What's a carbon footprint? A carbon footprint is the amount of Carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution that a person or entity emits into the atmosphere, and is measured in units of weight and time. For example, the average person produces a carbon footprint of approximately 48,000 pounds of Carbon per year. However, different weight and time units can also be used to represent the same footprint, such as kilograms/week or tonnes/month.

What causes a carbon footprint? Although there are multiple factors which affect everyone’s carbon footprint, from diet to recycling habits, in most cases over 90% is directly caused by the energy we use to power our daily lives, and the transportation we use in commuting and travel. Two of the most common sources of carbon emission are electricity and gasoline, which the average person uses to power their home and transport vehicle. However, even a person who generates their energy from solar power and uses a bicycle to commute may still have a large carbon footprint due to their frequent airline travel. What’s your carbon footprint? Click HERE and start calculating!
What's a carbon offset? A carbon offset is a process which leads to the reduction of CO2 emissions in order to compensate for or “offset” emissions which have or will occur. Because carbon emissions have global effects, regardless of where in the world they were emitted, this allows for carbon offsets to take place literally anywhere in the world with equal effectiveness. Like your carbon footprint, carbon offsets are also represented in weight metrics, and must be equal to the weight of your carbon footprint in order for you or your activity to be considered carbon neutral. For example, if you had an annual carbon footprint of 12,000 pounds of CO2 and wanted to be carbon neutral, you could either offset 12,000 pounds on a yearly basis, or 1,000 pounds on a monthly basis. Makes sense right?
How is carbon offset? Generally speaking, carbon can be offset in two distinct ways; Either by sequestration or prevention:

Sequestration: A process in which carbon already in the atmosphere is captured or removed. The most common types of sequestration-based carbon offsets occur in the form of reforestation projects. Because trees capture CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow and release much needed oxygen, if managed properly, reforestation projects can have a very positive local and global impact. However, lengthy planning stages and the inability to guarantee whether or not the trees will survive long enough to sequester the amount of carbon they were intended for put serious limitations on reforestation-based carbon offsets. The other problem with carbon sequestration as a means of offsetting is that it does not address the root cause of the emissions, but merely attempts to “clean-up” emissions which have already occurred.

Prevention: A process aimed at preventing future emissions from ever occurring. Prevention-based carbon offsets usually come in the form of industrial-scale energy efficiency projects and large renewable energy installations like solar or wind farms. Apart from preventing emissions from occurring in the first-place, prevention-based offsets also have the advantage of creating and supporting higher paying green jobs. Thus leading to rising local income levels, economic activity, and even tax revenues needed to support public services. Prevention-based offsets also serve the purpose of phasing out highly polluting nuclear and coal based energy production by either using less of it, or replacing it altogether with 100% renewable sources.
How does TrajanPower offset carbon? At TrajanPower, we’re convinced that carbon emission prevention via renewable energy adoption is the key to achieving sustainability at both the environmental and economic level. Unlike many carbon offset services which are based on a mere promise of developing offsetting projects at a future date, TrajanPower offsets occur in Real-Time.

Instead of using proceeds to develop its own offset projects, for every 1,300 pounds of CO2 which has been contracted to be offset, TrajanPower will finance the production of 1 Megawatt Hour or green energy via the Renewable Energy Credit market. According to the US Department of Energy, on average 1,293 pounds of CO2 are emitted in order to produce 1 Megawatt hour of electricity. Therefore, for every Megawatt hour of carbon-neutral wind, solar, geothermal, or hydropower that TrajanPower finances, approximately 1,293 pounds of CO2 is prevented from ever entering the atmosphere.

Because Renewable Energy Credits represent actual, as opposed to promised renewable energy generation, TrajanPower users and clients can rest assured that their contributions are making a real difference.

Although the type of renewable energy production that we finances may vary between wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower depending on market conditions and availability, TrajanPower only procures Renewable Energy Credits which have been certified by Green-E.
Why should I offset my carbon footprint? Even though CO2 is a non-toxic gas, its effects on the planet’s atmosphere and ecosystems are significant. Planet Earth’s climate has been in constant transformation for billions of years, however the fossil-fuel based industrial revolutions of the past two centuries have caused climate change and global temperatures to accelerate at an unprecedented rate.

Climate change is also responsible for the increasing intensity of weather related natural disasters, causing untold amounts of wealth destruction and losses in productivity.

By offsetting your carbon footprint, you are making a commitment not only to address one of the most important issues of our time, but to play an active role in the transformation toward a sustainable, energy independent, and carbon-neutral economy. Renewable energy based carbon offsets can also have extremely impactful and long-lasting social and economic benefits including: Energy security, green-job creation, and increases in local and state tax revenues needed to support public programs such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects.

So what are you waiting for? Start calculating your carbon footprint and go carbon-neutral today!!!