Making Carbon Offsets Actually Work. Affordably.

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village green energyCarbon offsets are a great idea, in theory. Buy a carbon offset, which goes to renewable energy or carbon absorbing projects, and increase the health of the planet, right?

Not so clear cut, unfortunately. The path from offset purchase to impact made has been muddied by lack of transparency on how much of your money paid goes to purchasing actual offsets versus to the company you bought them from, does it actually help further already happening projects, and might it actually be going towards an offset that’s already been purchased by someone else, or is expired?

It’s this smoke and mirrors that’s both made people distrustful of these schemes, and in the process missed out on more actual impact being made. Village Green, a company that previously had declined to start a carbon offset program for just these reasons, is now launching one of their own, tomorrow, with complete transparency and at a much more affordable price.

Based on the RGGI program that just launched a few weeks ago in 10 Northeastern states, it’s pretty simple: Power utility providers there will be required to have a permit for each ton of carbon they emit. The number of permits will be reduced annually.

With only so many to go around, they will have to find ways to reduce their emissions. Enter Village Green. You as an individual or business buy an offset, and that further reduces the number of permits available to companies in the RGGI states, so that even more emissions reductions have to happen.

To give you the power to know your offset is making a difference, and that it hasn’t been double sold, each will have it’s own serial number, verifiable via the RGGI site.

Village Green will be up front about their piece of this, taking a 10% margin. The end result? Offsets at $4/ton, versus what can be as much as $18/ton elsewhere. With concrete results generated.

If carbon offsets still don’t add up to you, Village Green also gives you the capability to buy renewable energy for yourself through the existing system, forcing utilities that are required to have x% of their energy sources be renewable to add more renewable energy to their portfolio to make up the difference you created. The animation on this page makes it clear just how this works.

So, knowing this, you now have two new ways to decrease pollution and increase renewable energy, no installation required!

Their offsets program starts tomorrow, 10/17/08.

Readers: What other innovative, affordable ways have you found for achieving this?

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Additional reading:

How To Use Offsets In Your MarketingEcopreneurist

Carbon Offsets: Creating Something Real From Hot Air Ecopreneurist

What The Recent Renewable Energy Legislation Means For Consumers And Entrepreneurs Ecopreneurist