Last Thursday was World Earth Day, and Joe Biden has been making a concerted effort to get the US back on track and in sync with other international leaders on meeting climate change goals crucial to the survival of the planet for future generations.
But it shouldn’t just be down to governments to act. If they are meant to do our bidding, we should be setting the example. It’s not just industry that causes climate change, we all do, every day, depending a multitude of choices we have made and continue to make as consumers.
I have been offsetting my carbon footprint, both my domestic use and business travel, for the past decade. Every few years I would review the options available and offset by making a financial contribution towards projects that have a positive impact on climate change.
Not all the schemes are about planting trees. There are many more ways to effect positive climate change and reduce carbon footprints, notably renewable energy projects, solar cooker distribution to reduce wood burning, energy efficient lighting, water well drilling and water purification, habitat protection, clean transport and more. The United Nations Sustainable Development goals website has more details here.
How I offset
I calculate my carbon footprint here.
Then I choose one of the many carbon offsetting programs around. The carbon footprint calculator site suggests some schemes that they have vetted, Investopedia recommends other schemes based on different criteria here.
Our 2021 choices
For 2021, I have chosen Sustainable Travel International and Ecologi to offset my personal carbon footprint, and that of my business travel, and the carbon footprints of Indigo Safaris’ staff. Sustainable Travel International’s goals and methods fit very well with my travel philosophy. Ecologi, whilst the website boils everything down to the number of trees planted, actually has a wide range of projects across different continents.
Our Safari Clients' Footprints
We are currently conducting research into how we can offset clients’ safari game drives and transfers, working out an average carbon footprint per day on safari, and will be doing this for all safaris in the near future.
We will also be encouraging clients to offset their flights, if they don’t already do so. Many airlines now offer this as part of the booking process, but it is also possible to do this and give your offset money to a project of your choice. You can work out individual flight footprints on the calculate I linked to above, and also on the Green Seat website, allowing you to compare the cost of the airline’s offsetting schemes with other options.
Photographer, conservationist, dive and field guide, teller of bad jokes.