When we were scoping out our Climate Impact tool, we wanted it to be a complete solution for vehicles, properties and any mode of travel.
So in addition to building the most accurate carbon footprint calculator possible, we decided to offer carbon offset.
We are currently only interested in supporting projects that actually remove greenhouse gases from the environment. These include
tree planting, kelp farming, and direct air capture.
(There are other projects that sell carbon credits for avoiding putting more CO2 in the air, such as replacing fossil fuels with
renewable sources. Avoidance projects are admirable, but not our focus.)
Tree planting is currently the only affordable option for most individuals and businesses. To offset one metric tonne of CO2,
the average cost is about 10 US Dollars. To give you a sense of scale, the carbon emissions of a flight from London to New York
are roughly 0.59 of a metric tonne.
Our current partner for tree planting is More:Trees; theirs are the projects
you’ll find available for purchase on our site.
We are very interested in seaweed farming, particularly kelp. Kelp not only removes CO2 from the air, it removes nitrogen that
gets into our water supply through farming and manufacturing processes. It can also be used in human or animal food, or made
into textiles, bio fuel, bio plastic and bio char, a replacement for nitrogen fertiliser. And of course, kelp doesn’t require
watering or fertilising.
The kelp farming projects we’re looking at supporting are Patch and
Green Ocean Farming. Their offset schemes aren’t currently available at
what we consider “retail” prices.
Direct air capture
Many direct air capture projects use technology that removes CO2 from the air and then pumps it underground, where it can no longer
affect the environment. The best known of these is Climeworks. Their cost for offsetting
one metric tonne of CO2 is roughly 100 times more expensive than tree planting.
Our assumption, and hope, is that as kelp farming and direct air capture become more mainstream, they will become more affordable. We’ll let you
know when they do.
John Scott is founder and CEO of Mia Bazo and our sister company Voyage Manager, with 24 years in software design and
development. He is a digital nomad and committed environmentalist.