Terrapass carbon offsets

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Hey this is actually a great idea. There are bumper stickers all over town saying, I’m carbon neutral. Basically you buy packages for things like wind farms to have a zero footprint for all your driving, flying and your home. A great idea from “Terrapass.com”:http://terrapass.com. It is way more efficient in truth to offset a Lincoln Navigator than to spend $35K to buy a new car although you are still burning oil, but at least you are helping the environment. As an example a 2007 Lincoln Aviator that gets 13 mpg in the city (ha!) uses 968 gallons per year, so for $80 a year, you can take out 20,000 pounds of carbon emissions to offset the 18,938 pounds you produce every year. “Business Week”:http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_38/b3951018.htm even covered the trend. BTW, if you have to be in a big car for safety, check out “Risk of Dying in One Car vs. Another”:http://www.hwysafety.org/news/2005/iihs_sr_031505.pdf for the real facts on how safe big cars can be.

The most depressing thing is that is also calculates how much you burn when you fly. If youa re doing say 150,000 miles per year like me, you are using 3,018 gallons of fuel and generating 59,041 pounds of CO2. Yikes. That costs about $215 a year to offset. So think about it…

Finally they calculate your home heating and energy bills based on your monthly utility bill. A typical home takes out 60,000 pounds of CO2 per year and costs $300 a year to take care of (I don’t know why the cost per pound is so different for these different programs by the way). It is 50% cheaper to do it via the Aviator program.

As a funny aside, the pricing of these offsets really is interesting, basically for a base 8000 pounds of CO2, you get 200 pound of reduction per dollar. If you have a big SUV, you actually get a price break and you get 250 pounds per dollars if you buy 20,000 pounds. is that intuitive? Finally, if you buy 40,000 pounds as a 100,000 mile airline traveler, you get 266 pounds per dollar, so it pays to buy in bulk 🙂 On the other hand, you don’t get a cool bumper sticker 🙂 just luggage tags for that $150 air traveler package.

As an aside, this site started in “2004”:http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/03/14/104615.php out of a University of Pennsylvania class where they started to market carbon credits. Amazing how inventive people can be!

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One Reply to “Terrapass carbon offsets”

  1. Rich,

    I’m really enjoying your latest series of product category posts.

    You triggered me to buy an edge card with one of your first posts along this line.

    Nice work. I’d expect that they are also very google friendly.

    Dave

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