Downward view of grass and sand creating the image of a globe and the text "co2"

With increased environmental consciousness and rising concerns about the state of the climate crisis, more and more individuals are keen to counterbalance or offset their carbon footprint.

Carbon emissions offset providers let individuals and families contribute to impactful environmental projects to compensate for their domestic emissions. 

Several organizations offer carbon offsets. There are nonprofit organizations and companies that have profits to take care of, and there are startups as well as organizations that have been operating in this space for more than a decade.

There are numerous excellent partners offering a convenient subscription plan, third-party verification, and a wide range of projects suitable for every situation. 

Best Home Carbon Emissions Offset Partners

Our list of the top home carbon emission offset partners includes:

  • TerraPass
  • Sterling Planet
  • Myclimate
  • Carbon Fund
  • COTAP
  • WGL Energy
  • ClearSky
  • Treepoints
  • GOZAround

These providers differ in the nature of projects they promote and their payment plans. However, you should also consider other factors like how impactful the projects are before choosing a partner.

This article will explain the vital aspects to consider when choosing a carbon offset partner and rank the top three providers for each factor. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Carbon Credits Partner

The essential variables to consider when selecting a carbon offset partner are:

  • How the features of their programs differ. 
  • If they support numerous kinds of environmental projects with varied benefits to different people.
  • Their projects adhere to several different standards. 
  • They have multiple subscription plans. 

It can be challenging to decide which one to partner with. Below is a list of factors you need to consider before choosing a carbon emission offset partner for your home:

  • Are their projects third-party verified and validated?
  • Do they offer a variety of projects?
  • Do their projects go beyond carbon offsetting?
  • Do they educate their partners, clients, and members on reducing their carbon footprint?
  • Do they offer pocket-friendly subscription plans?

Read on for more detail about these parameters and how some select carbon credits companies perform on these counts. Finally, we’ll rank the top performers for each feature so you can choose one that suits your situation. 

Third-Party-Verified and Validated Projects

You want to be sure that your money is used for legitimate purposes. 

The projects your money funds must also be guaranteed to contribute to long-term significant carbon dioxide reduction in the atmosphere, which must be measurable. 

The “Gold Standard” and “Verified Carbon Standard” (VCS) are two globally-recognized standards for verifying and certifying carbon emissions offset projects. In addition, various independent bodies also monitor and verify the amount of emission reduction achieved by the projects. 

Closeup of a hand stamping a piece of paper, indicating it is 'CO2 neutral', a measure of effective carbon emissions offset

When you choose a third-party-verified and certified carbon emissions offset project, you can be sure that it provides “additionality.” The condition of “additionality” means that the project has only been made possible through carbon funding. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise or as the result of a “business as usual” scenario. 

When choosing a carbon emissions offset partner, look for organizations that offer verified and certified projects. 

Here is our ranking of the best carbon offset partners for third-party-verified and certified projects:

  • TerraPass – TerraPass runs projects all over the US, and all are verified and certified by the Gold Standard, VCS, Climate Action Reserve (CAR), or American Carbon Registry.
  • Sterling Planet – recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sterling Planet assures that its emission reduction projects are approved by VCS or CAR. Their products are high-quality, real, additional, and permanent.
  • WGL Energy – WGL Energy lets its customers counterbalance or offset their natural gas usage through its CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets initiative that offers projects endorsed by the VCS, CAR, and CSA International. 

Project Variety

Carbon offset products that promote only one project have a limited reach and minimal impact on long-term carbon emissions offset goals.

For instance, some carbon offset organizations promote only tree planting projects. However, it is challenging to prove the sustainability of these projects because it is difficult to establish the permanence of saplings. Tree planting projects also do not contribute anything to reduce our immediate reliance on fossil fuels. 

You should choose an organization that promotes a multitude of projects. This maximizes the environmental impact of your offsets. 

Here are the best carbon emissions offset organizations for the variety of projects they promote, including:

  • Myclimate – Myclimate promotes high-quality projects that cover solar and wind energy generation, hydro-power, land use and forestry, water purification and conservation, waste management, biogas generation, and distribution of fuel-efficient cooking stoves in underprivileged communities. 
  • TerraPass – TerraPass supports projects as diverse as wind farms, landfill gas capture, tree planting and forest management, and farm waste management to generate fuel and heat. 
  • GOZAround – GOZAround channels your money to certified offsets of UN-backed projects, such as those that cover wind-power generation and distribution of efficient cooking stoves. GOZAround also uses your contributions to fund tree-planting projects by Tree Canada.

Impact Beyond Carbon Offsetting

Some projects have far-reaching benefits that go beyond carbon offsetting. For instance, if carried out appropriately, forestry management can promote biodiversity.

Some initiatives provide benefits to under-privileged communities besides benefiting the environment. 

When choosing a carbon offset partner, look for organizations promoting projects that also create an impact by:

  • Generating sustainable employment opportunities
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Protecting land and water resources
  • Improving the quality of the soil
  • Reducing waste 
  • Recycling plastic
  • Mitigating the effects of natural disasters
  • Improving healthcare services
  • Improving access to education facilities 
  • Building economically resilient communities 

Below are the best carbon emissions offset partners for impact beyond carbon offsetting:

  • COTAP – COTAP’s small-scale afforestation, reforestation, and agroforestry projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions, capture carbon, decrease deforestation, and alleviate global poverty. This results by directly generating significant and lasting wage-earning opportunities for farmers in communities where the daily wage is less than $2.  
  • GOZAround – GOZAround’s cookstove project helps people in less-developed African regions replace their traditional wood fires with fuel-efficient and low-smoke cooking stoves. This project decreases the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, prevents deforestation, and improves the population’s health by reducing the incidence of respiratory diseases. 
  • TerraPass – The Scenic View Dairy Methane Reduction Project reduces methane emissions and landfill waste and generates electricity and heat for farms and communities with the biogas control and combustion system that converts manure and cattle bedding into fuel.

