solar panels or a windmill to balance out the carbon generated by the car by reducing the carbon emissions associated with electricity generation for a home. This will also have the effect of reducing overall carbon emissions.
Employees who are concerned about the carbon emissions associated with their employers may want to consider approaching supervisors or the head of the company with suggestions for carbon offset programs. Likewise, citizens can push civic leaders to explore options to offset carbon emissions associated with government operations. In these cases, it may help to have information about companies which sell carbon offsets packaged and ready to make it easier to argue the case for buying carbon offsets.