Did you know there is a certification behind the value of a vacation carbon offset?  Since 1997, Green-e has set the standard for renewable energy in the United States and Canada as well as the standard for certification (and decertification if not continually compliant) of travel and vacation carbon offset programs, clean energy programs, and individual consumer brands that want to attract environmentally conscious consumers. 

The Green-e Climate carbon offset program provides an endorsement to independent, third-party greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction projects that result in real, enforceable, and permanent reductions.  Green-e Climate also protects consumers by monitoring how carbon offsets are transacted and advertised in the retail market.

Presently, there are 4 endorsements provided by Green-e Climate:

The easiest carbon offset program to support, from a traveler standpoint, is the Gold Standard because it allows for you to direct your contribution to a specific project. 

Steps for Vacation Carbon Offset

  1. Calculate your estimated carbon emissions to determine the amount you will need to offset.  Note that you can either use the carbon calculator from Atmosfair or Carbon Footprint. Atmosfair tends to have a higher CO2 emissions amount because aircraft type is taken into account.  Also, you will need to convert the amount from kilograms to tons.
  2. Choose a project that you would like to benefit by selecting scope or region.  Another advantage of using The Gold Standard is that you learn about how the project applies to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  As of April 2018 there were six projects to choose from although new projects are added periodically.
  3. Add in the amount (in tons) of CO2 you want to offset and the US Dollar amount will be added to your cart.  Check out and you are done!  You’ll receive additional information as well about the project.

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(Green-e makes) it easy for businesses and individuals to purchase verified clean energy with confidence, and for consumers to choose sustainable products and services.

Green-e Governance Board