It's becoming a common(ish) practice for leftie-environmentalist types to offset airmiles through one of the services for that. Carbonneutral, as an example. Of course, another thing we do to ourselves is immediately point out the futility of direct action. Planting a tree is a)not nearly enough to offset the several tons of carbon the various airplanes I took in the past week spewed into the air, and b)trees are not actually useful in the long-term for balancing environmental carbon, and c)the trees are at least sometimes planted on land belonging to indigenous people. Great. I'd be offsetting my guilt rather than my carbon-responsibility AND I'd be hurting other people into the bargain. There's an interesting article about this issue here: New Internationalist and a different environmental perspective here: TreeHugger.
So, what???? Do nothing? Do something better? Is there something better? I don't know, but here's what I decided. Tree-planting-through-credit-card strikes me as a little.... lazy, or an environmental version of conspicuous consumption. I'm not sure why I feel that way, and I'm open to another perspective. But for right now I need to choose something, and I'm choosing to send a donation to an alternative-energy project. Fairly randomly, I choose a project that provides efficient lighting sources for the tourist industry in Jamaica. Here's the link (.pdf!): Lighting Jamaica