How much carbon does a typical person use?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person creates 48,488 pounds of carbon every year. That’s equivalent to removing 110 trees or adding four more cars to the road every year.
How can we reduce our carbon footprint?
There are several lifestyle choices that we can make to reduce our carbon footprint. Choosing green energy sources, such as wind and solar, buying energy efficient appliances, carpooling and recycling are all steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint. Although we cannot directly eliminate all carbon emissions from our daily activities, we can offset them! Carbon offsets are measurable and tangible benefits granted to environmental projects that help mitigate the carbon emissions and support a sustainable environment.
What are carbon offsets – How do they work?
A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide made in order to offset an emission made elsewhere. Carbon offsets are typically measured in tons and are achieved through funding projects that offset carbon emissions. Projects have a broad range; from forestry projects in South America to large wind turbine projects in the United States.
Purchasing carbon offsets means you are contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions that would not have happened without the financial support of the carbon offset market This concept is known as “additionality”.
For example, gas capture projects at landfills not only prevent the release of methane gas into the atmosphere, but they also use the captured methane to generate electricity that would otherwise be generated by burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. Gas capture projects can be expensive. In order to finance the construction and operation of the project, the developer can sell the emission reductions in the form of carbon offsets.
Carbon dioxide emissions come from burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. Carbon dioxide is thought to be the largest man made contributor to greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses are thought by some scientists to contribute to the “greenhouse effect,” which refers to the slow, persistent warming of the planet. Such warming has the potential to negatively affect the earth’s atmosphere. Large amounts of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere because of our reliance on modern day conveniences and daily life activities such as: driving, air travel, electricity production and consumption, and the purchase of heavily packaged food products2. The amount of carbon emissions we create is also sometimes referred to as our “carbon footprint”.
The Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER)
The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State will expand and deepen the Partnership on Womens’ Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER). The program aims to empower women as entrepreneurs for technologies in clean energy at the grassroots level in poor and rural communities of East Africa, Nigeria, and India.
Working at the grassroots level in East Africa, Nigeria, and India, wPOWER promotes entrepreneurship of small-scale clean technologies such as solar products and clean cookstoves to drive green growth and directly integrate women into the energy access value chain. This NOFO will focus on expanding activities under these wPOWER program goals by empowering and supporting women clean energy entrepreneurs, conducting research to advance women clean energy entrepreneurship, addressing financial barriers, and growing the wPOWER Partnership.
The program is open to nonprofit NGOs and educational institutions in the U.S. and internationally, and to public international organizations. Funding Opportunity OES-OCC-16-005. The application deadline is 10 June 2016.