As they confirm, being carbon neutral is super cheap ($6/laptop, a dime/gallon of gas). It’s so cheap, that I see it as the 2nd easiest way to be more environmentally & energy conscious. The first – buying all your energy through your energy company’s renewable energy program (like WindSource from Xcel Energy).
I buy both. I don’t buy Joel Makower‘s argument:
100% offset whether a luxury auto, a Tennessee mansion, a Dodge Neon, a Prius, or your daily bus commute is better than any of those without the offset. Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Being carbon-neutral is better than not.
So what if the biggest violators continually and repeatedly buy the most offsets. Isn’t that the point of offsets? If everything we used was completely carbon neutral from the start, we wouldn’t need offsets. But they’re not.
Sure, dramatically changing to a lower-impact lifestyle is even better. Quantifying and understanding your carbon footprint is a good, easy, approachable starting point.
After offsets, next step is better understanding the biggest violators in your lifestyle; your car, your appliances, using the Kill-a-Watt to find the others.
Then, reduce where you can, offset the rest.