Carbon offsets are a novel concept wherein we try to take a wide range of actions to reduce emissions. This reduction is aimed at compensating for emissions happening in other areas. Carbon offsets are indicated by the number of metric tons of carbon dioxide that can be eliminated from the environment. Carbon dioxide is one of the most notable green houses gases largely responsible for global warming and is one of the major constituents of industrial emissions around the world. Carbon offsets involve individuals, companies or even governments trying to reduce their global footprint. As part of this initiative, carbon offsets can be purchased by the above entities. By purchasing carbon offsets, they are indirectly supporting or funding the processes already set up or that will be set up to reduce emissions.
Carbon offsets are of many different types. One of the more popular forms of carbon offsets is the planting of forests through afforestation and reforestation. It also includes avoiding deforestation or cutting down of tress for various reasons. Carbon offsets also include funding the mechanisms for harnessing renewable energy sources. Amongst the most popular energy sources that are green and clean include solar and wind power. Carbon offsets could include biomass and geothermal sources of energy too, reducing the burden on fossil fuels.
Carbon offsets could also represent mechanisms that lead to energy efficiency. A company can purchase carbon offsets to initiate projects that look to enhance energy usage in industries as well as commercial buildings. For example, architectural designs that could use solar energy to address lighting needs and unique construction to lower cooling costs during day and heating costs during night are great carbon offsets.
The proper use of land and elimination of industrial contaminants can also be a definition for carbon offsets. Methane is one of the more dangerous green houses gases and its reduction could be a major project funded by those purchasing carbon offsets. Capturing methane from landfills or planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide are popular ways of reducing greenhouse emissions. There are many other carbon offsets that can be purchased to target various greenhouse gases emitted by industrial processes.