Every year, I head online to buy carbon offsets. Three times, actually – for Flisrand Consulting, for my 4-unit apartment building, and for my personal consumption. (For more background on my motivation, see my Greenwash Brigade post from two years ago.)
I’m a demanding customer, and I want to know I’m getting what I am paying for. (An unanswered question is whether my carbon offset purchase is a charitable donation or a consumer purchase. The IRS says it’s charitable, I perceive it as a consumer purchase.)
If there’s anything in the world that’s abstract and impossible for a consumer to personally evaluate, it’s the quality of a carbon offset. How am I to know whether someone is really NOT producing a pound of carbon because I paid them not to???
Because there’s no other way for me to know, I demand my carbon offsets be verified by a third-party (scroll down to the bottom to see the verifiers). The last few years, I’ve chosen Native Energy. I love their projects, they do the verification right, and they make it easy to do business right.