It's Not Easy Being Green! Carbon Offsets

As soon as I turn off the computer (which turned out to be producing carbon dioxide like that was its job for the eight years it was on), I compute the damage: 6.6 tons of carbon dioxide all from an obsolete PC. I can’t ignore the crime so I decide that I have to offset it, or it’ll haunt me like that freaky clown from Poltergeist.

What are offsets? They allow those of us who need to absolve our environmental sins to do so by funding renewable-energy projects or carbon neutralizing ventures. It can cost as little as $80 to offset a year’s worth of the average American’s environmental “my bads.” But offsetting everything would be a cop out from changing my habits so I decide to only offset what’s hard to change.

I hate flying, but, as a speaker, it’s sometimes necessary which matches my criteria. My flight emissions this year and the computer blunder means I need to offset 14.4 tons of emissions. Ay.

Researching my options, I find a report that details why all offsets are not created equal. Click here to read the report! I choose to offset my computer crime by supporting Native Energy’s Brazilian Hyrdo Electric project through Native Energy and my flights by supporting The Climate Trust’s Ecuadorian Rainforest Restoration for a total of $189.60.

“Done?” My husband asks when I look up, satisfied.

“Yep,” I say, and then, “Next we’re going vegetarian.”

He closes his eyes while I head to the kitchen to shake things up!

- Rosie Molinary, the author of Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina, lives in Davidson, North Carolina.