The Creation Care team is working on a number of initiatives. One opportunity available to all is REC's Carbon Offset program.
Why a Carbon Offset Program at REC?
God loves the earth, as is demonstrated in God’s creation of it, in God’s continuing sustenance and renewal of it, in the biblical assurance that creation will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God, and in the biblical affirmation that God is creating a new heaven and a new earth. If God loves and cares for the earth, so must we.
Having our own carbon offset program enables us to work together to mitigate the effects of carbon emissions and climate change. We can direct funds to an agency of our choosing. For the last four years, we have sent funds to the Climate Fund at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to help smallholder farmers in developing countries adapt to changes in climate, but in 2019 we began sending funds also for A Rocha International’s sand filter program in Uganda, which makes it unnecessary to boil water to make it potable.
When we pay carbon offsets for the energy we consume, we acknowledge
- the heavy carbon footprint left by our overconsumption,
- the harm caused both to the earth and to it inhabitants by many practices of resource exploitation,
- that the prices we pay for energy and particularly for fossil fuels do not provide sufficiently:
- for restoration of earth locations harmed by resource extraction, transportation, or refining,
- for balancing the potentially harmful gases poured into the air through consumption of fossil fuels or the creation of other energy sources,
- for the costs many people are paying, especially in third world contexts, because of global warming.
How REC’s Carbon Offset Program Works:
- Begin with mindfulness about your energy usage and consider ways of reducing your usage.
- For the energy you consume, use a carbon calculator (see below) to work out an offset value.
- Mail a cheque for that amount, or make an e-transfer to REC. Write “carbon offset" into the memo line.
- Remember that this is not a donation to REC! However, it will be included in your end-of-year receipt, and you will be able to claim it against your taxes.
Calculating your Carbon Offset Value
Here are a few examples you could use in calculating carbon offset values:
- Flights (round trip):
Winnipeg to Toronto $17/person
Winnipeg to Puerto Vallarta $74/person
Winnipeg to Frankfurt $68/person
- Driving (mid-size car):
20,000 kms per year: $120
Calgary, round trip (2,700 kms) $16
Toronto, round trip (4,000 kms) $20
Fargo, round trip (740 kms) $4.40
- Home Heating:
This will vary a lot, but for a well-insulated, detached home with 3 bedrooms a rough estimate would be $100/year.
- Entire Household:
Example: A home between 1000 and 1500 square feet, two adults, two children, one vacation per year (Mexico, Florida, Hawaii): $445
Or use a calculator at an online site such as Offsetters: www.offsetters.ca/education/calculators/flight-emissions-calculator