A number of the exhibitors at CES this year in Vegas are showcasing their environmentally friendly products, and CES is doing the same with its Green Guide online. It also partnered with the Carbon Fund so attendees like myself can figure out how much of a carbon footprint they're making and then make a donation to offset it.
What surprised me is how cheap it is. For my roundtrip from JFK to Vegas, it's about 4,500 miles and .8 tons of carbon dioxide, coming in at under $4.50. If I include "radiative forcing" (please don't ask me to define this stuff; I'm learning with everyone else), it jumps to just over $12.
Three thoughts on this:
- Even without understanding what exactly I'm doing when I offset my footprint, it feels like a good thing to do, so I went ahead and did it. Maybe I'm a sucker for some left-wing eco-maniacal conspiracy, or maybe I'm just doing my part. Spending a few bucks to plant a tree doesn't sound so crazy though.
- While the tool's great for calculating your footprint, there's a complete disconnect between the tool and the donation. It's a more laborious process than it needs to be.
- If airlines offered the option to do this when buying tickets online, I probably would. If I'm paying $300 for a roundtrip flight, why not pay another $5 or $10 to make me feel like a responsible citizen of the world? And as a bonus, it's a tax write-off. This is a great opportunity for an airline to take the lead on this. Who's going to?