Well, friends, it looks like the next four years are going to be pretty harsh on the environment, particularly when it comes to climate change. The Prez and Crew are thirsty for fossil fuels, in spite of our collective belief that we need to address the issue.
So, it's going to be up to Us. The challenge, of course, is that we love to travel, open our minds with new experiences, meet interesting people, and maybe even chase the perfect wave or the blue-bird powder day. Many of us made a choice some time ago to live where we play, and weather was a big factor in that choice. Now with weather patterns changing, we're inclined to travel to get what we used to enjoy at home. In terms of climate change, this creates an ethical dilemma - by traveling to the climates we love, we contribute to the changes we're having to adjust to.
Here at GoBeMap, we're committing to offset the carbon footprint created by our travel, and we encourage you to do the same. It's actually not that hard or expensive to live carbon-neutral - about $240/year for the average American by most calculations.
There are several organizations that can help you make a difference. Typically, you use a carbon calculator (provided by most offset organizations) to determine how much carbon you produce and how much cash it will take to offset it, send them your money, and they invest that money in projects that reduce CO2 emissions in some way. There are so moany options competing for your energy efficiency - on-site renewable energy, fuel efficient homes and cars, etc., but the cool thing with these companies is they can be much more effective by investing in larger-scale projects than we can as individuals or even as companies. We've culled through the offerings for you, checking third-party verification and ease of use. Most have options for your business, too. Here's what we found:
terrapass has calculators for businesses, individuals, and events. Long-standing history in the industry, with solid projects throughout the US.
Native Energy has great calculators (including a travel-specific calculator), and accepts one-time or monthly donations. Their projects are varied across the globe.
The Carbon Fund provides neatly-packaged offsets for each lifestyle component (house, car, travel, etc.), annually, for gifts or by event. Preset options or calculate your own footprint.
Cool Effect accepts one-time or monthly donations, but doesn't have a calculator. They do have really cool projects, though, and you can support their "coolection", or individual projects. Very progressive and creative in their project selection.
Even if you offset a little bit of your footprint, it helps, so thanks for considering this way to help keep our world - green, white, blue, or however you like it.