Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q:  For what period of time am I balancing my carbon footprint when I buy carbon offsets from Balanced Footprint?
A:  One year from the date on which you purchase your carbon offsets. We calculate the annual carbon emissions behind each of the selections on our home page based on government data for a one-year-period. This way, no matter when you purchase your carbon offsets you are balancing for an entire year. For example, if you purchase in June 2009, your offsets will expire at the end of May in 2010.

Q:  I understand I will receive in the mail a welcome kit with decals, product labels and certificates. Is that welcome kit earth friendly?
A:  Yes, all of the contents use recycled paper products.

Q:  I see you have an option in your shopping cart to get a discount for buying a second year of carbon offsets now, when will I receive my other decals?
A:  You will receive them immediately and your decals will reflect that you have balanced your footprint for 2 years from your purchase date.

Q:  If I buy carbon offsets, is that all I need to do to offset my carbon footprint?
A:  Buying carbon offsets will balance your carbon footprint, but we hope you will take additional steps to reduce your carbon footprint. Visit our Green Tips page for ideas.

Q:  Is buying carbon offsets required by the government?
A: No, purchasing carbon offsets to balance your footprint is voluntary.

Q:  Is there a tax credit or other government program for buying carbon offsets?
A:  No, there are no tax credits or other government programs that provide economic benefits. 

Q:  How can I be sure the carbon offsets I buy are real?
A:  Each purchase comes with a Product Content Label that specifies the project which produced the credits, as well as the certification logos for the verification company that reviewed and approved the validity of the credits. Balanced Footprint will not sell credits that have not been certified by one of the trusted independent entities that provide verification protocols and reviews.

Q:  Can Balanced Footprint demonstrate that its offsets aren't being sold to multiple buyers?
A:  All of the verified emission reductions (VERs) we source are registered in an institutional VER registry administered by the host organization that developed the VER protocol. These VER registries guard against double selling by providing unique serial numbers for each VER and provide transparency about each project that is registered.

Q:  In your small business welcome kit I see that you offer a Web logo I can put on my site to tell my visitors we have balanced our footprint. How does that work?
A:  Once we have processed your customer information, we will email you a set of instructions and an electronic file that can be posted on your site.

Q:  Is my purchase with Balanced Footprint considered a charitable donation for tax purposes?
A:  No, Balanced Footprint is not a charitable organization.

Q:  Why does Balanced Footprint source its carbon offsets in the U.S.A?
A:  Americans tend to contribute more carbon dioxide emissions than other countries. In order to balance this, we support projects here at home. At the same time, we are supporting the creation of American jobs and helping to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources.

Q:  I see that your competitors offer carbon offsets from foreign sources. Can they be used here in the U.S?
A:  Yes, as long as they have been verified and certified;however, the proceeds from purchasing those offsets will go to create jobs in the country from which the offsets came.

Q:  I have heard about cap and trade. Will that result in consumers or small businesses being required to buy carbon offsets?
A:   The laws are still being debated, but we don't anticipate that this law will result in consumers or small businesses being required to buy carbon offsets.

Q:  Where do carbon offsets come from?
A:  Carbon offsets come from projects that effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions. For such a project to generate a carbon offset, the project must first be verified by an independent entity. Then each project, and the amount of carbon offsets it produces, is certified by one of the independent certification entities. For more information visit our Where $ Goes page. For information on projects we support, visit our Projects page.

Q:  How long have carbon offsets been around?
A:  Carbon offsets have been in existence for about 6 years.

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