—carbon neutrality n.
"Better management of forests across Europe would tie up much more carbon," Irish Independent, March 9, 2004
The invisible gas, emitted by burning gasoline and other fuels, is blamed for rising global temperatures. That worries Mr. Dauncey. So after calculating how much CO2 he had emitted by driving his car, heating his home and flying on business trips during a year, he wrote a check for $280 to help install solar panels in Africa and Bhutan.
Mr. Dauncey calculates the CO2 saved by switching people from kerosene to solar power will make up exactly for the 28 tons he estimates as his own emissions. "I have become carbon-neutral," he says.
Antonio Regalado, "New Lifestyle Option for the Eco-Minded: `Carbon-Neutral'," The Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2004
Crispin Aubrey, "From sewage sludge to giant grass," The Independent (London, England), July 20, 1992
How does one find out one's total CO2 output, that is, one's carbon footprint (2000)? By performing a carbon audit (1997) that tallies up the amount of CO2 emitted by driving one's car, running one's appliances, and other activities. You then get to carbon neutrality (1997) by planting trees, investing in solar energy, and implementing other carbon offsets (1991).
Here are some yearly carbon footprint figures to consider:
An average person (world-wide): 4 tons
An average American: 22 tons
An average Chinese: 2.25 tons
Driving an SUV*: 5 tons
*10,000 miles at 18 miles per gallon
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Note that Carbon Neutral ™ is a trademark of Future Forests Limited, with a filing date of June 5, 2000. Thanks to Louise Wells for passing along this phrase.