You probably know that you should do what you can to reduce your carbon footprint – the greenhouse gas emissions produced by your lifestyle. After you've done that, you can negate what remains by supporting projects to reduce emissions elsewhere – that is, by purchasing "carbon offsets". This works because, from a global warming perspective, it doesn't matter where the carbon comes from.
Carbon offsets are a good idea, but it's hard to know whether a given project truly reduces carbon emissions. There are no unified standards. To help you make good choices, Environmental Defense Fund has just published CarbonOffsetList.org, a guide to high-quality offset projects for businesses and consumers. These are projects that we would turn to for our own offset needs. Check it out!
This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.