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This offshore wind farm in Denmark includes 72 turbines and generates enough clean energy to power 110,000 homes.
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What is "Carbon Neutral"?

Every time we ride in a car, fly on an airplane, or turn on our computers we are adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This is because most of the energy we use comes from burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas. Other types of energy, like solar and wind power, do not contribute to climate change but they are often more expensive.

If someone wants to be "carbon neutral", it means they would like to remove just as much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as they put in. How can we remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? One way is to buy "carbon offsets" that support projects like a wind farm or solar park. This helps make renewable energy more affordable, and reduces future greenhouse gas emissions to make up for our travel and electricity use today.

Start with the Carbon Calculator link below to find out how much carbon dioxide is released by the things we do every day. Then explore the list of projects that provide Carbon Offsets for anyone who wants to be "carbon neutral".

Last modified February 6, 2008 by Travis Metcalfe.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA