How to Buy Carbon Offsets and Where to Find Them

where can i buy carbon offsets for tree planting programs

Carbon offsets? What on earth is that?

Well, I’m sure you remember learning about carbon footprints in school. I always found the idea pretty abstract. Ok, I shouldn’t use my car if I can take the bus and I shouldn’t take 45-minute showers, got it.

Still, I always wanted to be able to visualize what a carbon footprint is, and that’s now possible! You can find lots of online carbon footprint calculators that show you the emissions your lifestyle creates. This is great because you’ll be able to see how green your lifestyle actually is – but it might also make you feel somewhat guilty.

I always considered myself a pretty green person. So imagine the shock when the Global Footprint Network’s calculator told me that if everyone lived the way I do we would need almost two Earths!

What? You’re telling me that I’m not doing enough?

Yeah, that sucks, but it’s also the little kick in the butt I needed to go beyond my comfort zone and keep reducing my emissions more, and more, and more.

And then I found carbon offsets and climate credits, which basically help you compensate the emissions that go a bit beyond your carbon budget. In this other post, we talk in detail about what carbon offsets are, why investing in there might be a great idea and what to look for in the perfect carbon offsetting program.

Finding where to buy carbon offsets or the perfect project to invest on can be tricky, so these are a few organizations that caught my eye.

Where to buy carbon offsets

Carbon Offsets To Alleviate Poverty (COTAP) 

What makes their offsets different?

Imagine if you could save the environment AND help local farming communities. Awesome, right? With this program, you’ll be helping rural communities in developing countries grow sustainably.

At the moment they have active projects in three countries: India, Uganda, and Nicaragua.

You can calculate your footprint on their website as an individual or as a company (this tool is mostly useful for US residents, though) and after learning about it you can buy the offsets that best suits you.

You can also choose to have a monthly subscription and pay monthly to offset the amount of CO2 you choose.

Cool feature

You can even get a gift certificate, or offset your wedding!

Coral Gardeners

What makes it special?

While many offsets are focused on planting trees, Coral Gardeners give you the opportunity to adopt a coral or buy a nursery table (tables where they cultivate corals until they’re mature enough to go in the sea). I’m SO IN FOR IT.

I love their goal, and how involved they are in the reconstruction of coral reefs. Remember: if we do nothing, coral reefs will be gone by 2050.

Of course, trees are extremely important to absorb CO2 , but corals – well, the algae they host – are fundamental too!

Cool feature

In this case, you pay for as many corals you’re adopting, not according you your carbon footprint and you can name the coral you adopt. How cool is that?

Oh, and if you ever go to French Polynesia, make sure you pay them a visit. They offer eco-tours where they will teach you everything about corals. You’ll snorkel in their coral farms and they’ll let you plant your very own coral.

Carbon Fund

What makes it special?

They give you lots of different options to offset your lifestyle – by how many people there are in your family, how big is your house, which kind of car you own,…. It’s like online shopping.

Also, they have very high-quality standards in order to assure that your investment is going to end up where you want.

They have many active projects, from investments in energy efficiency to forestry and renewable energy in selected regions.

Cool feature

They can plant a tree for each dollar you donate – ONE DOLLAR!


What makes it special?

Reformation is a great carbon-neutral sustainable clothing brand. As eco-conscious as it gets.

You can purchase offsets from their site thanks to their partnership with NativeEnergy, an NGO that coordinates carbon offset projects in the American continent.

Isn’t it awesome that you can compensate you GHG emissions at the checkout while getting your new sustainable outfit?

Cool feature

Reformation also offers you a $100 e-gift card for their site if you switch to clean energy. If you were thinking about changing your energy supplier, maybe this is the sign you were waiting for.

United Nations

What makes it special?

Well, these ones have a certain cachet, maybe because the UN offering them.

They have sooo many projects to choose from. You can choose the continent and country, the project type, the focus of the project, and a lot more.

Cool feature

Like in the other cases, you can take a test to learn your carbon footprint. In this case, the test is super fast and easy to take and I love that it’s aimed internationally – other companies are UK or US-based mostly, so they have data based on those countries, whereas here the UN compares your footprint with the average of the country you live in.

Oh! And I love that you can pay using Paypal. It makes saving the world a lot more convenient.

where to buy carbon offsets

What do you think?

Scroll to Top