City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

ADVICE: Green my ride

I had an interesting question posed to me this week from Joel in Florida.

I drive a normal car. I wish I could afford a cool green car like the Prius etc but I just can't. Everytime I drive my car I know I am harming the environment. But what can I do? Help me Oh Green One! You are my only hope!

Well it's funny you should ask my Floridian friend.

Published in todays Independent newspaper I found an article titled ' Drive with a clean conscience'.

The article is all about how:

It is possible to drive with a clean conscience - but only if you act now

Well that certainly got the City Hippy's I hope it has yours. Is there some magical way to drive our cars AND save the world? Surely not.

Well as far as this article is concerned there is a way...TA DAH! and it is nothing new to be honest. It is all about making your car carbon neutral.

Simply put, as long as you offset the CO2 cost of your car, ie the amount of CO2 you are pumping into the atmosphere, then you can drive with a cleaner conscience.

And how does one offset the CO2 cost of my car I hear you cry? Well...I kid you just need to plant trees! And you do not even have to get mud on your clothes doing can do it all with the click of your mouse!

You can use the Future Forest Travel Carbon Calculator to figure out how much CO2 your travel produces. Then you can simply plant the recommended amount of trees to offset your carbon contribution.

For me it only works out to be the equivalent of 4 trees a year for my car and train travel. And at only £10 (approx US$15) a tree it is hardly a fortune to put my mind at ease. £40 (approx US$60) to feel better about driving...where do I sign up?

Visit the Future Forest Travel Carbon Calculator or the CO2 Balance Carbon Calculator or even the Climate Care Carbon Calculators. Each one calculates a different way and some came out with larger may be worth doing all three and then planting the average...or you can err on the side of caution and even plant more than you need.

I even recommend planting the trees via a Charity (none of the above three are charities I believe) which is even better. In the UK you can use the Woodland Trust and if you are in the US you can use American Forests.


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At 10:49 PM, Anonymous chris@organicmatter said...

One word: TerraPass.

At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm tired of people judging my choices without having a clue about my life. We can't all buy electric cars yet, we can't all walk to work, we can't all choose to give up our jobs because they involve too much air travel. I say bring on the carbon offsets. It's better than nothing.


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