Carbon Off-setting our travel

Currently, due to the nature of our shows, we tour in a big long wheel base diesel van, it’s something we’re not very comfortable with considering the Climate Crisis the planet finds itself in and it’s something we will be taking into consideration for all of our future shows and projects.

For the last few years we have been off-setting the CO2 emissions we produce from our travel. Below we detail the process, which is simple for anyone to do.

What it Carbon Off-setting?

Carbon off-setting is basically calculating how much carbon you produce, the value of that carbon, typically £8 per tonne or 1000kg (2021) is then invested into an off-setting scheme where the money is used for green projects. For example, sustainable energy projects, or planting trees.

It’s important to recognise that Carbon Off-setting is not the answer to reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Reducing our actual CO2 output is the only truly effective way to reduce our carbon footprint – this is ultimately what we are aiming for. Carbon off-setting, for us, is a small step in our journey to becoming carbon neutral.

There is a more complete explanation about carbon off-setting on the guardian website Here

How we calculate our travel emissions.

We use an online calculator to work out our emissions, we like this one, but there are many others. In the steps below we’ll use our van as an example.

  1. Before we can use the calculator we need to know what our vehicle miles per gallon (mpg) is. And the type of fuel we use.

    Our Van runs at 31.7mpg on Diesel.

  2. Using the calculator we work out how much carbon our van emits for every mile travelled.

    Our van emits 0.38 tonne of Carbon per mile.

  3. Next we work out how much it costs to off-set 0.38 tonne of carbon.

    – We know the cost to off-set 1 Tonne (1000kg) is £8
    – So to make things easier to calculate we work out the cost of 1kg: £8/1000 = 0.008p per kg.
    – Now we know that 1kg of Carbon will cost 0.008p to off-set.
    – To work out the cost of 0.38 tonne of carbon we simply mutiply our 0.38 tonne of carbon by 0.008p: 0.38 x 0.008 = 0.00304

    So now we know that for every mile we drive we emit 0.38 tonne of Carbon and will cost us 0.00304p to off-set.

  4. Finally to workout how much a journey will cost to off-set we simply multiply the number of miles travelled by 0.00304p.

    For example lets say we travelled 100 miles we would do 100 x 0.00304 = 0.304p

    That’s right, to off-set 100 miles of driving it will only cost us about 30 pence.

  5. At the end of the season/tour we add up all of our travel miles, work out the cost (we’ve made a spreadsheet that does this for us per gig and then totals), choose an off-setting scheme and make our payment.
    Depending on how much touring we’ve been doing we end up paying between £15-£25 per year.

Off-setting schemes

There are many carbon offsetting schemes, too many to list, they’re easy to find with a quick internet search and it’s simple to make a payment to off-set your carbon.

This year we will be contributing to Climeworks.

So there you have it, that’s how we off-set our travel. As mentioned at the beginning, in an ideal world we would completely reduce our carbon emissions to 0 and this is something we’re striving for, but for now, although off-setting isn’t the answer to this climate crisis it is a small step in the right direction, and for us it’s a temporary option while we work on becoming carbon neutral in the not so far future.

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