Doing What Makes Sense with Sustainability: Greenhouse Gas Offsets

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As a Sustainability Consultant, I believe that we all have a responsibility to do something positive to create a healthier and safer environment, and improved quality of life for ourselves and those around us. There are so many ways to create a better place, but often times, it can be overwhelming.  The internet, news, social media, etc. are overloaded with issues, viewpoints, articles, blogs, and products surrounding sustainability, resource efficiency, and emissions reductions.  So how do we know what the right thing to do is? Analyze it from a sustainability, triple-bottom line perspective.  How does your choice affect your financial stability, the environment in which we live, and the health and well-being of those around you.

As a Southern California gal, I didn’t have to deal with the snow and more dominating weather patterns that I now do living in Colorado.  I love Denver, but admit that moving here several years ago was definitely a transition.  I moved with my Honda Civic Hybrid, which I purchased with a strong commitment to emissions and pollution reductions.  I didn’t think about driving it in the snow as I had never experienced snow like I do here in Colorado.  And, unfortunately, that lack of experience driving a 2WD car in the snow led to my parting ways with my efficient hybrid car.  I now drive a small AWD SUV, but continue to pursue ways of bettering the environment through transportation including the use of public transportation whenever and wherever possible.  From a sustainability perspective, the AWD SUV provides a safe transportation environment for my family but represents a big difference with regard to the environment when compared to my hybrid.  Although the AWD SUV was a good decision, I felt that it was important to find ways to offset my emissions and support a healthier environment.

Recently, I found a way to support emissions reductions while driving my AWD SUV.  The Colorado Carbon Fund (CCF) is the first statewide voluntary offset program in the United States, that helps individuals and organizations to reduce and offset carbon emissions.  The CCF works to create awareness by providing educational outreach to the community, supporting greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction projects, and helping to fund renewable energy projects.  Carbon emissions, caused by human activities, are released into the atmosphere, and although are able to move freely, often trap gases and heat on earth from escaping into to space.  This presents a real problem for the quality of life on earth. Emissions are continuing to increase and so through carbon offsets, we are able to balance out the emissions we can’t reduce personally.  Every donation made to CCF directly supports Colorado projects that reduce emissions.

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To support the CCF and offset my emissions, I donated to the CCF to offset my annual carbon footprint of driving my AWD SUV.  I not only received a certificate verifying the quantity of metric tons offset, but also will obtain a special Colorado Carbon Fund license plate to showcase my commitment, and create awareness of this great program.  I highly encourage you all to check out the Colorado Carbon Fund and continue to pursue ways of reducing your carbon footprint.


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– Tiffany Beffel

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