The hidden killer we don't hear about.
Until recently we at ZIA had been working on our own carbon calculator, but a long story short is that POW do it too – and they do it better! (Even if Tom @ ZIA spent ages learning to code…).
There’s no point in duplicating their amazing work so head over now to the POW carbon calculator. Below learn a little about carbon offsetting and our approach to it – using some lessons we’ve learned from working in the aviation industry too…
(Reduce your emissions as much as you possibly can… and offset what you can’t)
We all love travelling, yet the very action of taking a plane/train/car is nearly always harmful (except going for a walk!). Unfortunately of course, the biggest polluter by far is air travel. At ZIA we keep things pretty simple as far as our tips go:
There’s a lot of questions and concerns around offsetting, some of which are extremely valid – for starters it is not an appropriate corporate response to a corporate-created problem.. We’ve arranged the FAQ here to hopefully answer your questions as clearly as possible but if you have any more questions about ‘all things offset’ then don’t hesitate get in touch on our social media or contact us here.
By paying an amount of money to an organisation or charity who specialise in carbon projects you are supporting projects that aim to reduce the amount of CO2 created. They are scored on something called ‘additionality’, which is the amount of CO2 saved which would otherwise have been produced. Schemes vary greatly but having discussed at length the merits of different projects we believe our partners at POW have selected those with greatest benefit.
Typically these schemes cost between 5 and 15 US dollars per tonne of carbon offset. Different schemes and websites will quote different prices depending on the projects the money is directed towards.
It’s still a bit of a carbon credit minefield out there so be sure to check the credentials of the website you are using. Remember that if it’s the cheapest offsetting scheme you can find, there is probably a reason.
At ZIA we measure our carbon output from everything the company does and multiply by 2 when paying for the offset. The reason we do this is because we hope to become more than just carbon neutral. We want to help to reverse the problem rather than just maintain the status quo.
We would obviously recommend you to do the same as you embark on your offsetting journey, and you’ll hopefully find that it really isn’t as costly as you may have expected.
Yes of course! We do it too! The typical UK household emits around 7-8 tonnes of carbon per person per year so why not factor that cost in as well?
Remember this isn’t a guilt offsetting scheme (see next question), but while you’re searching carbon neutral travel why not cover your house as well – just increase the amount you donate.
We would also advocate switching to a renewable energy supplier.
There’s been a lot of criticism – some warranted – that carbon offsetting is just someone offsetting their guilt. Carbon offsetting is not OK if it’s not part of a wider set of measures that each of us are taking to reduce our footprint and try to minimise our environmental harm.
However, if you’re here and trying to do the best you can on all fronts then carbon offsetting is an extremely useful tool in your armoury when striving to help the planet. It’s not a perfect solution but it’s certainly better than doing nothing.
Furthermore, from a commercial viewpoint carbon offsetting or ‘carbon neutral growth’ is not something we should accept as consumers – the large corporations who are responsible for where the planet is now, cannot be trusted to find solutions to a problem they created.
Carbon offsetting is quite a complicated business but fortunately there are a number of independent bodies who check in great detail the validity of various organisations and their published results.
In the case of the schemes recommend by POW they are regularly audited and the ZIA team keep a really close eye on the independent data and research. Rest assured that if you carbon offset with the links on this page, or the ‘Book Flights‘ page, your money will be going to the right place.
No, especially at the corporate and structural level. See our page on social activism to learn more
The hidden killer we don't hear about.
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