Contributed by Lainie and David Shorthouse, Canberra, Australia Yearly Meeting
As we become more aware of climate change, many Friends want to take action to offset the carbon pollution related to their use of energy when travelling by car or air. We are familiar with the three-point plan for what we consume in our living: reduce, re-use, recycle. Well, there is a similar three-point plan to consider for energy use: avoid, reduce, offset.
About 10 years ago, we discovered a simple way to offset the carbon pollution from our family car. It is through a charitable trust called Greenfleet, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to connecting people with real climate action. Greenfleet offers an easy-to-access method to capture carbon from the atmosphere by paying for safe, long-term native reforestation projects, thus compensating for the emissions created by your own activities.
Greenfleet’s native forests not only capture carbon pollution from the atmosphere, they provide vital habitat for native wildlife, conserve biodiversity and generate resilience to climate change in the landscape – all worthwhile outcomes.
Initially the Greenfleet website provided a ‘tick-a-box’ process for a small, medium or large car, petrol or diesel. More recently this facility has been extended to include a household’s energy use (scaled according to the number of people), as well as for domestic and international air travel. Taking the opportunity annually to think about the material and energy impact of our lifestyle (avoid and/or reduce), this offset payment then becomes a regular part of our household budget. Greenfleet can be accessed from https://greenfleet.com.au/Individuals/Offset-Emissions.
“When you offset your energy use, you are taking matters in your own hands and walking the talk with practical climate action” (Greenfleet).