Restoring the Balance


By Scott M B Gustafson

Los Angeles is famously a car city, and driving all around the place is a reality of my life here. I do take the bus and the subway from time to time, but its current routes do not always lead to the destinations I am heading to. In order to feel less guilty about the driving I do traveling across the metropolis, I have decided to purchase Carbon Offsets from Terrapass for 2012. A the offset concept is simple. Excess (unbalanced) carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of global warming. For each metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted by a my car during the year, Terrapass will fund a clean energy project that effectively reduces carbon emissions by the same amount. I drive about 12,000 miles per year, so according to Terrapass’ formula, I require 8 metric tons of carbon offsets. If I manage to drive less than that, then I will be “in the black” carbon wise since my pollution will be less than the reduction I’m supporting. The money that is to Terrapass is invested in clean energy and other projects that reduce greenhouse gases. A few examples of the kinds of projects Terrapass funds are:

Clean energy
When a wind farm generates power, it displaces electricity generated by conventional sources such as coal and natural gas. Those conventional sources produce carbon dioxide emissions because they burn fossil fuels to spin their turbines, whereas wind farms don’t use fossil fuels at all. They’re virtually carbon-free!

Farm power
Your money helps farmers capture and destroy the methane, a powerful global warming gas which forms when managing animal waste. It supports the installation and operation of anaerobic digesters, lagoon covers, and electricity generators.

Landfill gas capture
The trash we bury in landfills decomposes slowly, producing methane which escapes into the atmosphere. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas – about 21 times as powerful as carbon dioxide – so projects which capture and destroy that gas are of great benefit to the climate. These projects capture the methane from landfills using wells, pipes, caps, blowers and other technology; and destroy the gas by burning it in a flare.

Source: Terrapass

Click here to see a full listing of the projects funded by Terrpass.


Restore the Balance