Back to The Power Lab

Can carbon offsets help fight climate change?

By Jeff Cocking

With the ice caps melting and natural storms becoming more dangerous and prevalent, we all know that climate change is getting worse. The leading cause of climate change increase is the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide can be good for the Earth because its natural function is to regulate the Earth’s temperature. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the increased use of fossil fuels has strained the Earth’s ability to self-regulate. With an excess of carbon dioxide that gets trapped in the atmosphere, the balance is broken, and the Earth is heating up too fast. However, we have found a way to slow it down through carbon offsets. Every person must take part in this slow-down effort. One way is to purchase carbon offsets which help fight climate change. Take the lead and start today.

Why do we need to fight climate change?

Climate change is a direct result of too many carbon dioxide emissions. Human activities like driving, burning gas for cooking, tilling the land, and using fossil fuels to heat and cool our homes release tons of carbon into the atmosphere every day. According to the EPA, humans release 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. This carbon dioxide creates a barrier around the Earth and traps heat from the sun within the atmosphere. This extra heat has disastrous consequences for the oceans, land, and humans.

Too much carbon dioxide will cause the ocean to continue to absorb heat, increasing the acidity of the ocean, which affects marine life by destroying the balance of the ecosystem. On the other hand, land will continue to absorb carbon dioxide, but if there is too much carbon dioxide and heat, this limits the amount of freshwater that plants use to grow. This will cause trees to dry out and increase wildfires, wiping out the plant life we need to absorb the carbon dioxide. Climate change has disastrous and deadly consequences for all life on Earth.

Calculate your footprint in seconds!

What are carbon offsets?

Carbon offsets are projects or organizations that reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For example, trees absorb carbon dioxide, so an organization that focuses on planting trees and restoring forests is creating carbon offsets. When you purchase a carbon offset, you are helping to fund these organizations or projects. Therefore, your investment helps reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Carbon offsets are a fantastic way for all of us to partake in the fight against climate change. Though we can reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, it’s currently impossible to fully cut all carbon dioxide emissions. Even if you ride your bike to work, it still took carbon dioxide emissions to create the bike, or if you purchase fruit that isn’t in season, it took fossil fuels to deliver that fruit to your city. We are all actively working to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, but for now, carbon offsets can work as a balance to offset the carbon dioxide we produce.

But what are the different carbon offset projects? You’ve heard of them, but let’s go into detail.

 Solar

Solar power is the ability to generate electricity from the heat and light from the sun. It is the cleanest and most abundant source of renewable energy available to humans. A 5-kilowatt solar panel system, which is the average size for a home in the United States, will produce roughly 150,000 kWh of electricity over its lifetime. That’s about 103 metric tons of CO2 that aren’t being released into the atmosphere. Power Wizard is an affiliate of the NextEra Energy organization, which is North America’s largest producer of solar (and wind) energy. Purchasing an offset with us is a guarantee that you’re helping create a cleaner future.

Hydro

Hydropower is one of the largest sources of renewable energy, using the natural flow of moving water (like a river) to generate electricity. Hydropower has been used for thousands of years, starting as early as 202 BC in the form of water wheels. You may recognize Hoover Dam as a world leader in emission-free hydropower and electricity generation in today’s modern age.

Another example, the Yunnan Sinanjiang Hydropower Project, provides emission-free electricity to the China Southern Power Grid (CSPG). This dam offsets roughly 696,000 tons of CO2 per year, which would have been generated by using fossil fuels.

Wind

Wind power is the ability to generate electricity from the movement of wind. Unlike solar energy, wind is available both day and night, making it a reliable and sustainable renewable energy. Wind power has been used since ships sailed across oceans for world exploration, and today, we have turbines to generate emission-free electricity.

For example, the Caribbean Island of Aruba built a wind farm with 10 turbines with a total capacity of 30 Megawatts. These turbines save more than 152,000 tons of CO2 annually.

Are they effective?

As you can see from the examples above, carbon offsets are effective in reducing carbon already within our atmosphere and carbon emissions. Of course, this is only the first step in the fight against climate change, and we must actively continue to move away from fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions to see a truly sustainable future.

How to purchase carbon offsets to fight climate change

Everyone can partake in carbon offsets. In fact, it would slow climate change significantly if we all offset our own carbon. First, calculate your carbon footprint. (This is the amount of carbon you emit from daily activities because we all emit carbon in some way.) Then, purchase the number of offsets that would cancel out your carbon. Though you won’t be physically reducing your carbon by purchasing offsets, you are supporting an organization that is working to reduce the carbon within our atmosphere, which means you’re taking the lead in the fight against climate change.

“Purchasing a carbon offset” is you making an investment in an organization to help them continue producing carbon offsets because it costs money to create solar panels, dams, and wind turbines.

Calculate your footprint in seconds!

You can purchase carbon offsets through us, Power Wizard. We are an affiliate of the NextEra Energy organization, which is the world’s largest producer of solar and wind energy. You can rest assured that your investment will go toward a sustainable and cleaner future.

Use our calculator to calculate your carbon footprint, then choose a carbon offset that you feel is most important to you. A revolution starts with one person, and that person can be you.

More From the Power Wizard Blog

  • Carbon Offset

    5 Reasons to Buy a Carbon Offset

    Are you looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint? Since you’re here, you’re probably worried about the environment and the effects of global warming. The good news is that you can reduce or offset your carbon footprint by buying carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are a short-term solution to reduce emissions without changing how […]

    View Article
  • Carbon Offset

    How to purchase carbon offsets

    If you read the news, you’re probably aware of the climate crisis. How rising greenhouse emissions are rapidly increasing the planet’s temperature and how we must act now to prevent catastrophe. The good news is that individual action can make a world of difference. Purchasing carbon offsets can help reduce emissions. It can be a […]

    View Article
  • Carbon Offset

    Types of Carbon Offsets and Their Benefits

    Climate-related legislations and policy changes are increasing around the world. As you think of greener and cleaner ways to live and avoid litigation, you may want to consider carbon offsets. But what are carbon offsets in the first place? These refer to eco-friendly or technological projects you can invest in to balance out your carbon […]

    View Article