What is a carbon footprint?
Carbon offsetting is a climate action that enables individuals and organizations to address their CO2 emissions. Not all emissions can be avoided, but they can still be addressed and accounted for by supporting clean development projects – like clean-energy producing wind farms or forestry projects. The projects verifiably reduce, capture, or avoid a proportional amount of CO2 emissions. Carbon offsetting enables travelers to balance the carbon emissions released as a result of their traveling.
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is a climate action that enables individuals and organizations to address the CO2 emissions they cannot avoid by supporting projects - like clean-energy producing wind farms or forestry projects - that verifiably reduce, capture, or avoid a proportional amount of CO2 emissions. Said another way, carbon offsetting enables travelers to balance the carbon emissions released as a result of their traveling.
How do you calculate the carbon footprint of my travel?
All Lonely Planet curated experiences available to Withlocals Members are carbon neutral. We are working with climate-tech company CHOOOSE™ to ensure that the offset contributions are being directed towards carefully selected climate projects around the world.
Train emissions are using Google Maps as the engine to compute route distances, and the emission factors are from the European Environment Agency: average rail emissions in the EU per passenger-km (2014, published 2017).
Bus emissions are using Google Maps as the engine to compute route distances, and emission factors are from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors.
Car calculations are based on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) when available, with a fallback on correlating WLT New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). For electric cars, the average grid emission density per country is used. Source database: European Environment Agency (EEA).
Where does my offset contribution go?
When travelers offset their carbon footprint, funds are applied to help support projects that reduce, capture, or avoid carbon emissions in an amount equivalent to that of their calculated carbon footprint. All of the funds are applied directly to the projects, with a small remaining portion used for standard administration and support services from our carbon offsetting partner CHOOOSE. Carbon offsetting is performed through the purchase and retirement of third-party verified carbon credits, which are units of emission reduction used in voluntary offsetting programs. Each carbon credit corresponds to 1000 kg of CO2. The carbon credits made available to Withlocals are called Verified Emission Reduction (VER) units, certified by the Verified Carbon Standard, and Certified Emissions Reduction (CER) units, certified by the Gold Standard and United Nations CDM. Due to transaction minimums, travelers will typically offset more than their calculated footprint — but never less. The offset price that the traveler pays is the total cost to deliver the verified offset.
How do I know the impact would not have occurred without the offset contribution?
Projects certified by the Verified Carbon Standard and by the Gold Standard must adhere to the principle of “additionality”. This means that the projects are being realized as a result of the funding. In other words, travelers are not supporting a project that would have been carried out anyway. The carbon credits are funding additional carbon mitigation. Often, projects are not financially attractive to investors without the sale of these carbon credits and would therefore not materialize. All projects that CHOOOSE™ makes available to our members are subject to ongoing and regular monitoring, reporting, and auditing to ensure that they remain in compliance with these standards and operational best practices.
Who is Withlocals offsetting partner CHOOOSE?
To guarantee that the offset contribution has a climate-positive impact, Withlocals has partnered with climate-focused technology company CHOOOSE™. From its base in Oslo, Norway, CHOOOSE delivers a platform that enables both individuals and organizations to easily connect with the best CO2e reducing climate projects around the world. Through its API for climate impact, CHOOOSE programmatically calculates travel footprints and provides the option to seamlessly offset any type of journey through trusted climate projects.