Carbon offsetting is a way to reduce your carbon footprint, but it is not always reliable. There are many pros and cons of carbon offsetting, but is it really worth it? Carbon offsetting may seem like an easy way to save the Earth from the adverse effects of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but there are many drawbacks to it as well.
The main question here is, “Is carbon offsetting good or bad?” Well, the answer to this question varies for different people as everyone has a different perspective. Some people might be willing to look at the side effects of carbon offsetting, and some might be finding a way because they are too busy to reduce their carbon footprint.
Let’s get started and help you answer if carbon offsetting is good or bad!
Carbon Offsetting and Its Benefits
Before knowing the adverse effects (if any) of carbon offsetting, you must understand what actually carbon offsetting is and how you can be benefited by it. So, carbon offsetting is buying carbon credits and investing money in projects that work for the reduction and neutralization of carbon from the atmosphere. When you pay to purchase carbon offsets, you are paying to neutralize the amount of carbon that you have emitted. You have to learn how much carbon you emit before you can buy a carbon offset so that you can reduce the exact amount from the atmosphere. Now, let’s know some more about carbon offsetting!
Benefits of Carbon Offsetting
When you have emitted one tonne of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, you have to buy one carbon offset for it. As tonnes of carbon increases, the number of carbon offsets required increases as well. Therefore, it is necessary to measure the exact amount of carbon or else it would be of no use even if you spend money. Without further due, let’s dive into the benefits of carbon offsetting!
1- Carbon offsets are a guarantee that your work will be done. It is because if you do it by yourself, you might not be able to reach a specific goal. For example, you will have to do a lot of research before planting trees that are enough to absorb the amount of carbon that you have emitted. All these things require a lot of time. Therefore, busy people always find this option more accessible and convenient.
2- You can enjoy your daily routine and work the way you have always been doing when you buy carbon offsets. Because in other options, you will have to take a lot of measures to reduce your carbon footprint. You can easily neutralize carbon in the atmosphere by buying carbon offsets and continuing your daily life.
3- People whose business include emitting of carbon and they can’t do anything about it are benefitted by carbon offsetting. They can measure the tonnes of carbon they emit and buy carbon offsets to compensate for that. This way, they won’t have to stop their business, and they will also have the satisfaction of doing something for the Earth.
The Bad Side of Carbon Offsetting
There is always a bad side of shortcuts, and you can call carbon offsetting an alternative for doing your duty. You are basically giving your responsibility to someone else. There is definitely a bad side to carbon offsetting, and it would be unfair if you are not told about it. Now, let’s go back to the question, “Is carbon offsetting good or bad?” Below is mentioned the bad side of carbon offsetting!
Trees aren’t Always The Best Option
Most of the times when you pay for carbon offsetting, the work is done by planting more and more trees. Now, these trees might absorb the carbon from the atmosphere, but they also harm the environment in several ways. Firstly, planting trees isn’t an easy job, and usually, the projects need a lot of trees at once. Therefore, they use fertilizers and other such enhancers which pollute the environment. Such fertilizers are also harmful to animals, and when they are drained into water reservoirs, marine animals are affected as well.
It can be a Scam
Many countries already have a goal of reducing its carbon footprint. People in such a state can scam you into buying carbon offsets. In short, what if you are paying for something that already has to happen. If you are living in such a country that is already taking care of its carbon footprint, then buying carbon offsets is not a smart thing to do. It is because whether you pay for it or not, it won’t have any effect because the government is already working for it.
It can Interrupt in a Person’s Character Development
How can reducing your carbon footprint interrupt in a person’s character development? Well, it can in a way because as mentioned above, you are putting your duty in someone else’s hands. This way, you become dependent on someone else to do your task. You must reduce your carbon footprint. If you are a person who can’t reduce their carbon footprint because you don’t have enough time to take measures for it, then you can go for carbon offsets. But people who can reduce their carbon footprint but don’t because they are lazy shouldn’t do it. As a result, such people’s character development is interrupted.
Reaching Zero Carbon Footprint is Impossible
Carbon offsetting gives people a license to pollute the environment. If a person buys carbon offsets, they can pollute the environment without worrying about it. It is because they know that the amount of carbon they emit is being reduced by carbon offsetting. But if a country has a goal to reach zero carbon footprint, then it is impossible with carbon offsetting. It is because people will keep on producing carbon while buying carbon offsets. So, if you are looking to find ways to reach zero carbon footprint goal, then carbon offsets aren’t the best ways.
Having a bad side doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. Just as some carbon offsetting agencies aren’t reliable, there are many reliable ones too. Many people are using carbon offsets to reduce their carbon footprint and if you want to do it as well then you should. But you must know what you are getting yourself in to!