Andrew Penny, May 30 2023

Guilt Free Travel

Learning to love Carbon Offsets

At last, in the Northern Hemisphere at least, summer is here😊 . It’s time to get outside, enjoy the sun on your face, swim in a lake and, for many, plan a vacation.  

But each year there seems to be an increasing amount of guilt associated with holiday travel. Taking a cruise, traveling by air, or firing up the family wagon are all activities that will spit a fair bit of carbon into the atmosphere.  

This hit home to me as I will be driving a 55-year-old convertible from Ottawa to Victoria BC, and back this summer – about 5,500 miles / 9,000 km. In doing so, I will be creating about 2 tons of CO2.  I am not too happy with that. So, what to do? 

There are many ways to voluntarily ‘offset’ the carbon you create. Maybe you update your heating system,  buy local produce, install solar panels, or plant trees. There are lots of ways to do this but be intentional and change what you have been doing to a lower carbon process.  

If you can’t think of anything practical, then consider simply sending a cheque to one of the many voluntary carbon offset services for individuals. These companies develop projects that reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Some invest with farmers to change practices. Others are involved in reforestation or buy forests to preserve them. You can find a pretty good list here

So, if you are going to travel this summer – think about what you can do to offset the carbon you create. My carbon offset plan? I’ll be planting ten trees which, over their lifetime, will absorb about 10 tonnes of CO2. 

Happy travels everyone! 


Written by

Andrew Penny


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