For some, offsetting your carbon footprint is the responsible thing to do to protect the environment. For others, it is a colossal waste of money and a scheme that is getting people rich.

What is carbon footprint

A carbon footprint can be offset by paying a carbon reduction group for the amount of energy a person uses. For example, if a person uses a certain amount of energy in his or her home, car and on flights above what is the recommended amount, he or she can pay money to a carbon reduction group per each credit above the amount to which they “should” adhere. Once this money has been paid, it is used on other projects that are designed to help reduce the overall carbon footprint on the earth.

There are different projects that this money can go toward. For instance, it may be spent in aid of wind turbine construction. Wind turbines are designed to create renewable energy in an effort to minimize the amount of energy use from non-renewable sources.

Solar power is another top alternative energy investment. Money may go toward building specific solar panel and collector projects. It also may go toward the improvement of such technology as solar cells. With better functioning elements, a solar home kit can become a better functioning system in its entirety.

In addition to funding renewable energy options, sometimes money will go toward reforestation projects which are designed to replant many trees in areas dealing with excessive loss of tree population. For example, rain forest locations may receive aid in this circumstance.

The money can also simply be used on projects that focus on the education of people about what a carbon footprint is.

There are several organizations that work with this business model. Most of the contributors to these carbon reduction funds are businesses – not individuals. Some businesses contribute because they want to be able to give back to the environment. Other businesses primarily contribute because of the pressure that they feel to “go green.” Organizations which have a large carbon footprint due to their own extensive burning of fossil fuels are being called on to participate in programs like this because it is what is thought of as the responsible thing to do.

However, the pressure is not as great for individuals to participate in these programs. Offsetting your carbon footprint may be important to some individuals, but there are very few who are willing to pay extra money for using something that they are not entirely sure is really damaging the environment.

Each of the organizations that broker carbon credits have a method for how these credits are offered. Many will offer some sort of an online calculator that allows a person to determine what his or her carbon footprint is. The calculator asks a person to fill in certain amounts relative to how much he or she drives a car, heats his or her home or rides on a plane. Once an individual has entered all of the information, the Web site calculator will let a person know what his or her carbon footprint is and what the accepted carbon footprint level should be.