We all have a role to play in the fight against climate change. The collection of our actions, no matter how small, can have a profound impact when combined with thousands of others wanting to make a difference. By being mindful of the choices we make and their consequence on the environment, we can not only reduce our own carbon footprint but also build demand and influence the creation for more climate-protecting policies, practices and products around the world.
What are Carbon Emissions?
The majority of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions arise from our everyday actions, the production, and the consumption of energy – whether that’s driving cars, manufacturing goods or simply boiling a kettle.
We’ve been reliably informed by Scientists that the Earth is slowly warming, mostly due to the carbon-based, "fossil" fuels we're burning in power plants and car engines. It has taken a few hundred years of industrial revolution to make the world what it is today and unfortunately it’s not as simple to move from being energy-hungry to being clean-and-green overnight.
Everyday actions such as driving a car, heating a home or taking a plane journey consume energy and produce carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. The main priority is to avoid and reduce these emissions, as much as possible.
To understand how your travel, energy use, diet and other lifestyle choices influence the climate, you can estimate your carbon footprint through the calculator offered by WWF.
What is Carbon Offsetting?
After defining ways that we can reduce our climate impact, offsetting is an effective way to reduce emissions globally and create sustainable development benefits for communities around the world.
Carbon offsetting is used to compensate for our emissions by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. The concept is based on calculating how much CO2 is emitted by a certain activity that we are doing, and then funding a project designed to reduce carbon emissions by the same amount elsewhere, such as renewable energy or forestry. More precisely, one carbon offset means compensating for emitting one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere by preventing a tonne of CO2 from entering the atmosphere elsewhere on Earth (for example, by investing in renewable energy) or by removing a tonne of CO2 that's already up there (by supporting something like tree planting—since trees pull CO2 from the air when they grow).
How can we contribute?
One method to "offset" our carbon impact is by making changes in other aspects of our lives. For example, suppose you had to take a long-haul flight on the opposite side of the world but felt guilty about the harm your flight would do. You could "offset" by telecommuting two days a week instead of driving to work, by improving the energy-efficiency of your home with low-energy lamps or better heat insulation, or by investing in solar panels. But keep this one point in mind: reducing the damage we're all doing right now, in the present, is the only real way to tackle climate change.
Many types of activities can generate carbon offsets. Renewable energy such as the wind farm example above, or installations of solar, small hydro, geothermal and biomass energy can all create carbon offsets by displacing fossil fuels. Other types of offsets methods include those resulting from energy-efficiency projects, methane capture from landfills or livestock, and carbon-sequestration projects (through reforestation, or agriculture) that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Offsetting is not a “cure” for climate change; the most effective way to combat climate change is to reduce emissions. However, if done in the right way, offsetting can reduce the impact of our actions and help raise awareness of the issue.
Our Whistlefish Tree Saplings
Planting is a great way to help sequester carbon emissions. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and wood.
Published in Science, "The global tree restoration potential” report found that there is enough suitable land to increase the world’s forest cover by one-third without affecting existing cities or agriculture. “Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today,” said Tom Crowther, a researcher at ETH Zürich, and senior author of the study.
Launching in March 2020, our brand-new exciting Tree Sapling Gifts from our Love Our Planet collection will provide you with the opportunity to work towards your own carbon offsetting goals or encourage others around you to do so. Our letterbox-friendly saplings will arrive safely contained in FSC, recycled and reused packaging. You’ll also receive an illustrated tree guide containing useful information about your tree of choice, how to plant it, and how much your sapling will contribute to your carbon offsetting aims. As advocates of promoting sustainability and carbon offsetting, we’re beyond excited to be introducing our Tree Saplings to our product range and becoming further invested in solidifying the positive future of the beautiful environment we utilise and enjoy daily.