Carbon Offsetting

Taking personal action against global warming.

It been exactly a week since my last transatlantic flight when Tom Scott released his video about carbon offsetting (amongst other things). Watching that and reading his page made me realize that I could be doing more. This page is about that.

❔ What is carbon offsetting?

It essentially boils down to supporting carbon emission reducing projects around the world, matching the carbon emissions I personally inflict upon the world. Regenerating forests, solar panels, access to clean water, wind power etc...

👣 What's my footprint?

To calculate my emissions I used this handy tool from the WWF. I already do some things: I recycle as much as I can, I often use public transit and I don't (or plan to) own a car. But with that said, I could be doing more: making my own locally sourced food instead of ordering almost every time, or traveling less. While I'm not quite ready to give up on those things, if I can afford them I should be able to afford offsetting them as well.

📊 My results

After I filled out the questionnaire I learned that I'm personally responsible for roughly 13 tonnes of carbon every year.


This is around 30% more than the UK's 2020 target for their citizens (as the calculator is from the UK branch of WWF). The idea is to reduce this to 0 overall, by paying my utilities bill to Mother Nature. Electricity, water, sewage, internet, netflix, cloud hosting... and now carbon. I know this is somewhat PR-y - Tom points that out too. But it's for a good cause, and I don't mind putting some peer pressure on others. If a teenager can sail across the Atlantic to make the same point in front of the UN, I can damn well do at least this.

💶 Who do we pay exactly?

Obviously there're no card readers growing on plants (for now). There are various foundations / companies doing the work. I'm simply going to go with the one Tom picked - I have trust in his research and recommendations: it's called Gold Standard. To offset your emissions just go to this page and just as a normal webshop would work buy your equivalent of emissions in project support. I added this to my monthly bills todo item list, just as everything else - I'll offset a month every month, and then pick one month where I'll offset two. (So I get my 13.)

📃 Closing thoughts

This is obviously still not enough. I'll try and do more. And I'll also try to convince as many others as I can to also do more. And maybe most importantly: go vote, and vote with your future in mind. There's only so much the populus can do. To ensure real and permanent change we need governments and corporations in on the action as well.