Environmental Awareness and Responsibility

Another of my passions in life (and I only recently discovered the true nature of the passion) is saving the planet. Early last year I had some time to really think about where my life was going, and what I was truly passionate about in life. The thought process was centered more around how much I hated my job, and what new career path I wanted to forge. I discovered that my true passions lie in conservation, recycling and understanding how I impact the world around me.

One day I started going through the kitchen garbage–it sounds kind of crazy right now, but I was sort of in that frame of mind at the time. I discovered that about two-thirds of the garbage in my trash can was recyclable. I was absolutely SHOCKED!! From there, I threw myself into sorting and recycling, and pretty much imposed that on my family.

Unfortunately, I lived in a high-rise condominium complex at the time with no recycling program in place. And despite all that Rocky Anderson has done for Salt Lake City in terms of becoming more environmentally conscious, the recycling program for those without curbside pickup kind of….well, sucks. Basically, in order to recycle my trash, I had to pack it into my car and drive about five miles to the nearest dumpster. Even then, that was only a glass dumpster. I had to then drive to another dumpster for the rest. (I’m excited about our move to New York City where we’ll actually have curbside pickup!)

So, in order to recycle to help save the planet, I was contributing to global warming in the process. Fortunately, while booking tickets for our Africa vacation on Expedia, I discovered TerraPass. I was a little skeptical at first, thinking that maybe Expedia was just trying to get me to spend more money with them. After a little research, though, I found that this was a really great thing for people like me who care about how their actions affect the environment and the world.

TerraPass--offset carbon emissions for home, driving and flights, and help save the planet!

Basically, it works sort of like paying for your carbon emissions. However, “when you buy a TerraPass, your money funds renewable energy projects such as wind farms. These projects result in verified reductions in greenhouse gas pollution. And these reductions counterbalance your own emissions.” (from TerraPass’s website).

I could swear they used to be a non-profit organization, and that any TerraPass purchases were tax deductible, but it looks like they aren’t now. Their site says that “ultimately we decided that timely access to capital was a critical factor. By creating a for-profit structure, we have been able to attract financing in very short order to fund critical marketing programs and spread the word.” While I am a little disappointed that I can’t deduct my carbon offsets for a round-trip flight to Africa, I do understand that money is an important factor in our economy. It’s a small price to pay for such a huge issue facing the world right now….especially since our government doesn’t seem interested in doing their part.

So check out TerraPass! It’s a great deal, and a happy-fuzzy moment. Great luggage tags too!

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