What Is Carbon Offsetting?

The meaning behind the environmental jargon

Cee Arr
1 min readJun 16, 2022


Clouds making a chape reading C O 2 in the sky
Photo by Matthias Heyde on Unsplash

Carbon offsetting is something you may’ve heard of companies and organisations doing to counteract their carbon footprint.

There’s not really one single, concrete, definition — everyone has their own ideas of what ‘counts’ as carbon offsetting, but basically:

Carbon offsetting is where someone — usually a business or organisation — attempts to counteract their carbon footprint by supporting environmental projects.

…This might be an investment in a green energy scheme, such as a wind farm or tidal energy project, or — one of the most common — planting trees.

(Which is, sadly, often a form of greenwashing, rather than having any actual environmental benefit.)

Putting it simply: planting trees does not reduce your carbon footprint. (…Or at least, not as much as you think it does.)

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Cee Arr

Writer, reader, poet, (book) blogger @ dorareads.co.uk , Queer, weird, bookish rebel. Welsh as a tractor on the M4. She/Her. Buy me a coffee @ ko-fi.com/ceearr