When it comes to cleaning up our environment and slowing climate change, there are countless options that may come to mind. For many, environmental issues seem like they are too big for one person to tackle. Carbon neutrality offers individuals, companies, and organizations a way to take responsibility for our greenhouse gas emissions, but many don’t know what carbon neutrality is.
Carbon Neutral Indiana (CNI) is a nonprofit social enterprise that’s helping Indiana become carbon neutral as soon as possible. Founded in April of 2020, CNI analyzes the carbon footprints of households and businesses at no charge and connects them with verified projects that offset their footprints.
What is Carbon Neutrality?
Every individual and organization has a carbon footprint. This is the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) they release annually.
An individual’s carbon footprint is made up of a few categories:
- Household energy consumption (electricity, natural gas, propane, etc.)
- Air travel
- Vehicular travel
- Food consumption
- Miscellaneous spending
Carbon neutrality means being net-zero. You still emit some GHGs, but you invest in projects which soak up the exact amount you emit. For example, planting trees or capturing methane generated in landfills. Being carbon neutral means taking responsibility for our carbon footprints.
How Do I Become Carbon Neutral?
Not only can an individual become carbon neutral, but so can a household, a company, or a specific product that a company makes.
To become carbon neutral, you need to calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions or CO2e you are putting into the atmosphere. For an individual, this can be accomplished in a 15-minute phone call with a CNI team member. Then you neutralize these emissions by financially investing in projects that soak up the amount of GHGs being emitted. Although you may continue to produce these emissions, your investment in projects that offset your footprint ensures that you are not continuing to add carbon to the atmosphere. There are also changes that can be made to help reduce your emissions.
Why Go Carbon Neutral?
Going carbon neutral takes responsibility for personal emissions and takes leadership in the initiative that encourages others to do so as well. The world needs to be carbon neutral by 2050, but we don’t need to wait. Parts of the world can achieve it today; first, small parts like households and businesses. Then, larger, and larger parts like cities, states, and countries. This is how Carbon Neutral Indiana raises awareness of the global goal, shows it’s achievable and creates positive momentum.
Carbon Neutrality is a tangible option for those looking to make a positive change in the environment. Taking responsibility for your own carbon footprint not only does your part for the environment, but it also encourages those around you to become carbon neutral and can create a movement towards carbon neutrality.