Sunday, 27 June 2010

One Small Tree at a Time!

Take all look at the page...notice anything different? No? How about if I tell you to look at the top of the right hand column? See anything new?

Ok, I’ll tell you – see the new green logo? This blog is now carbon neutral…woooo! So what on earth does carbon neutral actually mean?

Our planet is facing a serious problem, pretty much primarily caused by the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels - oil, coal, and gas.

But guess what!? There is good news - we can do something about it — like going carbon neutral. Going carbon neutral is an easy way to take responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions we are creating every time we cruise in the car, jump on a plane, or switch on our laptop.

What do I suggest? Purchase carbon offsets to account for your daily emissions. A carbon offset is pretty much what it says on the tin – you pay someone else to make a positive CO2 contribution, which you can then offset against your own negative impacts.

More simply

if you add polluting emissions to the atmosphere,
you can effectively subtract them
by purchasing carbon offsets

You might be wondering why I am suggesting making an emission reduction else where…let me explain, carbon offsetting is based on the principle that, since this is a global problem, an emission reduction made elsewhere has the same positive effect as one made locally. So at the end of the day carbon offsets do the job.

So what is a carbon neutral blog? It basically means some random person in thePlumas National Forest, US, has gone out and planted a tree for me. Awesome, Eco-Strip Down now has its own tree.

Ok, so we now know what carbon neutral means….so why do I care?

Apparently the average website causes about 0.02g of CO2 per visitor – so a blog attracting 15,000 visits per month contributes around 3.5kgs of CO2 to the atmosphere per year. The random study that calculated this took into account the power consumed by computer usage, electricity hours and server cooler systems. I know the figure of a mere 3.5kg’s a year doesn’t sound like a lot, but when we put this into a global perspective… there were  over 185million websites in January 2009 – you can do the CO2 math…but trust me it all adds up!
So why a tree? Basically, the UNFCC have calculated that each tree helps to remove around 10kg of carbon from the atmosphere every year. By using Ixpo (the people who planted a random tree for me…) I am offsetting my blogs CO2 impact.
I guess offsetting my blog is a tiny tiny pin prick in the grand scheme of things…but honestly every little helps…remember the saying – count your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves…it really works, everything adds up! When I was a kid I collected my pennies and then eventually I was able to get a pound that I always spent on a big bag of sweets! (I was a kid – sweets made me happy) At the end of the day the penny counting was totally worth it!

Why am I going on about sweets and pennies…because that is exactly how we can help protect the gorgeous planet we live on, every little thing adds up. Lots of little small steps has the same result as one big step!

Some methods to cut your CO2...are a waste of time - 

What little steps can we all make? Simple, easy and effect ways? Oh and save money too?

1. Transportation
Boy do we get around, we have cars, trucks, motor bikes, buses, boats, planes! Try getting of your butt and biking, walking, or if you are too lazy how about car sharing.

2. Energy
Wasting energy hurts nature and our wallets – being energy efficiency will give you lower bills as well as less pollution. Try two steps wear a jumper to cut your heating and choose energy-efficient appliances.

3. Food
There are so many people on the planet, simply feeding ourselves has led to all kinds of havoc. Try eating local food and only buy what you know you will eat before it rots – you’ll even save money!

It all sounds simple right?

One final questions…Why bother going carbon neutral?
Because we are facing a global problem, and we can help, it’s in our interest to help…we need a home too!  I am not on a cloud cuckoo land…well not totally! I understand that it is impossible to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, no matter how hard we try. But by trying to offset our impact by purchasing carbon offsets is a practical and affordable thing we can all do that will add up!

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