Offset is a fresh new feature to Evocco that allows you to plant native, biodiverse woodland to make your shopping carbon neutral. We see it as an important step to help people reduce their climate impact no matter how easy or hard they find behaviour change. Everybody can be part of the solution. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes with Offset, so we’ve put together this quick guide explaining everything about carbon sequestration.
What is carbon offsetting?
Some things cause carbon emissions. Some things take them away.
We’re all familiar with the bad news that almost everything in our modern lives causes some degree of carbon emissions. We do our best to reduce these emissions by making more sustainable choices, but sometimes it’s simply unavoidable (*waves angry fist at The System*). The good news is that there are some things that actively remove those emissions from the atmosphere and lock them away. This process is known as carbon sequestration, and it has a major role to play in how we address climate breakdown. One of the best and most natural carbon sequestration technologies in existence today is the humble tree. Trees take in carbon dioxide and store it within their wood and the surrounding soil as they grow. Increasingly, research is pointing towards how we can and must restore natural ecosystems to remove more carbon emissions from the atmosphere and help us limit global temperature rise. Planting native, biodiverse woodlands is an example of how it can be done.
Carbon offsetting is when we use carbon sequestration to balance the emissions from different activities. You may have seen this offered by some airlines; pay a small amount extra and they’ll use that money to support carbon sequestration projects to remove the same amount of carbon emissions as associated with your seat on the plane.
Offsetting isn’t a license to keep everything the way it is, allowing you to simply “pay to pollute” but for emissions that are unavoidable, it’s an excellent way to still do your bit for climate action.
Why is Evocco now supporting carbon offsetting?
Behaviour change is hard. While it’s the most effective way to reduce our personal impact, some things are harder for us to change than others. Through testing and our own experience changing our diets, we’ve found that it can be demotivating to know that your favourite food is damaging the planet (who'd have thought?). Our users often come to us saying things like “I’ve made all the changes I feel I can make for now, is there no other way that I can improve my score?”. In this case, offsetting is a perfect fit. While we endeavour to never shy away from the truth, and it’s not a pass to eat guilt free steaks every day, offsetting is a way to make sure you still have a positive impact while you make change at a feasible pace for you.
The climate movement is about everybody coming together to build a sustainable future, so we strive to create solutions that mean anyone can have a positive impact.
How do we offset?
While you don’t have to be a treehugger to care about the environment, the Evocco team has more than a couple. We love trees, and plant one to celebrate each team member’s birthday. And we’re not stopping there.
The money that you pay will be used to offset your emissions through planting native Irish woodland with our forestry partners gocarbonneutral.ie. Ireland is Europe’s most deforested country, with less than 11% of our land under forest. Even worse, most of the forestry in Ireland is monoculture coniferous forests that are planted as cash crops to be harvested for timber. When these trees are clear cut, CO2 is released back into the atmosphere from the suddenly exposed soil below, limiting and in some cases completely negating any positive effect the trees once had. In short, it takes more than trees to make a forest, so we make sure that the trees we plant are biodiverse, native and are planted as continuous forest cover. We need the trees to stay in the ground for 100 years or more, not to be cut down in 20. We’re planting trees in Ireland to begin with, but in time will explore options to plant in the developing world for all of the strong social and environmental benefits that brings.