Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Carbon Offsets for Your Boat

I have put up a few posts on global warming and ocean acidification. I thought it would be interesting to figure out what damage our cruising has done and if possible put a figure on rectifying it.

The EPA claims that burning one gallon of diesel produces 22.2 pounds of carbon dioxide. On our boat, our Yanmar 56 horsepower engine burns between .75 and 1 gallon an hour depending our RPM. We have run the engine approximately 300 hours this year in the relatively calm waters of Southern California and Mexico. This means we have produced about 3.3 tons of CO2. This is slightly less than driving a car that gets 30 mpg 12000 miles a year.

Carbon offsets can be purchased many places these days. provides a matrix of offset vendors and costs. The price of an offset for a metric ton varies dramatically from about $2.75 to $33. I do not really understand the disparity. Are some vendors more efficient? Is there a big debate on the economic damages and costs? Your money is put to work in different ways by the vendors. Reforestation, methane, efficiency, renewables and various other projects are employed.

At TerraPass, offsets for our boat would cost about $21.90. TerraPass focuses on projects such as farm waste capture and conversion, methane capture from landfills and wind farms.

If you care about such things, it is fairly easy to balance your boat emissions. It, of course, would have been better to sail all the time, but Lin and Larry we are not.

Reduce your carbon footprint and fight global warming with carbon offsets from TerraPass

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