QUESTIONS REGARDING THE ROLE OF INDIVIDUAL ACTION
Why is it important for individuals to eliminate their carbon footprint?
Every bit of reduction in carbon emissions right now diminishes the likelihood of the most severe climate change scenarios developing down the road. As the number of people erasing their footprint grows into a movement, the combined emission reductions could play a significant role in limiting global warming.
Further, many people simply want to do their part when it comes to climate change. They don’t want to be adding to the problem through their own consumption.
Shouldn’t climate change initiatives focus on the actions of governments and businesses?
Better government policies and business practices are absolutely necessary aspects of the response to climate change, and the potential scale of these initiatives is undeniable. Actions by individuals to reduce their carbon footprint are complementary to, and not a substitute for, these government and business reforms. Moreover, individuals who have eliminated their own carbon footprint become credible, effective advocates for such reforms.
CARBON OFFSET QUESTIONS
Do NetZero’s carbon offsets actually reduce carbon emissions?
NetZero only buys offsets from projects that have been approved by widely-respected accreditation mechanisms – such as those that meet the Verra standard (www.verra.org) or the Gold Standard (www.goldstandard.org). These mechanisms systematically review projects to ensure that they reduce carbon emissions by the amounts claimed.
What carbon offsets does NetZero currently buy?
As described here, NetZero’s current offsets come from a wind energy project In Oklahoma, a methane gas project In Illinois, and solar and wind energy projects In India. All meet the Verra standard.
What is NetZero’s carbon footprint calculator?
NetZero uses the carbon footprint calculator of the CoolClimate Network. It is a sophisticated software program that estimates your carbon emissions for the past 12 months based on your transportation patterns, home energy and water use, food consumption, and purchases of other goods and services.
I’m having trouble filling out the calculator, what should I do?
Don’t worry about getting everything exactly right. If you find it difficult to answer any questions, your best quick guesses are fine, and will generate a reasonable estimate of your carbon emissions.
Note that you can enter your own estimates directly into the calculator, but you can also use the default figures provided, or adjust the sliders. More calculator tips can be found here.
If you decide not to fill out the calculator, just offset your carbon emissions using the average carbon footprint estimate for your household, found here.
What do I learn by filling out the calculator?
The calculator not only estimates your total carbon footprint, it summarizes your carbon emissions by area of activity, and compares your footprint to other households.
The detailed breakout of your carbon footprint enables you to see which of your lifestyle practices cause the most carbon emissions. It thus helps you identify how different approaches — such as switching to an electric car, or buying green energy, or eating less meat — would reduce your footprint.
The calculator’s carbon footprint estimates adjust immediately based on any Information you enter; this means you can directly see how reducing the number of airline trips you take, for Instance, would reduce your carbon emissions.
Is “going NetZero” an annual process?
The carbon footprint estimates are for 12 months of emissions. The default funding option requires a one-time payment to fund offsets equivalent to that carbon footprint. Then a year from now, NetZero will contact you about continuing your commitment to carbon neutrality. At that point you could fill out the calculator again, reflecting any changes in your life that may have decreased, or increased, your carbon footprint.
You can also choose a recurring monthly payment option or a recurring annual payment option. You can then adjust your payment levels when the size of your carbon footprint changes.
Are contributions to NetZero tax deductible?
Yes. NetZero has been certified by the IRS as a 501c3 charitable organization.
Do you have another question?
Email us at email@example.com.