We offset all our family’s carbon emissions
Because this planet isn’t going to save itself. Not with these governments.
Back before the #coronacession, disturbed by Australia’s bushfire apocalypse and our gov’s double-down on fossil-power, my partner, son and I decided to take our family carbon-neutral. We took made some carbon reduction changes and then offset the rest.
Yes, some carbon offset projects are undoubtedly scams, it’s important to find credibly audited offsets.
And yes, it’s better to not emit carbon than to offset it, but we’re not going to live like Medieval monks (except for my robe, obvs but it’s more a Jedi robe).
Anyhow, we decided to offset the rest. And it’s hard.
The first hurdle is to figure out how much carbon you’re offsetting. Offset too little, and the bush keeps burning. Offset too much, and well, you’re a sucker and China and the USA are walking to the bank right now to withdraw your money and bulldoze another acre of forest to build another shopping mall with it, you sucker.
So you need to use a carbon calculator, and not all carbon calculators are equal. Some are based on outdated data, some are just plain hard to use, and some don’t include enough flexibility to accurately model your own life (like owning a superyacht or more than one helicopter).
The next thing you need is a source of audited, validated, 100% legit carbon offset projects that will accept affordable chunks of money from a family, and not a corporation. Ideally projects that are going to align with causes and communities and ecosystems you care about.
If you could just choose from a pre-vetted selection of projects, that would be great. And if you could spread those offset payments out monthly, that would be supergreat. And maybe if you could put it on a credit card to get some loyalty points to finally buy a second HomePod like you’ve always dreamed, and you could try to justify that to your partner by saying you paid for it by offsetting carbon emissions, maybe she’d be angry with you for less time.
And then if the service reminded you now and again how you were going: how many tonnes of CO2 you’d offset, prompted you to adjust your payments if your lifestyle might have changed (like, say, flights gone from 100 a year to zero?) Or if you couldn’t afford to offset all of them, dial it down to a smaller percentage of your emissions? That would be awesome.
And it might need to only take about 10–15mins to set the whole thing up, from calculating your emissions, to choosing a project to offset, to setting up your monthly subscription, because nobody has more time than the duration of a free Zoom call anymore.
What if you could also offset your business emissions? Or get your whole team at work to offset their emissions together?
Bonus points for it being a small, early-stage tech startup, fresh outta accelerator, and ideally with at least one Aussie on the team.
I guess what I’m describing here is the world’s best way to take an individual, couple, or a family carbon neutral, and keep it there, long term. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Wait, there’s one more very important thing it should do: it should have a way to refer a friend, and give you both a free tonne of CO2 offset when a friend signs up. So, this exists, and that referral code would be…