Terrapass

August 10, 2007

I’ve been looking into Terrapass. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Terrapass is a company that invests in clean energy projects like wind farms and so forth, while at the same time providing investors with the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions.

Here’s how it works: you go to their website and calculate your vehicle, home, or air flight annual carbon emissions rate. Then you can buy a terrapass based on your emissions that will support a clean-energy project sufficient to offset your emissions. The flight offsets were really good news, because I know someone who flies overseas about 40 times a year for business.

Now, I admit that when I first heard about this I had some misgivings. First of all, global warming seemed too big a problem to just throw money at without making other lifestyle changes. But the fact is, my significant other and I ARE making lifestyle changes. Still, it seemed like a too-easy way to assuage our guilt.

Second, it seemed like it could too easily be a scam. Here, just send us your money and stop feeling guilty!

But I checked them out — they’re independently audited, and they offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee. And for about $50 bucks, I can offset my car’s carbon emissions, and for about another $150, my home’s.

So here’s my thinking: we’re doing (or about to do) whatever we can that’s practical and affordable to reduce our emissions ourselves, and beyond that, investing in something like Terrapass to accomplish the rest seems like a good stopgap while we make other changes. (Need to remember to invest annually, though!!)

And I don’t see why we should stop with only our own mess, either. I’m a great believer in everyone doing what they can, even if they end up giving more than they actually owe — so I might just invest enough to clean up someone else’s car too, because taking as much action to reduce global warming as possible is in my best interest sooner rather than later. I see no reason to wait for some of the rest of the world to get with the program and hope that they’ll do it in time. (What was that thing Churchill said about entering a period of consequences?)

www.terrapass.com. Check it out.

PS — for those of you who use Splenda and are interested in reducing packaging as a way to cut your use of resources and your pollution-generation, Splenda is now available in tablet form — one little plastic (recyclable!) container about the size of a packet of Tic-Tacs. No longer necessary to use up all that paper in those individual packets!

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2 Responses to “Terrapass”

  1. Brutus Says:

    Always an interesting subject.

    We either earn or have a certain amount of money. We spend that money as we need or want. You have a car and a home. You are happy with that home, lets say. You could have bought less home or car, perhaps. Then you could invest more on clean energy. You would have less of a carbon footprint. You could cut your lifestyle down until most of your resourses are invested in clean energy.

    You could buy cheaper food, or grow your own, if you have the luxury of earth in which to do so. You could cut down your lifestyle and cut and cut. With creative thought you can always find ways to save more and invest it.

    At what point do you stop feeling “guilty” about what you have?

    If you lived on the street and pushed your few belongings around in a shopping cart, would you feel guilty for having the cart?

    You have a nice site, I’ve been here before. You should put your money where your heart is. I am just a little sad to hear you talking of “guilt”. You are investing in a company to minimize guilt laid on you by whom. A celebrity with wait-staff and more living space than most busineses need on their busiest day. Or was it some unaccomplished hippie wanabe that hasn’t done anything to improve any part of their world or yours, and frankly doesn’t want to.

    I believe in people doing what they believe in. Improving your world is a great thing to accomplish. Guilt is a poor reason though. You are not guilty. You are great. You can do great things and probably do. If you don’t, then do them. Don’t let other people make you feel guilty for being you.

    Good luck,

    Pat
    You may not like my website, but it can’t hurt to take a look. thankgodforglobalwarming.com
    Keep up the good work.


  2. […] 19th, 2007 My Terrapass entry got a lengthy and thoughtful comment yesterday (see it here) from someone who also runs a blog (the point of which seems to be exploring a healthy skepticism […]

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