With the influx of new “green terminology,” it can be hard to keep up. You hear businesses throw exciting words like "carbon offset" around all the time. It sounds like something you should support, but what exactly is it? Well, let's start with the basics (and a quick middle school refresher).
What is Carbon?
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It’s what we exhale, it’s what plants use to produce their carbohydrates during photosynthesis, and it’s a byproduct of burning fossil fuels such as coal or petroleum (1). Greenhouse gasses work just like greenhouses - they trap heat close to the earth so the energy doesn’t leak into space. Why? Because if it did, the oceans would be frozen over and life would be unsustainable (2).
Sounds like a good thing. Why is it bad?
Carbon Dioxide is so good at it’s job (employee of the century status) that its warming effect has the ability to change the earth’s climate which leads to a whole host of other issues. Here are a few that undoubtedly have massive personal and economic implications (3).
- Extreme weather and fires
- Less suitable soil for farming
- Drought and loss of water resources
- Vector-borne illnesses spread by insects
- Pollution & air quality deterioration
Okay I get it. So what is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon Offsetting is a method of “canceling out” the carbon emissions a business or individual creates during their daily practices through investment in environmental projects around the world (4).
Give me an example.
A carbon offset might be a tree planted for every order that a company processes and ships. While the company is not directly reducing the emissions created from the truck or aircraft used to ship their 10,000 orders, the investment in 10,000 planted trees ensures that they are making up for it elsewhere.
It all makes sense! So how is Human Nature Carbon Offsetting?
Human Nature Designs is researching and implementing more sustainable practices every day. One of the recent shifts includes a partnership with CarbonClick & the addition of a carbon offset option at checkout. Each customer can now choose to purchase as many carbon offsets as they want. From that donation, 50% will be allocated to local flagship forest regeneration or conservation projects, and 50% will go to high-impact international clean energy projects (additional project details here.)
- "What is CO2," Airthings, https://www.airthings.com/what-is-carbon-dioxide
- "Why is Carbon Important," NASA Climate Kids, https://climatekids.nasa.gov/carbon/
- "Wait, why is climate change a bad thing," Climate Reality Project, https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/wait-why-climate-change-bad-thing
- "Carbon Offsetting for Business," CarbonClick, https://carbonclick.com/business/