(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the activities that puts a great deal of carbon dioxide into the environment is air travel. Air travel is one of the ways that individuals contribute to an increase in pollution and to global climate change. Some believe that purchasing carbon offsets can help decrease their impact on the planet by contributing money to projects that reduce carbon dioxide, thereby offseting their own activities. In an effort to make this process easier for those traveling by airplane, the San Francisco airport now has kiosks at which travelers can buy offsets before they board.
The program is being sponsored by the City of San Francisco. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom writes on CleanTechnica.com about this program:
A portion of the offset sales will also go to the San Francisco Carbon Fund, helping to develop local San Francisco carbon reduction projects. The first project supported by the fund is Dogpatch Biofuels, San Francisco's only publicly-owned biodiesel filling station. It is estimated the Dogpatch project will reduce as much as 660,000 pounds of CO2 in its first year of operation. Offsets will also help to pay for the planting of urban trees in San Francisco.
Newsom writes that the offsets are sourced right now from the Garcia River Forest, a forest management project based on conservation. The offsets are also third-party verified using the Climate Action Reserve's protocol. This process ensures that the offsets are coming from a project that is reducing carbon dioxide.
It's an fascinating concept, providing easy access to carbon offsets for those who are concerned about pollution and global climate change. It will be interesting to follow the development of this program, and to see whether or not this effort works in San Francisco. If it does, it could be that similar programs could be introduced by other U.S. cities.
© 2009 PhysOrg.com
Explore further: MEPs back plans to slash use of plastic shopping bags