One Dime Closer To Carbon Neutral

Every gallon of gas equals 20 pounds of carbon dioxide and there’s a 12 gallon tank in the Neon and a 14 gallon tank in the Cruiser. So, every time we fill up, we’re responsible for another 240 or 280 lbs of CO2 in the atmosphere. (The Neon’s 10 years old this year…Ouch.)

On the plus side, I just got confirmation that 18,000 lbs of my family’s CO2 (69 fill-ups) will be neutralized thanks to TerraPass. Less than $100 covered our guestimated annual driving in 2 fairly efficient cars. (We’re also 100% WindSource in our home’s electricity.)

According to TerraPass’ “Around Towner” and “Cross Towner” pricing structures, neutralization is $.10 / gallon.

One dime per gallon.

So much carbon offset for so little.

Two questions:

  1. Have you purchased a TerraPass yet?
  2. Why isn’t carbon neutralization built-in to the Gas Tax?

The swag TerraPass sent did feel a little too much like I gave money to Public Radio. Are ‘thank you gifts’ the most effective use of the money I sent?

Speaking of GreenDimes.


“I’m wondering why they’re not also asking me if I want to buy a carbon offset [at the pump] and neutralize my gas consumption?” – J Wynia

2010 Sept 09

Prices for the carbon credits … have crashed to around 10 cents a tonne from all-time highs of over $7 in 2008, and trading volumes have largely dried up.

4 thoughts on “One Dime Closer To Carbon Neutral

  1. I thought you might be interested in this new report that is available online

    The Carbon Neutral Myth – Offset Indulgences for your Climate Sins is available online at:

    “Carbon offsets are the modern day indulgences, sold to an increasingly carbon conscious public to absolve their climate sins. Scratch the surface, however, and a disturbing picture emerges, where creative accountancy and elaborate shell games cover up the impossibility of verifying genuine climate change benefits, and where communities in the South often have little choice as offset projects are inflicted on them.

    This report argues that offsets place disproportionate emphasis on individual lifestyles and carbon footprints, distracting attention from the wider, systemic changes and collective political action that needs to be taken to tackle climate change. Promoting more effective and empowering approaches involves moving away from the marketing gimmicks, celebrity endorsements, technological quick fixes, and the North/South exploitation that the carbon offsets industry embodies.”

  2. Yes, I agree that larger systematic changes are necessary and that attempting to balance your SUV driving with an offset is silly, purchasing carbon credits is one tool that individuals do have and can act upon.

    Seems to me, worse case is that TerraPass (and other carbon credit vendors) actually have an impact on lifestyle, and become that initial step individuals take to minimize their carbon footprint.

    Like buying renewable energy from your electric company.

  3. Hi, thanks for posting our link and for letting people know about GreenDimes! GreenDimes is happy to help folks reduce their junk mail by getting them off direct mail lists and unsolicited offers, and opting them out of the catalogs they no longer want (while keeping the catalogs they do want!). AND GreenDimes plants a tree for every member every month.

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