Greater awareness around climate change compels many of us to decrease global impact. And energy use in our homes represents one of the largest sources for carbon dioxide (CO2) sent to the atmosphere. With this in mind, real-time monitoring provides an excellent means to avoid carbon waste. That said, limits of course apply to how much each of us can conserve. Meaning Americans emit carbon at a rate of nearly 200 trees per year! Addressing this reality, Emporia’s Vue platform now offers a handy method to offset carbon easily for those who care to do right by the planet.
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Carbon Offset Markets
To understand how to offset carbon easily, we must first explore a little known but growing market designed to help curb excess CO2. Actually, two such markets exist, though many remain unaware of even one.
The Compliance Market
This market applies within nations, provinces, and states who comply with Kyoto Protocol limits on carbon dioxide. In effect, these entities agree to cap the total amount of emitted CO2. Therefore, any growth in CO2 output must be offset by programs to capture or reduce carbon. For this reason, companies subject to a cap are motivated to purchase carbon offset credits. This purchase constitutes the “trade” in so-called “cap-and-trade” systems. Australia, nations of the European Union, and several provinces of Canada and the State of California participate in the compliance market.
The Voluntary Market
In contrast, the voluntary market does not respond to a cap-and-trade system. Rather, it exists for entities seeking on their own to reduce carbon. They may choose to do so in order to meet sustainability or other strategic objectives. As a result, the voluntary market applies to larger swathes of participants on both the supply and demand side. For example, purchasers of carbon offsets include not only corporations and governments, but also individuals. And this is where Emporia Energy and its Vue platform can play such a vital role. Briefly, it helps energy consumers offset carbon easily.
We appreciate that effective management requires a means to quantify usage. This logic applies whether we attempt to save money or carbon – both of which are achievable goals for Emporia and its Vue users. Clearly, consumers can use Vue to achieve significant goals with respect to money savings. But Emporia has also designed Vue to serve those who desire to reduce the impact of unavoidable home energy use. Ideally, users might even choose to apply a portion of their money savings towards offsetting carbon use!
How To Reduce Impact
Emporia provides the ability to offset carbon easily through the same platform that quantifies energy usage. Simply click here to get to the Emporia store, where you can shop current offset offerings. By way of example, Emporia anticipates four general categories of products as follows.
Emporia Pollution Reduction Offsets
These offsets support projects related to capturing methane from solid waste landfills. Example projects include sites in Georgia and New York. Left uncaptured, methane is a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Controlled capture and on-site oxidation of methane reduces climate change potential from this source by over 95%.
Emporia Energy Recovery Offsets
In appropriate settings, methane may be captured and utilized for energy production. Captured methane is burned to produce electricity using specialized equipment. Such projects don’t just reduce climate change potential. They also decrease demand for natural gas otherwise required to produce electricity.
Emporia Land Practices Offsets
Both agricultural and non-agricultural land-use practices can result in keeping greater amounts of carbon in the ground. Additionally, practices such as avoided tilling can yield healthier soils with enhanced moisture retention. These soils produce less runoff, waste less fertilizer, and improve water quality. Alternatively, native grasslands provide both carbon benefit and increased vegetation. Not to mention habitat for wildlife.
Emporia Tree Sustainability Offsets
Trees represent the most prominent and perhaps the most effective natural means for keeping carbon out of the atmosphere. Beyond that, forests provide excellent cooling benefit, air scrubbing, oxygen production, and even weather regulation. They also protect watersheds and make great homes for a wealth of species. And some humans even find them beautiful!
Registration and Verification
In order to ensure accounting and validity, each voluntary carbon offset credit is registered. Either the Climate Action Reserve or the American Carbon Registry provides assurance that projects reduce carbon in the air. This rigorous process ensures that the underlying offset projects contribute to real and additional emission reductions. Emporia purchases blocs of credits on behalf of its customers. Customers can then learn more about projects and track retired credits by serial number on registry databases. Once retired, no offset credit can be held, transferred, or retired by any other party.
Purpose Behind Offering Four Classes of Offsets
We close this post by noting distinctions between the four sets of carbon offsets outlined above. What’s the difference?
Global Carbon = Global Carbon
Well, from the perspective of offsetting carbon, the short answer is: nothing. Carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere has the same chemical properties, no matter where emitted on the planet. Therefore, any verified measure to reduce CO2 emissions provides the same atmospheric benefit. From the perspective of greenhouse gas additions that is.
But All Carbon Projects Have Unique Personalities
Nevertheless, projects that produce carbon offsets can offer significant benefits beyond carbon. For example, they might also generate energy, improve water quality, and enhance habitat for humans and other animals. And it should surprise none of us to learn that although “good follows good,” there is still “no free lunch!” Each of the benefits noted – as well as the many others that accrue – do come at a cost. Simply put, more ambitious projects require greater investment.
For example, a project to collect and combust methane for greenhouse gas destruction costs less than one that seeks also to make electricity. Added engineering, process complexity, and specialized equipment all require more money. Similarly, land practices and tree sustainability projects imply acreage – also known as real estate. Nothing is free.
Leveraging Project Benefits
However, sometimes things can cost less if purchased together. In a similar manner, it can prove far more efficient to piggyback benefits in carbon offset projects. Consequently, Emporia has selected its four categories to allow a choice of offsets that best suit the needs of individual Vue users.
Perhaps someone wishes each dollar to maximize the amount of carbon pollution abated. In this case, the user would select Pollution Reduction Offsets. In contrast, those who value habitat would gravitate towards either the Land Practices or Tree Sustainability offsets. And geeky waste-to-value process types (such as this author) just might get excited about Energy Recovery Offsets! The point is to offer motivation, education, and choice to to Vue users.
Fund Your Carbon Offset Choice Easily – with Savings!
So why not use savings generated from using your Emporia Vue to offset your own carbon impact! Emporia gives you the tools both to measure your impact and to offset that carbon impact easily. And, interestingly, through savings it also provides you with the money to fund your desire to care. Win, win, win.
Simply click here to purchase your offsets!
And, as promised earlier, here is your chance once again to sample Emporia’s other offerings. If you would like to order a Vue, click here. Or use this link if you have yet to download the free Emporia app.
Thank you for caring!