Carbon offset, what can I offset as an individual?

Carbon offsetting seemed quite an ambiguous term to me once. If it is to you, no problems at all, at the end of this post, you can explain this to any two year old around you.
It is a known fact that the amount of carbon in the atmosphere has been higher than ever recorded. (This is not a fact that only scientist should worry about, since we all take in the same air, it is important to care about the quality of the air around us).
Sit up and let’s get this simplified, so you can maybe sound smart enough to the next person you will be having a climate conversation with, or achieve the purpose of this blog post, which is to understand and practise carbon offsetting.
Basic elementary science teaches us that humans take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, while the plants around us take up that carbon dioxide and convert them to oxygen creating a balance in the atmosphere.
Life is all about balance right?
Unfortunately, we have altered that beautifully planned balance and released far more carbon dioxide that can be balanced by plants by burning fuels which release high amounts of carbon dioxide. But we can offset the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by either reducing the existing amounts or avoiding the production of more. You see where the expression is gotten from? You know, carbon isn’t really a bad guy, it has it’s place in the earth cycle, we just seem to have too much of it.
There are many approaches to carbon offsetting and I will list a few.

  1. Reduce the amount of fossil fuel you burn. So take a train or a bus instead of driving your car. If you live in Lagos like I do, where public transport is not a pleasant experience, you can consider hitching a ride, or driving a colleague to work so they do not have to drive their own car. That way, there are less amount of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere by reducing the number of cars on the road.
  2. Reduce the amount of fossil fuel actually being mined. There is a school of thought that encourages corporations to mine only a third of a reserve. In simple terms, if a reserve contains 10million barrels of crude oil, only 2/3 of that should be mined and the rest left in the ground.
  3. Energy efficiency, which can be done by using energy efficient appliances so you use less energy in carrying out activities. Or cogeneration, for example you and a neighbour can share a generator instead of having one each. (Yes, this is realistic in Lagos without getting into a fight)
  4. Buying carbon offset, oh well, if you consider yourself too busy, but you have some money, you can buy carbon offsets and your money goes into certified and verified carbon reduction projects.
    I found this image here. They have done a fantastic job in explaining carbon offset. 
  5. The simplest of them all is planting. As explained, the more plants are around us, the more carbon dioxide is absorbed and more oxygen released.

Is carbon offsetting still an ambiguous term? Do you think you need to make more commitment to offsetting carbon?
I hope this encourages you to plant a tree today or at the very least, have a plant on your desk.
You need the earth, please save it.

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May 1, 2016 At 2:58 pm

And I also think ensuring your vehicle pass the emission test also plays a vital role in the release of Carbon into the atmosphere… In my opinion this aspect has really been taken for granted by the average citizen, but then it is quite a simple one and will go a long way…

    May 3, 2016 At 2:58 pm

    I will really like this to be passed into law in will be uneasy at first, but we will get used to it

May 1, 2016 At 2:58 pm

Very educating, I think this message needs to be passed to as many people as possible. I’m making a pledge to plant a tree and I encourage people to do so.

    May 3, 2016 At 2:58 pm

    Thank you Tee.
    You can also support tree planting project or gift plants to friends.

May 3, 2016 At 2:58 pm

However, getting involved with the carbon offset number 1 and 3 wouldn’t work for a lot of people. Planting all the way for me.
You could also make a post on certified and verified carbon offset projects.

    May 3, 2016 At 2:58 pm

    Thank you Henry.
    This will be done shortly. I will ensure I Include local projects you can participate in.

May 3, 2016 At 2:58 pm

Nice idea…
Maybe planting a tree or having one at my desk will work.

    May 3, 2016 At 2:58 pm

    Definitely an option. You should part of the #plantperdesk project.

May 8, 2016 At 2:58 pm

Interesting and enlightening post! Lets do this!

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