After the first few months of the year, when being thankful is no longer tied to holidays and vacations, it can become difficult to keep up the atmosphere of thankfulness and positivity. It isn’t uncommon for us to soon forget to acknowledge the things we are thankful for; wither that be family, friends, and above all, our heath and happiness. A key factor in our health and happiness is a clean environment. But being thankful is something we can all continually be no matter the time or season.
Corporations and individuals can both use carbon offset projects and Renewable Energy Certifications (RECs) to work toward a better tomorrow. But what are carbon offsets and RECs, and why are we so grateful for them at Spring Power & Gas this holiday season? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Carbon Offsets and RECs?
RECs and carbon offsets are two tools in the environmental consciousness toolbox used to provide a greener tomorrow.
Carbon offsets are specific projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase the storage of carbon, and boost GHG removal from the air. To qualify, carbon offsets need to meet certain criteria to prove that the GHG improvements are the result of the organization’s dedicated efforts. Each carbon offset (measured in metric tons of CO2 or equivalents) is tested and measured to ensure its validity.
Examples of approved carbon offset projects include:
- Installing insulation in buildings to reduce energy loss
- Developing renewable energy farms (solar, wind, water)
- Installing manure digesters that reduce methane emissions and generate electricity
- Improving forest management techniques to maximize carbon storage
Renewable energy providers generate RECs, certificates that represent megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy. Corporations and individuals alike can purchase RECs to support renewable energy efforts, allowing them to “take credit” for electricity created by solar, wind, and water production.
A superb example of a REC-generating project is the New Jersey offshore wind project. The New Jersey Wind Port is part of a comprehensive state plan to convert all of its electricity to green energy.
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Is Carbon Offsetting Good or Bad?
How can reducing emissions and saving energy in the form of carbon offsets be bad, right? Well, the worry is that corporations may ignore their poor practices because they can “buy” carbon offsets in the form of RECs.
While that is a legitimate concern, if a company can create a clean water project for a village on the other side of the world or help dairy farmers in Wisconsin harness methane to create power, that offset is ultimately helping.
Quality corporations, Spring Power and Gas included, go beyond offset projects and conduct diligent analysis to ensure that their daily operations are sustainable and adhere to the goals of reducing emissions. It’s a delicate balance of doing what’s right at home and away.
The Benefits of Carbon Offsets: Why We Are Thankful
Ultimately, carbon offsetting aims to achieve a negative carbon impact, but even carbon-neutral goals can contribute to sweeping changes in the environment.
Successful carbon offset projects do not only aid the corporations or individuals who participate in them. We’re grateful for such projects because they produce economic, environmental, and social benefits such as:
- Cleaner air, water, and soil
- Employment and investment opportunities
- Habitat conservation
- Enhanced biodiversity
- Access to energy
- Improved health resources
- Heightened education services
Carbon Offsetting at Home
You may not be able to plant a whole forest or develop a massive wind farm on your own, but there are definitely things you can do to decrease your carbon footprint. You can lessen your energy consumption by:
- Biking or walking to work or school
- Reducing household energy loss by weatherizing your home
- Using more renewable energy sources like solar battery chargers and lamps
- Reducing your use of plastic and petrochemicals by:
- Switching to metal or bamboo straws
- Taking your own reusable containers for leftovers when going out to eat
- Shopping at bulk stores and using your own reusable containers
- Using stainless steel refillable water bottles (which keeps your beverages colder anyway!)
- Eating locally and seasonally to save on fuel use and emissions
Not only do these tips save the earth, but they also have the potential to help keep your energy bill down too.
Carbon Offsetting for a Better Tomorrow
At Spring Power & Gas, we are committed to ensuring that future generations have a lush and healthy environment. If you reside or run a business in Maryland, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, see how our energy plans can help you and the environment. Contact us today for service through Spring Power & Gas.