Daily activities like driving, flying, and home energy use impact the environment by contributing greenhouse gases (GHGs) like carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This ‘carbon footprint’ can be reduced through carbon offsets. A carbon offset represents the reduction, removal, or avoidance of one metric ton of GHG emissions that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. Offsets get their name because they are used to balance, or “offset” GHG emissions that occur somewhere else. For example, a carbon offset that supports a reforestation project increases the number of trees that are naturally absorbing carbon dioxide.
In addition to reducing GHG emissions, offsets commonly produce other benefits like:
- Creating jobs
- Restoring forests
- Improving watersheds and water quality
- Protecting endangered species
Frequently Asked Questions about Carbon Offsets
Why buy carbon offsets?
While an individual’s first goal should be to reduce his or her personal carbon footprint as much as possible, it is often impossible to reduce it completely. Through the purchase of offsets, an individual can help reduce carbon emissions somewhere else, reducing his or her footprint in the process. Luckily, the atmosphere does not care where carbon dioxide is reduced – the overall reduction is all that matters.
How do I know that these offsets make a difference?
Offsets purchased through the Double Your Difference Program are sourced from three projects that result in real, quantifiable and permanent greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. In other words, the offsets represent actual reductions in emissions that have already occurred, are guaranteed, and have been verified by a third party with no financial interest in the project. In addition, the projects have passed numerous screens for quality, ensuring that the emission reductions are real and beneficial to the atmosphere. The emission reductions achieved by the offset projects are beyond “business-as-usual” (they wouldn’t have happened anyway), and they represent greater emissions reductions than regulations require.
Where do the offsets come from?
The offsets used for the Double Your Difference program are sourced from the Garcia River Conservation-Based Forest Management project, the Green Meadows Farm project, and the Denton Landfill Gas project, which are all registered with the Climate Action Reserve.
How much does it cost?
The carbon offsets sold through the Double Your Difference program cost $11 per metric ton. A $0.20 per transaction processing fee is included in the cost of each transaction. Through the Double Your Difference initiative, Entergy will purchase offsets to match new reduction pledges and each offset purchase up to 5 tons.
Are carbon offsets a substitute for conserving resources?
No, carbon offsets are not a substitute for conservation. Wise use of all resources, including energy, should be an important part of any environmental action plan.
Do I get a receipt for my purchase?
Yes. After you make a purchase, you will receive an email receipt confirming your purchase of offsets. Please note that this purchase is not tax deductible.
Where can I find more information about offsets?
More information about carbon offsets can be found at these resources: