Looking for a "carbon karma" guru? Didn't think so. But in case you were, you can always ask CBS's Hari Sreenivasan, who has anointed himself equal to the task. From an April 23 post to CBSNews.com's Couric & Co. blog:
The simple idea with carbon offsets is that you are trying to clean up the earth a bit for the damage you feel you might be doing – whether it be from the carbon emissions of driving your car, flying in a plane, leaving your plasma TV running all night or the mother of all barbeque pits smoking all day. Travel Web sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia – as well as several major airlines – offer the chance to pay an additional fee right when you book a ticket with them. Companies like DrivingGreen offer opportunities to cleanse your travels on the road.
But I have yet to find a BBQ carbon offset calculator. I'm sure one will pop up if there isn't one.
Is this essentially a form of pollution penance to re-center your carbon karma? Yes and no. You wouldn’t do it unless you were concerned. But depending on the vendor, the project, the verification model you choose your dollars could actually make a difference.
Appeasing the green gods can be so confusing, fortunately the Dallas-based reporter has advice for his eco-flock. Concluding his sermon, the CBS blogger closed with a benediction.
The moral of the story? Tread lightly, with your carbon footprint that is.