Catholic Relief Services (CRS) promotes social justice around the world. One of their projects is CRS Fair Trade, which seeks fair wages for workers around the world. The “CRS Fair Trade network guarantees fair wages to disadvantaged artisans, farmers and workers.” Understandably, CRS Fair Trade sends a lot of mail to educate people, send catalogs, brochures, posters, etc. All that mail creates a large carbon footprint in transportation pollution.
From now on, all CRS Fair Trade will offset that carbon usage by supporting Carbon Fund‘s “renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation” projects.
Carbon offsetting is a nice way to reduce your impact on the planet. But of course, there are pros and cons. Cons – people have their guilt relieved and then don’t worry about their usage – they don’t reduce because they figure their offset will compensate for them. Pros – alternative energy has an investment base. Trees are planted, energy is researched, etc. It’s an investment that consumers could evaluate for themselves to determine if they can reduce their footprint by using less energy, or if they would like to partner with a carbon offset company like Carbon Fund.
CRS will continue to search for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. For now, partnering with Carbon Fund is a great way to turn their usage into energy investment and reforestation.