- Are energy-efficient light bulbs better for the environment?
- Are washable nappies better for the environment?
- Can I advertise with Friends of the Earth?
- Can I do up my house in an environmentally responsible way?
- I want to install a wind turbine or a solar panel. Can I get a grant for this?
- How can I avoid products containing palm oil?
- How can I be green at Christmas?
- How can I be sure that I am buying fair trade produce?
- How can I find out about local air pollution?
- How can I order from Friends of the Earth shop?
- How can I stop plans to cut down a local tree?
- How can I support local farmers?
- How can I use supermarkets less?
- How much does Natural Collection give to Friends of the Earth?
- Is buying up rainforest a good way to protect it?
- Is it better to buy organic or locally produced food?
- Is it better to buy recycled or virgin paper?
- Should I switch to a green electricity tariff?
- What can I do about over-packaging in supermarkets?
- What do you think about bonfires and fireworks?
- What does the Government say about offsetting?
- What is a walking bus?
- Where can I buy Friends of the Earth products?
- Where can I buy recycled goods?
- Where can I find environmentally friendly products?
- Which is better for the environment - milk in a bottle or carton?
- Which is better, petrol or diesel?
- Why doesn't Friends of the Earth recommend carbon offsetting?
- How can I campaign on local transport issues?
- Can timber companies prove that they source good wood?
- Does carbon offsetting work?
- How can I install renewable energy such as solar panels?
- How can I check when my Natural Collection gift catalogue order will arrive?
- Where can I buy eco-friendly products?
- Can I download Friends of the Earth web pages to my Kindle?
Why doesn't Friends of the Earth recommend carbon offsetting?
If you're flying, driving or generating CO2 emissions you can now pay into a carbon offsetting scheme. These schemes claim to reduce or avoid the release of CO2 somewhere else.
Why isn't it a good thing?
- No 'magic bullet' - we can't buy our way out of climate change.
- Smoke-screen - it could ward off legislation and delay vital action. It can also encourage polluting activites.
- Inequality and fraud - offset projects can be imposed on poorer nations. The credibility of many offset schemes is uncertain.
We need to reduce emissions substantially and fast. And help poorer countries develop low carbon technologies. If we delay action it will be harder to cut emissions later.
What should we do instead?
Reduce your emissions as much as possible - our Living site offers some top tips.
Offsetting schemes do have a small role to play but should be a last resort. If you do offset choose a Gold Standard project (PDF - 72K).