What is Global Warming? Are Carbon Offset programs an answer?
Everyday people leave a Carbon Footprint. We consume energy and produce carbon dioxide emissions which accelerates global warming.
We all need to take responsibility for our actions and reduce or offset these emissions
What can you do to help reduce GLOBAL WARMING and your carbon footprint? Should you just buy CARBON CREDITS? What does CARBON OFFSET mean?
You probably have heard the terms Carbon credits, carbon offset, carbon footprint… but what does all this mean? And what should you do about it?
Carbon dioxide is a heat trapping gas. When carbon dioxide is released it remains in the atmosphere where it traps the heat on the planet, much like a green house does. But unlike a green house which wants to heat up it's interior, when the earth heats up unnaturally fast, major problems are caused… Fluctuations in the weather, sea temperatures rise which cause more major storms, plants grow at different rates which causes havoc and disaster for the pollinators and those who depend on that plant for food… etc…
When we use energy, whether it is to drive a car, heat our home, or even to use the computer we are emitting carbon dioxide. . When fossil fuels are burned, they emit a highly concentrated amount of carbon dioxide. The same goes for when forests are stripped and burned to make land for grazing cattle. Even those grazing cattle emit high amounts of methane, another gas responsible for a major portion of global warming.]
Basically everything we do has an effect on the planet. It is up to each one of us to take responsibility for our actions, our footprint, what we leave behind. We all need to look at our lives and make changes that are for the best of the planet and our kids future.
There are many so called,carbon offset programs, offering chances for people to buy "credits" to help you "offset" the carbon dioxide you are responsible for.
Putting it simply, carbon offset programs tell us something like they will plant as many trees as needed to 'offset' the carbon dioxide, that "you" are using, say in driving or flying a certain distance, or using through electricity, etc….
Think about this… They say a single tree can absorb up to 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide over its lifetime… so if plant 10 trees I am "given" the right or am "absolved" to burn the equivalence of 20,000 pounds of Co2…
If you pay someone else to plant a few trees does that make it ok to burn as much fossil fuel as you want?
While it is a very good thing to plant trees and support organizations that are working hard to protect the planet this way, Most carbon Offset Programs are basically another pacifier, aimed at those, particularly the rich, who don't want to actually change their ways, but don't want the guilt that surrounds their environmentally un-friendly standard of living.
But really, what are the actual chances that those trees are going to grow to maturity and live say, a hundred or more years??? And what about the water it takes to support the trees plus all the other factors involved in growing a forest… How likely are "your" trees going to make it even a few years? ANd does that tree really cover your footprint?
Yes we must plant more trees but not as an "okay" to continue our care-free lifestyle.
On Maui you do have a choice If you are renting a car, you can actually get one that has one of the lowest footprints possible. Bio-Beetle ECO Rental Cars is committed to only offering the most eco friendly cars available! We have The hybrid Prius, which is a gas car but gets 50 mpg. We also have electric plug in cars, which are considered 99mpg, and we have biodiesel cars. Biodiesel is carbon nuetral, meaning that the carbon released into the atmosphere, by these cars that run on biodiesel, is so minimal that technically the crops that are grown to make the oil actually takes in any carbon released. So if you rent a car from Bio-Beetle ECO Rental Cars, you are making the best choice possible for helping to protect the planet.
Americans are still buying huge cars and SUVs that get low gas mileage and using that car to drive 20 miles to a store just for a 6 pack of coke. (How did that coke get to the store? How did they mine the earth to get the metal for the can, or make the plastic bottle?) We are cutting down more trees then we plant in this world! That should worry you! We cut trees to make more houses for this growing population and their toilet paper demands and disposable chopstick. We cut trees for packing boxes for unnecessary frivolous items. We cut down a tree in our yard because it "doesn't look right"… Do you really need new cupboards because the Joneses did, and the new style is in. The planes that brought that Kiwi to you, what did they run on? We absent mindedly take the plastic bag they hand us at the store…, that's made from burning fossil fuels too. We are burning more trees to plant crops to feed cows so rich societies can eat meat..
Just because you pay dues to an "eco" club, and get their glossy magazine each month, doesn't pardon you from being a responsible human being.
Yes, support these groups, but we all must change our lifestyle. Seek out the best, most environmentally friendly options. Demand high mileage fuel efficient or cars, but still car pool, walk, or use your bike! Support businesses that have true ethics and not just out to make money… Eat low on the food chain and purchase what you can that was grown close to home… Travel close to home or when you do must travel look for the most earth friendly options, Off grid bed and breakfasts, biodiesel rental cars, yes they're out there! Use buses… Choose hikes over helicopters… Demand 100% un bleached recycled paper or tree free paper. Use both sides! Stop using plastic anything! Wars are fought for oil, oil spills happen every day! There are hundreds and hundreds of little things you can do every day that really does matter.
Paying someone else to cover your ways doesn't make it ok to do whatever you want … Yes, buy carbon offsets but do absolutely everything else you can for the planet first.
The world would be much better off if everyone took responsibility for their own actions, and what those actions are doing to the planet, instead of paying someone else to supposedly do the dirty work for you. Do you really need what you are buying? Are their better choices out there? Live it, don't buy it