Monday, March 13, 2017

Carbon-emission premium offsets impact of driving

In the majority of instances, we travel on-foot, by bus or bicycle to get where we need to go — but from time to time, there are occasions when, yes, we decide we need a car.

When we rent a vehicle, my family chooses to pay a carbon-emission offset premium. It’s entirely voluntary but for us, it’s a moral imperative: that we acknowledge the impacts of our choices and attempt to mitigate them.

According to TerraPass, which partners with the Enterprise Foundation, the average carbon emission per person is 17.62 mT, “or the equivalent to keeping 3.7 passenger cars on the road for a year” (source: Union of Concerned Scientists).

Consumers’ carbon footprints come from a variety of factors: including driving cars, electricity and gas use in our homes, waste disposal and flying, with additional emissions generated from energy and materials used to produce products we buy.

The company foundation has pledged to match customer contributions for a total of $1 million. The money is used to fund certified offset projects that remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

To date, according to Enterprise Holdings’ “DrivingFutures” website, the program has generated more than half a million dollars toward its $1 million commitment.

“The overall impact: 120,700 metric tons of carbon have been offset — which based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards — is equivalent to saving 13.5 million gallons of gasoline and 280,700 barrels of oil.”

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