Carbon Offset: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

tree ornament carbon offsetAre you looking for a holiday gift that keeps on giving? Consider a carbon-balanced gift from TerraPass, like this cute tree ornament embedded with parsley, basil and chive seeds. Buy one plantable tree and you support the Arcata Community Forest project, which is funded by carbon offsets. Each year the forest absorbs the equivalent CO2 to taking 550 cars off the road. Love! 

We can only reduce, reuse and recycle to a certain point—and no matter what you do, that point can’t zero out your carbon footprint. That’s where a carbon offset comes in.

But the tree ornament which accompanies the offset of one metric ton of carbon dioxide ($13) is just a small part of TerraPass’s mission, which is to use carbon offsets to fund renewable energy and methane capture projects that balance the impact of CO2 emissions we can’t avoid. Because we can only reduce, reuse and recycle to a certain point—and no matter what you do, that point can’t zero out your carbon footprint.

You’ve probably heard about your carbon footprint, which is basically the amount of carbon dioxide emissions—the principal cause of climate change—that it takes to live your life. I took five minute to answer four sets of questions on the carbon footprint calculator at TerraPass. The site figured out that I generate about 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year (about 19 metric tons less than the average America, probably because I rarely travel).

A carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. So I would need to buy or receive—hint, hint—10 cute little TerraPass holiday trees to offset my emissions in 2014. And I’d have one fantastic herb garden!

Like all TerraPass funded projects, the California’s Arcata Community Forest is registered and audited to make sure every credit has been carbon offset on behalf on behalf of its members. And if you consider the 33 million Christmas trees that are cut down during the holidays—releasing carbon dioxide that would otherwise be absorbed by the tree—this little ornament can make a huge difference.

This post was sponsored by TerraPass and meets the standards I’ve established to endorse a brand as “Mommy Greenest Approved.” Click here for more about Editorial Standards.

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