May 9th, 2006

Becoming carbon-neutral.

I'm planning to see the new Al Gore movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," when it comes out. Reading about it led me to, which led me to, a company that sells renewable energy credits.

I'd heard about Green Tags before, but it was only this time that it occurred to me that we might, as a house, buy renewable energy credits to offset the carbon emissions for all the energy we use in our co-op. They look pretty affordable, and the idea of making the entire house carbon-neutral is really exciting!

So in our house meeting on Sunday, i proposed a new bylaw that we'll be carbon-neutral with respect to our electricity and natural gas usage by buying enough credits to offset what we use. Over the last 12 months, Kingman used about 6000 therms of natural gas and 77000 kilowatt-hours of electricity (which is not bad for 50 people). According to Native Energy's carbon calculator, this corresponds to 65 tons of carbon emissions, which we can offset for $65 a month. (This would be with their WindBuilders program, which uses the money to build new wind turbines in South Dakota.)

Does anyone have any opinions about Native Energy or other places to buy renewable energy credits? There are quite a few companies out there selling them. Native Energy seems reputable because of their association with the movie and their certification by the Climate Neutral Network, but we're still open to other choices.

On Sunday we voted to put the new bylaw on a paper ballot. There was almost unanimous support, so i think there's a good chance the bylaw will pass. Wouldn't it be awesome if, one-day, the entire USCA adopted carbon-neutrality?

Also, i've just been elected president of my house for the fall. (This was no big deal, as there was no one else running.) It means i won't be the network manager any more, though.