Continuing Client Education

Knowledge is power. With the climate crisis steadily approaching a tipping point, sharing knowledge is critical to educate more people on the problem and empower them to make positive changes. 

Carbon credits organizations should promote information on their websites that lets visitors and customers know how they can play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

A graphic of hands in the sky spreading a wad of cash with a wind power turbine and fossil fuel factory below, indicating carbon credit savings

Spreading awareness is vital because any impact from a carbon offset project takes time to manifest. People need to realize that counterbalancing or offsetting carbon emissions has fewer immediate short-term effects on reducing greenhouse gas emissions than cycling to the workplace instead of taking the car or composting kitchen waste.

Here are the best carbon emissions offset organizations for continuing client education:

  • ClearSky Climate Solutions – ClearSky works with clients to provide comprehensive carbon footprint assessments and suggests customized solutions to reduce emissions. The ClearSky team undertakes site visits and conducts training programs, webinars, and workshops to educate its clients.
  • Myclimate – Myclimate raises awareness about climate issues with educational projects and online courses. It runs projects and online courses for audiences ranging from school kids to college grads and teachers. The mission is to raise a generation of climate-aware and responsible kids who commit to protecting the planet and its natural resources. 
  • TerraPass – The TerraPass website is easy to navigate. It offers a wealth of information for readers on what climate change is and how they can make small changes in their daily lives to make a lasting environmental impact.

Pocket-friendly Subscription Plans 

All carbon offset emissions organizations let you calculate your carbon footprint using standardized calculators on their websites. 

These calculators allow you to estimate your emissions for almost every kind of household activity you can conceive of.

For instance, you can calculate the carbon footprint of your house, the water you use every day in your home, and the gifts you buy for your loved ones. 

Graphic of a 'carbon footprint', and important metric used to track carbon emissions offset

You can choose a subscription plan based on your carbon footprint.

Choose a carbon offset partner that offers sustainable subscription plans. Your contributions should create an impact without hurting your wallet. 

The best subscription plans offer options like:

  • Choosing frequency of payment.
  • Offsetting for a multitude of daily household activities.
  • Offsetting for multi-family households or multiple family members.
  • Contributing small amounts of money if you have a small carbon footprint.
  • Customizing plans according to your needs.

Below are the best carbon emissions offset companies for pocket-friendly subscription plans: 

  • TerraPass – TerraPass has pre-packaged payment plans and monthly subscription services that let you offset a small amount every month. In addition, you can subscribe in increments of 1,000 lbs, making this payment plan highly pocket-friendly to small and large households. 
  • Carbon Fund – Carbon Fund lets you contribute as an individual, couple, or family. You can contribute monthly, quarterly, or annually or make a lifetime contribution. The multitude of payment plans makes it cost-efficient for you to buy carbon credits to offset emissions by your entire family. 
  • Treepoints – the startup Treepoints has monthly subscription plans for individuals who want to start paying in small amounts. These subscription plans let you contribute to high-impact environmental protection projects without taxing your wallet.

Some carbon offset providers offer customized payment plans to suit your budget and the specific activities you want to offset.

Best Overall Carbon Emissions Offset Partner TerraPass

TerraPass is our pick for the best overall carbon offset partner for your home because of the following advantages.

Variety of High-Impact and Verified Projects

TerraPass promotes many environmental projects that maximize the impact of your contributions. Its projects include:

  • Landfill gas capture
  • Wind power
  • Methane capture from abandoned coal mines
  • Organic waste management
  • Farm power generation from manure
  • Water restoration

Many of these projects have an impact beyond carbon offsetting. 

For instance, the organic waste management project keeps methane from escaping into the atmosphere when organic waste breaks down and reduces the amount of waste in landfills.

All projects promoted by TerraPass adhere to strict global assessment standards and are independently verified. So, the projects are:

  • Real
  • Additional
  • Permanent
  • Measurable 

Proven Track Record

TerraPass was launched in 2004. Within the first year of operation, it had reduced 36 million pounds of carbon dioxide. Since then, the organization has supported thousands of individuals and households as they took responsibility for their carbon footprint. 

The projects promoted by TerraPass have cumulatively contributed to removing billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Convenient Payment Options

The convenient subscription plans of TerraPass enable individuals with varying monetary means to contribute meaningful amounts to impactful environmental projects.

Its convenient payment plans encourage and empower people to take a stand against the climate crisis and be agents of change.

Ability To Make the Maximum Impact

TerraPass is a not-for-profit organization. 

Nonprofits are mission-driven organizations. When you choose TerraPass, you can be sure of supporting holistic and sustainable environmental initiatives that will have a far-reaching impact.

Key Takeaways

Choosing a carbon offset partner for your home also depends on the nature of the projects that are close to your heart. For instance, you might want an organization that works to uplift communities in less-developed world regions as your carbon offset partner.

TerraPass, in our opinion, is the best overall partner for your home. 

However, you can choose Myclimate for the diverse projects it promotes or COTAP if you want to contribute to alleviating global poverty.

Finally, choose Sterling Planet to skip the research but fund real, verified, and impactful projects. 

Sources

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