Let’s just get to the point. The pandemic has a done a lot to us. I know. But I am writing this post for one reason only, so let me just get to it.
I drove a lot these last few months. I normally walk or take the bus, but with “no where to go”, well, I found a lot of places to go. I did “field trips” with my kids to explore new campgrounds, novel parks and playgrounds, unseen conservation areas, and visited friends or family that I have not seen in months, or years! Seemed like the time to seize the moment. Unfortunately, we used the car for it all.
Yes, of course we were safe. We always stayed outside. Sat way more than 6.5′ apart. We washed hands, sanitized, brought our own snacks, etc. But we drove a lot; more than I am ever used to. And that got me feeling a little rotten inside. All the carbon emissions.
So I assume, like me, you also carpe diem’ed this thing and took advantage of getting kids and loved ones out of the house, visited relatives in natural, outdoor environments where it was safer and everyone could make way for plenty of space.
So I have decided to offset the carbon emission that my car put out from the last 7 months of driving.
Here’s what you need to do to counteract the car’s pollution:
- Find out how much you put out in the atmosphere:
- I have donated to Gold Standard (American, but highest rating) and Less (Canadian) in the past. I like what they are doing and they came well vetted by David Suzuki Foundation. They both have a very simple way to figure out how much you’re spewing. In general, Canadians dish out about 2 tonnes per month.
- The Nature Conservancy is one of the best regarded environmental not-for-profits, ever. They have a way of calculating your carbon emissions too. Check out their calculator.
- Learn more from my favourite blogger, Going Zero Waste with her post on where to buy carbon offsets and why you should.
- Then it’s a matter of donating:
- Some not-for-profit organizations are better than others. Ideally, you want to support an organization truly offsetting and offering packages, similarly to Gold Standard, but another way to go about it is by supporting groups planting trees that will be protected and will be untouched to allow for forest maturity. Macleans released the best in class when it comes to charities for 2020, and there are environmental ones there. Amongst the top were:
In general, any funds donated to the right not-for-profits organizations, that are making real change happen, are worth their weight in gold. Here is another list of some bad ass people doing kick ass things!
In practice, I do always make a donation at the holidays. And I will again. With COVID-19, things are tighter than ever, but for me, what’s more important? A super cool present under the tree, something “extra” right now, or the real emergency need to help get our planet back in gear? When I was reading “The Orange Shirt Story” to my kid this past September 30, I was hit hard with Phyllis Webstad’s sentiment about not having a lot, but more than others. COVID is hitting my family hard, but not as hard as others. Obviously not hard enough that I had to rethink taking those car rides. So I can afford a few bucks to clean up the mess I made.
We may not have a lot, but we have more than others.
And what’s easier than clicking a few links to donate some money? It’s easy to do, easy on your budget (make a donation for the holidays in your family’s name and forgo the presents), and it’s easy on the planet. In fact, she needs it!