The system of paying for carbon offsets was developed to mitigate the effects of carbon-polluting acts. The David Suzuki Foundation explains and critiques carbon offsets. Many shady, bogus, and ineffective businesses make questionable to outright false claims as they take our money. I have used a couple of the for-profit ones in the past (Native Energy and Terrapass) but was never 100% happy and feeling guilt-free.
A savvy friend alerted me to a not-for-profit that seems much better than the for-profit models: Cool Effect.
Guide Star gives Cool Effect a Gold Star Rating. Read about Cool Effect from Yale University School of the Environment.
The ethics of how we live our lives, including travel, could lead to a lengthy and lively discussion. I am reminded of a much-touted quote that was floating around in the 1960s and '70s: "Live simply so that others may simply live." I thought this was a Quaker aphorism, but recently learned it is from Gandhi. In any case, it certainly applies to flying and other carbon-polluting ways of our First World culture.
- Cool Effect homepage: https://www.cooleffect.org
- Cool Effect travel page: https://www.cooleffect.org/travel-offset
- Yale Program on Climate Change Communication: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2016/10/whats-so-cool-about-cool-effect-carbon-reductions/
- New York Times story: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/18/reader-center/travel-climate-change.html
- The David Suzuki Foundation explains carbon offset credits and offers caveats: https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/carbon-offsets/
- Guide Star: https://nonprofitdirectory.guidestar.org/profile?appKey=FAAF72CF5B744145BF1BBC40DC6E96A0&buttons=false&ein=47-5068496