Energy Diet

Reducing or Offsetting ?

The other day, as we were planning our travel to Saguenay, we signed up for a car-poll and ride-sharing website. Unfortunately, no one accepted. How can we reduce our carbon footprint – with a solution that would allow us to live our passions like skiing and scuba diving?

When public transport is available, we use it fully. We’re heading to Montréal this later this week for work an especially for a Montréal Canadians hockey game. We decided to take the train and chose a nearby hotel so we could go to work and to the game walking.

As using public transport is not always possible, we have two avenues: reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or compensate for them. The easiest option is offsetting the GHG emissions over the Internet – in a simple credit card payment. We asked a specialist from Takt-Etik to advise us.

There are many good and not so good opportunities to chose. The first criteria we should look at is the GHG accreditation. An external verification — recognized by an accredited organization — according the standards in place should be chosen. In addition, we should ask ourselves in which project we want to invest to compensate our GHG. We must decide which project we are going to support and to do so we need sufficient information. The Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), for example, proposes projects that, in addition to reducing GHG emissions, offer positive socio-economical development opportunities and biodiversity protection.

We would like to add that, for us, it’s even more important to reduce our emissions than to compensate for them — even though compensating is affordable. Although reducing is often more expensive, we should prioritize this action. We’d like to invite you to share with us the organization with which you’re offsetting your GHG emissions.