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How Do Carbon Offsets Work

Carbon offsets are a great way to create a balance between the environmental damage you as an individual produce by using dirty energy sources (fossil fuels). Carbons off setters aim to help reduce these impacts by negating or diminishing the release of harmful energy elsewhere.

A carbon offset is an investment or a donation to an organization that’s objectives is to help the environment. These donations are usually preceded towards green building, reforestation and many other “green” activities listed below. So in the simplest of ways, this act aims to remove CO2 from the atmosphere as your investments compensate for another CO2 emitting activity.

How to measure carbon offsets: One carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases-

Now that you have an understanding of what carbon offsets are, let’s go on to talk about how carbon offsets actually work. A carbon offset is a mechanism which strives to remove CO2 from the air that otherwise would remain in the atmosphere. Let’s take a look at it this way: you and your family have a carbon footprint, say you take the maximum precautions to have the smallest possible carbon footprint. You may STILL be releasing harmful gases by driving to important places like work or school, these things cannot be avoided. This is why carbon offsets are used. They can help you reduce your carbon footprint even though you are producing harmful gases. For example, you can invest in a green building project to compensate for you driving a great distance to get to work every day.

Here is an example of a closer look at a offset vendor:
Wind energy companies often sell carbon offsets. The benefits wind energy provides can ultimately compensate for other harmful gases you may have produced. Wind energy produces new non-polluting energy which can be used to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Wind energy projects are economically viable and are a great way to balance off your carbon footprint.

The following is a list of some carbon offsets organizations provide, you can potentially invest in them.

  • Wind Power
  • Solar Power
  • Reforestation
  • Green Building
  • Farming
  • Methane Capture



It is important to understand which green organization you are investing your money in; the following are some questions potential buyers can as offset vendors:

Guidance questions

  • What is the specific project type(s) in your portfolio?
  • Where are the projects located?
  • Are your projects certified?
  • How do you ensure that what you do reduces greenhouse gases?
  • Are 100 percent of your offsets verified by third parties?
  • What is your organization doing to educate consumers about climate change and global warming?


Now that you have a clear understanding of what carbon offsets are you can explore your options and choose the best carbon offset vendor to invest your money in. Make sure you take your time and research the company thoroughly as you want to create the biggest impact you possibly can.

Author Bio:

GP Manalac is an eco- conscious entrepreneur working on bringing green and carbon solutions beyond the niche green audience.  He manages JustGreen, an innovative green lifestyle carbon company that so far has offset over 2 billion pounds of emissions through its various retail energy and carbon offset products.  His passion for reduction of carbon emissions arose from his career long involvement in the carbon intensive energy business.  He co-founded a retail energy company that sold green renewable energy to thousands of residential and business customers.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.


  • Well explained! We just would like to add that there are also carbon balancing projects that reduce carbon emissions through avoided deforestation.

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