One of the March issue’s feature articles focused on running an environmentally friendly massage practice. “How Green is Your Massage Practice? How Sowing Small Seeds of Change Now Will Lead to a Healthier Environment” mentioned carbon offsetting as one means of making up for the carbon dioxide emissions your travel and consumption create.

The reason I bring this up is according to a brand-new report, Americans contribute, per capita, more than twice as much greenhouse gas to the atmosphere as those living in the rest of the world. “Even the people with the lowest usage of energy are still producing, on average, more than double the global per-capita average,” stated a release from the Michigan Institute of Technology that I received today. And those emissions rise steeply from that minimum as people’s income increases.

“In general, spending money on travel or on goods that have substantial energy costs in their manufacture and delivery adds to a person’s carbon footprint, while expenditures on locally based labor-intensive services-whether it’s going to a therapist, taking an art class, or getting a massage-leads to a smaller footprint,” said David Chandler, in MIT’s News Office. “But the biggest factors in most people’s lives were the well-known obvious energy users: housing, transportation and food.”

Carbon dioxide is produced as a byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels. Carbon offsetting means making up for your carbon dioxide emissions by contributing to organizations that run renewable-energy, energy-efficiency and reforestation projects for just that purpose. The Web site I just visited to offset my car is www.carbonfund.org, which I chose because it’s a nonprofit.

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