We try to conserve energy. As kids, most of us learned the basic lessons: Turn off the lights when you leave the room, don’t leave the car running idle, unplug devices and small appliances when not in use. But for those times in life when our energy use gets the best of us, TerraPass carbon offsets allow people to reduce/offset their carbon footprint and support projects that destroy greenhouse gases and produce renewable energy. In communities across the United States, TerraPass-supported projects make use of animal waste, turn garbage into power, convert methane emissions at abandoned coalmines into energy and create clean energy from wind power.
One such wind power project is the Big Smile Wind Farm at Dempsey Ridge. Located in western Oklahoma, the 66-turbine wind farm generates enough energy to power 46,000 homes. Each year, this renewable wind energy source saves the planet from nearly 339,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Big Smile Wind Farm’s parent company, ACCIONA, took precautions when constructing the facility. They were careful to determine how birds and bats (often killed by wind turbines) would be impacted, and they addressed wildlife concerns with local community members. The farm was named “Big Smile” after former ACCIONA Energy North America employee Jennifer Koop-Krass, who passed away from cancer in 2011. Koop-Krass was known for her big smile.
TerraPass chose to support Big Smile because, like all TerraPass projects, it passes the “additionality” test. This test measures whether or not purchases of carbon offsets actually bring about carbon reductions, or whether the reductions would have happened anyway, without the project. Each TerraPass-supported project is thoroughly vetted for transparency, quantification and verification of offset production. All projects offsets must be permanent, independently verified and cannot be double-counted or double-sold.
Interested in supporting the Big Smile Wind Farm and other projects like it? The first step is to measure your carbon footprint with the TerraPass Carbon Calculator. From there, you can decide how many carbon offsets you’d like to purchase for yourself, or gift to someone else.
Maybe you’re interested in Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) or Water Restoration Certificates (WRCs)? Get the details and information to purchase or gift these credits here.
For more information on global climate issues, stay connected to the TerraPass Footprint Blog. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, where we’re always sharing tips and information on living an eco-friendly, green lifestyle.