By Abbey Greene
“Carbon offset fee”...for some reason that phrase was a mystery to me, and it still is to many others.
Don’t worry, I finally understand it and all it’s awesomeness. Let me explain it for you.
Everyone who is involved with, or has heard of climate change understands that greenhouse gas emissions are something to avoid. These gases lock the earth’s heat in, and too much of these gases in our atmosphere causes our planet’s surface temperature to rise higher than it should be. Being living organisms, humans give off CO2, one of the primary greenhouse gases. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s natural.
However, we rely too heavily on individual transportation, use too much electricity, build more buildings than we should, and chop down too many trees. We are increasing our output of carbon way beyond what it should be and causing the earth to warm up.
Courtesy: Ben & Jerry's
At Jackson Hole WILD, we decided to do something about it this year.
We are offering a carbon offset fee.
For the first time ever, the people coming to our festival can choose to pay a carbon offset fee of $25 dollars. This money will be put entirely towards counteracting all of the carbon it took to get them here. Carbon offset fees generally support different projects or organizations that work towards environmentally friendly goals. So by paying the fees, you’re helping offset the carbon output from events and in our own daily lives, rebalancing the atmosphere.
Our carbon offset fees will be put towards a really “claw-some” cause. (I had to say it, you’ll understand in a few seconds.)
By paying one of our carbon offset fees, that individual is buying one entire carbon credit through the organization Gold Standard. All Gold Standard projects must not only have a positive impact on the climate, but must also contribute to at least two additional UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This means the project must reduce greenhouse gases while at the same time lead to benefits such as new jobs, better health, improved gender equality and the protection of natural habitats and endangered species.
But wait, what’s a carbon credit?
1 carbon credit = 1 ton of CO2
That’s equal to:
And, what’s even better, is we’ve chosen to put these carbon credits of environmental goodness towards helping a great project, so “paw-lease,” just take a “meowment” here.
As all the astute minds out there may have guessed -- thanks to my bad puns -- we’ve chosen to support a Gold Standard certified project that helps cat populations in honor of our Cat Summit. The project we chose is called the Vichada Climate Reforestation Project in Colombia. The way the project is set up tries to bridge existing forest patches in order to create large areas of connected habitat for migratory species. It creates forest habitats in a region that has remaining jaguar and puma populations. (Even the elusive ocelot has been spotted there!)
Supporting Gold Standard will also mean that we are helping them reduce carbon emissions within agricultural supply chains, create best practice guidance for businesses among major corporations, and raising awareness of environmental issues around the world.
All by paying 25 bucks. I’d say it’s worth it.
And I’m not “kitten.”