Offsetting is a way of compensating for your carbon dioxide emissions - it doesn’t stop or reduce them, but it effectively reduces the impact somewhere else on your behalf.
You purchase carbon credits from a supplier, and in return they use your money for initiatives like planting trees, building solar infrastructure or supporting hydro-electricity projects. It’s how companies (and bands!) can claim to be carbon neutral or even carbon negative.
Start by measuring your carbon footprint.
There's plenty of options for measuring your footprint. Consider:
- Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Tools for a comprehensive analysis of large tours or events
- Green Your Noise carbon calculator (a project we've been helping develop!) for smaller gigs/artists
- For understanding just your individual footprint (or something similar like a small office space) we recommend Carbon Positive Australia, a non-profit with the first Australian-specific carbon calculator. Their calculator allows you to calculate and understand your footprint, and is full of fun facts to put your footprints (and Australia's!) into perspective.
Our top four recommendations for offsetting:
- The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation focuses on carbon farming projects in local communities with the aim of generating jobs, caring for the environment and strengthening Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships. They are focused on projects that are not only environmental but also social and cultural, connecting organisations seeking to offset their emissions with Aboriginal communities who supply carbon credits.
- FEAT., or Future Energy Artists, created by our friend Heidi Lenffer from Cloud Control, is an artist-led movement to reshape the environmental legacy of the music industry. An alternative to simple offsetting, FEAT.’s mission is to help you invest in solar to offset your touring emissions, while getting competitive returns on your investment.
- Greenfleet is a nonprofit planting native biodiverse forests across Australia to facilitate practical climate action.
- Carbon Neutral are the first Australian provider to be Gold Standard qualified and have planted over 22 million trees so far, with a focus on preserving and rehabilitating Australian forests and biodiversity corridors.
If you’d prefer something different, look for suppliers with the Gold Standard, developed by the WWF.
Can I just offset all of my emissions?
Carbon offsetting can be affordable and beneficial (a flight to LA is around $45 to offset, depending on the carbon offset project), however, it is only ever a partial solution. Offsetting projects can take years to take effect, and for some like tree growth, it can take up to 20 years to capture the amount of carbon dioxide promised, with planting vulnerable to natural disasters, disease and deforestation, and ultimately the carbon being released back into the atmosphere when the trees die. We also prefer to support Australia-based projects due to issues of climate colonisation, when overseas projects infringe on Indigenous lands (see this example in Kenya), leading to land dispossession and discrimination.
What other support can I get?
Are you going on tour or about to embark on something big and want our support? We can tailor a program to suit your needs and budget - get in touch with us at [email protected]!