What are Carbon Offsets?

This past weekend I took a flight from Sydney to Melbourne and back. Both times, I purchased carbon offsets when I booked my tickets. Now, I know by purchasing a carbon offset I was helping the environment, but what is a carbon offset and how does it work?

According to Carbonfund.org a carbon offset is a reduction of emissions which is made to compensate for an emission that has been made or cannot be reduced. For instance, flying by plane adds to the emissions that are released into the atmosphere from the pollution this activity causes.

However, by purchasing a carbon offset, your donation is taken and used to fund a third party which neutralises the emissions that were created. This fund could be a renewable energy company or an organisation that plants trees, just to name a couple.

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