A common question we get is: are EcoCart’s projects legit? The answer, of course, is yes. All of EcoCart’s projects have been verified by several major carbon standards, including VERRA, the Climate Action Reserve, and the Gold Standard. Carbon standards are groups that verify carbon offsetting projects of all types. Using a rigorous screening and observation process, carbon standards ensure that all verified carbon offsetting projects positively impact the environment (and oftentimes, the nearby community) and leave a lasting impact.
Carbon standards are typically backed by reputable and environment-focused non-profits, who are capable of supervising and aiding the dozens of carbon offsetting projects they verify. Projects typically have to meet certain benchmarks, standards, and protocols outlined in detailed policies by the carbon standards.
Carbon standards help people determine the authenticity and impact of a project. While a lot of projects can claim to be eco-friendly and make a difference, projects that are verified by the world’s major carbon standards are the best ones out there. These projects are guaranteed to have an impact, now and in the future. Here are a few of the world’s major carbon standards to be on the lookout for.
Climate Action Reserve
Founded in 2001, the Climate Action Reserve is one of the best carbon standards in the United States! Through their ‘carbon credits’ system, they’ve been able to monitor and aid dozens of projects to reach maximum impact. The Reserve holds all of its projects to a high standard, ensuring that all projects that are part of their program are beneficial to both the environment and the economy. Projects must also be vetted by several stakeholders and meet a detailed list of standards.
Projects vetted by the Climate Action Reserve help to reduce air pollution, create new green technology, and more. For example, EcoCart’s McCloud River Conservation project, verified by the Climate Action Reserve, helps preserve a forest in California and subsequently captures thousands of tons of carbon, and protects the nearby water and ecosystem.
VERRA – Verified Carbon Standard
VERRA’s Verified Carbon Standard program is the world’s most used carbon standard program. Founded in 2005, their program boasts more than a thousand projects from individuals and corporations alike, offsetting more than 630 million tons of carbon in total to date! Their development process, which outlines the standards projects must meet to have their project VERRA verified, is constantly updated to meet the needs of our planet today.
Projects help offset the world’s carbon emissions in various categories, including handling waste, protecting grasslands, and creating renewable energy. On top of protecting the environment, VERRA projects help regions all over the world with economic development. EcoCart’s Myanmar Mangroves project, part of the VERRA program, protects and strengthens mangrove trees that help provide wood and food, as well as income from selling the food brought by the forest.
The Gold Standard
Established in 2003, the Gold Standard allows carbon offset and similar projects to ‘quantify, certify, and maximize their impact’. They aim to create projects that help the environment and the people that live in it at the highest level of environmental integrity possible. Through a variety of requirements, methods, and safeguards, they’ve been able to measure the impact of all of their projects and ensure their lasting impact, measuring their projects against both the Paris Climate Agreement and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The Gold Standard helps to verify both climate protection and intervention projects, like EcoCart’s Sidrap Wind Farm Project. The project helps reduce the burning of fossil fuels through its 30 wind turbines in Indonesia, which helps to power 70,000 local homes. The project also supports the region economically, providing jobs to locals and helping residents learn about the importance of protecting the environment.
American Carbon Registry
The American Carbon Registry was founded in 1996 and was the first private voluntary offset program in the world. With their decades of experience, they’ve developed a rigorous set of standards that allow individuals and groups to create and register their carbon offsetting projects. As an approved Offset Project Registry for one of California’s environmental programs, they also work with the Air Resources Board (ARB) to verify more carbon offsetting projects using their protocols.
Verified by the American Carbon Registry, EcoCart’s Doe Mountain project in Tennessee protects 8,000 acres of forest. The project aims to protect the forest and its animal and plant species, as well as provide educational resources for visitors. Boasting dozens of mixed hardwoods, the forest helps sequester tons of carbon from the atmosphere and provides a home to over 40 species of wildlife.
For shoppers looking to shop more responsibly, install the free EcoCart Chrome extension, which lets you offset your purchase at thousands of online stores at no additional cost. You’ll be able to support the carbon projects mentioned above and more, all by shopping with the extension!
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