Let’s start with the bad news. Even though we at Flying Saucer are trying our hardest to reduce our environmental impact, we can’t avoid harming the environment at all, at least for the near future. Too much of daily life and business damages the environment in some way. We’re working to minimize environmental harm, but getting to zero may never happen.
The good news? We can take positive actions for the environment, and hope that it cancels out the negative actions we’re forced to take.
Yes, we’re talking about carbon offsetting.
If you haven’t heard of it before, carbon offsetting is when a company determines how much carbon they are using, and invests in environmental initiatives (like reforesting) that remove that amount of carbon from the atmosphere. The end result is carbon neutrality: the company gives back as much as they take.
There’s been controversy about carbon offsetting lately. Big companies like airlines and oil drillers are using carbon offsets in bad faith. They invest in greenwashed or even shady carbon offset organizations that don’t do much for the environment at all. Then, they use the fact that they’re paying for offsets to keep polluting with abandon, all while calling themselves carbon neutral.
Obviously, that’s not what we’re about at Flying Saucer. We want to first minimize environmental harm, and then invest in truly impactful environmental initiatives to offset the carbon we still have to use. It’s a small step towards being greener.
And despite some misuse, carbon offsetting is still an important part of the global effort to minimize climate change. It is also becoming more feasible and easier to regulate as technology improves. For example, some organizations are using high resolution satellite imagery to confirm whether a tree has been cut down. Trees are the focus of most carbon offsetting programs, because human made machines that take carbon out of the air are still too expensive to be practical. Trees are the go-to, all-natural machine.
Meet Our New Partner
To start carbon offsetting at Flying Saucer, we first looked at several carbon offset organizations to find the right partner. We found a lot of interesting ones, and Nul quickly rose to the top of our list. We loved that they were responsive, 100% remote like us, and passionate about their work.
(We’re not saying that Nul is the only good choice, or even the best choice for any other company. And we’re definitely not being paid to promote them or anything icky like that. They’re just the organization that we liked the most.)
Nul supports a bunch of projects that reforest or prevent deforestation all over the world. In Zambia, they’re supporting the restoration of the Luangwa Community Forests, which links two of Zambia’s most important biodiversity areas. In India, they’re protecting and restoring 27,000 hectares of cloud forest, sacred groves, and watersheds. And in Vanuatu, Nul is supporting the Serakar Clan of indigenous ni-Vanuatu landowners in their work to protect coastal rainforests, which is especially important to prevent erosion during tropical storms.
We’re happy to partner with Nul to offset our carbon use, though we also know that it’s just a first teensy step towards the change we really want to make. There will be a lot bigger, more disruptive stuff coming up in 2023 to make Flying Saucer a truly green agency!