Carbon offsets are informed by the concept that reducing greenhouse gas emissions in any area is worthwhile. They allow you to pay to reduce GHGs to make up for some or all of your own personal emissions. And because GHGs integrate easily into the atmosphere and spread quickly around the planet, paying to reduce carbon—even if it is on another continent— is a win for the planet. One of our favorite ways to lower global carbon emissions is by—you guessed it—planting trees. In fact, one mature tree can store up to 45 pounds of carbon annually (Kohl et al, 2017). However, that takes time, with an average of 15 years before a tree sequesters a significant amount of carbon. So while reforestation is our thing, we also recognize the vital importance of forest conservation—or, saving forests from being deforested in the first place. To this end, we also support the conservation of existing mature forests that includes verification of carbon sequestration and the measurement of other ecosystem benefits.
Below is the step-by-step process to offsetting your carbon emissions:
This carbon offset project is based in the Burnt Mountain region in Vermont, in partnership with Bluesource and The Nature Conservancy's Working Woodlands program.
Burnt Mountain Natural Area hosts important headwater streams that provide drinking water to approximately 250,000 people. The Calavale Brook restoration project is further improving water quality and instream habitat for native brook trout and a variety of other fish species.
The Burnt Mountain Project is the largest carbon offset project in the state of Vermont, and it is estimated that it will remove 236,772 tCO2e from the atmosphere in the first decade—the equivalent of taking 38,000 cars off the road. Revenue from the carbon will support additional forest conservation in Vermont.
Over twenty-five species of neo-tropical migratory songbirds breed in the Burnt Mountain forest, as does wildlife such as moose and black bear that are dependent on this intact forest to find food and mates. TNC management of this land under the “forever wild” easement will ensure that old growth once again
exists in northern Vermont.