In my newsletter this month I sang the praises of Ed Begley Jr.’s book, Living Like Ed. But I confess I saved from his book this little golden nugget for a separate blog because it is just so cool it deserves to stand alone – the TerraPass. In a nutshell TerraPass allows us to fight climate change by reducing our carbon footprint, and it’s super easy and affordable.

First of all, I fly a lot. Not as much as let’s say…Gwyneth Paltrow, but more than the average bear. We all know flying emits a ton of pollutants, and unlike smog created at street level there are no trees up in the stratosphere to mitigate that gunk. But there is something we can do about it and that is where TerraPass comes in. TerraPass provides products designed to balance emissions from flying, driving and even home energy use.

Okay, but let’s be clear, TerraPass doesn’t directly negate the pollution created by a plane, or a car, or your home. But it does actually put green power back in the system by funding clean energy (wind and solar) and funding greenhouse emissions reduction projects.

Here is how it works, for example: I just flew to New York on business, so I went onto www.terrapass.com, to buy and “offset” for the emissions created by my round trip flight. Since the plane produced 1,925 pounds of carbon dioxide, I bought two offsets to compensate and that cost me a whopping $11.90! I spent that much getting crummy magazines at the airport. Pretty great huh?

Warning: The website is somewhat hard to figure out at first, (at least for me). Here is a quick primer:

1. Go to www.terrapass.com
2. You can click “buy offsets” which gives you package deals for a whole year.
3. Or you can click “calculate” which lets you calculate your carbon activity ( flying, driving, home, etc.) and then buy individual offsets.
4. Make sure after you enter your activity (if you are getting an individual offset) that you click the calculate button, before the “click to see results and buy offset” button, or you have to start all over (I did this many time…sad).
5. Even if you only buy two carbon “offsets” for $11.90 in a year it’s helping. It’s compensating for 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide. Which is about the equivalent of 102 gallons of gasoline, or 23 tree seedlings grown for 10 years! Pretty cool huh? You can feel good about cleaning up your carbon footprint.