What Does it Mean to Offset Your Carbon Footprint?

Carbon FootprintYou have probably heard the phrase “Offset your Carbon Footprint” a lot lately. This phrase is being thrown around by environmental activists and corporations who are choosing to “go green”, but many people are not familiar with what offsetting your carbon footprint actually means. As a business owner or someone who is interested in saving the environment by changing their own daily habits, learning what the carbon footprint is and how to offset it is important. Read on, and learn how every little bit helps and how to change your activities to lower the impact of your primary footprint.

What is a Primary Carbon Footprint and a Secondary Carbon Footprint?

Before you can truly understand how to offset your CO2 footprint, you need to learn about the differences between primary and secondary carbon footprints. The straightforward definition of a Carbon Footprint is the measure of the gases produced in the use of human activities and how this measure affects the environment. The footprint itself is made up of two parts: the primary and the secondary footprint, according to the website Every Little Bit.

The primary footprint is the measurement of the emissions that are produced by individuals or companies when they consume energy or when they use modes of transportation. The secondary footprint goes a bit more in depth and includes more than just the emissions produced by energy consumption, but also the carbon that is produced from the lifecycle of all of the products that an individual or company consumes. This includes the emissions related to manufacturing the product, transporting it, and even storing it in stores or warehouses.

What Does it Mean to Offset these Footprints?

Now that you understand what a carbon footprint is, you need to learn what it means to offset it. In a broad sense, offsetting your direct footprint is about using resources wisely in an effort to reduce the emissions you are responsible for and to reduce your negative impact on the earth. Everyone, including companies and individuals, has a responsibility to take care of the planet, and more non-profit agencies and government agencies are stressing the importance of reducing and offsetting footprints.

According to the Carbon Neutral Company, an offset is a credit that will reduce gas emissions so that less CO2 is produced and less damage is done. Some of the most popular types of offsets include wind farms and solar energy systems, which create renewable energy and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. The most effective way to rewind the clock and offset some of the damage that has been done to the environment is to create a carbon management strategy that includes offsetting systems that use renewable energy. Both individual consumers and companies have the ability to offset their direct footprint and also their indirect footprint by choosing manufacturing companies who have chosen to go green.

Related Resource: Make Your Business Green

Offsetting is an integral part of reducing the production of emissions that damage the environment, poison animals and contribute to climate change. When a company chooses to invest in offsetting, they are choosing to make a difference and invest in emissions-reducing projects and initiatives. Not only can businesses improve their reputations by going green, they can also receive tax credits and other government incentives for doing so. If you own a business or are interested in making a difference, start making an effort to offset your carbon footprint.