Climate Change Chocolate Update
A year ago we wrote about Climate Change Chocolate
, a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar packaged by Lunar Design
that was among a new batch of interesting and innovative products and services being sold on websites as carbon offsets. The sweet is still available on TerraPass
, a San Francisco–based company that develops carbon-reduction products and offsets, although the site has phased out its wider line of retail products and gift-oriented items, from power strips to educational materials. “Our focus now is on carbon offset projects, so we are not spending a lot of time marketing [the chocolate],” explains Julia Wang, TerraPass’s business manager. She says the chocolate — which offsets 113 pounds of carbon dioxide — is popular in bulk orders for conferences, perhaps reflecting the notion that it is more of a novelty product than a way to substantially reduce one’s carbon footprint.
The story also reported on wider efforts by carbon-offset organizations to educate consumers and ease them into thinking about, and buying, offsets for their homes and activities, such as travel. Overall, Wang says that the entire carbon offset market was hit by the economic slowdown but that interest in TerraPass projects, which include farm power, landfill gas capture and wind energy, is now coming back as many corporate buyers and partners reevaluate their plans. Another organization, Carbonfund.org
, a nonprofit provider of carbon offsets, now works with 1,400 businesses — up from 1,000 — and has launched 11 new projects for which consumers can buy offsets. Carbonfund.org is also expanding its certification program for carbon-free products, because “more companies want to tell consumers about climate impact,” says spokesperson Ivan Chan.