Watching television, boiling the kettle, building a house or flying on holiday. All of these activities emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.
An individual's personal emissions are measured by what are called primary and secondary carbon footprints. A primary footprint is a measure of an individual’s direct greenhouse gas emissions, typically through the use of devices or forms of transport which use electricity or fossil-based fuels. A secondary footprint is the measure of indirect emissions in the manufacture or transport of goods we consume. This might be the fuel needed to transport apples from New Zealand to the supermarket or the electricity used in the production of your laptop computer.
Carbon offsetting is a way for individuals or organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and compensate for the negative impact which their daily activities have on the environment. Having calculated your carbon footprint, or the footprint of a particular activity, you can purchase an equivalent number of carbon credits, meaning that your C02 emissions are negated by an equivalent amount of carbon sequestration.
Trees are natural carbon sequestrators, since the process of photosynthesis removes C02 from the atmosphere and releases oxygen. They can thereby store huge amounts of harmful C02 gases for generations, from their roots to their leaves. Acacia mangium trees are especially effective sequestrators as they grow fast and are the subject of extensive research. Pachamama’s offsetting schemes will be verified against a recognized standard such as the international Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) or the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and the CCBA.