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What are Carbon Zero or Carbon Neutral Products?

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What are Carbon Zero or Carbon Neutral Products? Photo © Serif
Question: What are Carbon Zero or Carbon Neutral Products?
What are carbon zero or carbon neutral products and how do they differ from green consumer goods?
Answer: Carbon zero and carbon neutral are both terms that mean carbon neutrality, which is the process of offsetting carbons and greenhouse gases used with carbon-reducing projects elsewhere, to render an overall zero or net carbon balance. Some companies have also adopted the terms as part of their registered names or programs.

CarbonZero® is a website that helps individuals and businesses reduce their environmental impact; and CarboNZero according to Wikipedia, is an internationally accredited greenhouse gas (GHG) certification program under ISO 14065. Both of course, are related to measuring, monitoring and finding solutions to reducing our environmental footprint.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation, the objective of going carbon neutral is to reduce greenhouse or carbon emissions in one area, to counter or offset the impact on climate change, for carbons used in another place. In other words, going carbon neutral involves purchasing carbon offsets that will be used to fund emission-reducing projects, the objective being to reduce the emissions used to produce a good or service, to a zero carbon balance. Of course, every effort should be made in the first place to avoid or reduce carbons in industry, then purchase carbon offsets for those unavoidable emissions.

Going carbon neutral involves measuring and monitoring the environmental cost of manufacturing and industry, to provide the figures required to purchase the appropriate amount of carbon offsets to render a carbon zero balance or impact. Goods produced with this concept are certified as carbon neutral. There are many companies that now offer this emissions management service.

Green products are consumer goods that are either earth-friendly, biodegradable or made with recycled materials. Most green products are not carbon neutral. However, manufacturers are striving to reduce the global impact of their processes and goods and many now purchase carbon offsets, to make their environmentally friendly products also carbon neutral.

Which is better, a green product or one that is carbon neutral? If one had to chose between a green product and a similar one that is carbon neutral, the carbon neutral would be the better environmentally-friendly choice. Unfortunately, variety and market availability of carbon zero consumer goods is rather low. But consumers should if possible, support these products and the carbon neutrality concept.

While climate change solutions were initially directed towards industry, it now also applies to everyone including industry, various levels of government and right down to the individual. Even driving a vehicle to work has an impact on the environment, so everyone should be concerned about carbon neutrality and seek ways to reduce or offset their environmental footprint. Anyone can purchase carbon offsets. The overall objective of carbon neutrality of course, is to eventually solve the global climate change problem, one credit at a time if necessary. An interesting and important read: Read More About Going Carbon Neutral by David Suzuki.

Since carbon neutrality is a concept that anyone can (and should) adopt to do their part in helping to reduce their individual impact on climate change, there are many tips and programs available to help you achieve your own goals. Check with your local agencies and municipal, state or provincial and federal governments for more ideas or to know what's happening in your area. Here's just a few to provide more insight: More About Green Living:

9 Ways to Go Green from About's Guide to Architecture
Find helpful tips from About's Guide to Green Living
Learn About Recycling and Waste Management
Easy Water Conservation Tips
Go to Main Green Living Page

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