GE is offering a new credit card where a dollar of carbon offsets will be purchased for every hundred dollars you spend, whether it's on compact fluorescents or gasoline.
While offsets are controversial, GE notes: "We are not sending a message that you can buy your way out of your environmental responsibility," said Lorraine Bolsinger, vice president of GE Ecomagination. "We're offering another tool in the kit for reducing carbon footprints." The Myearthrewards website says it pretty clearly:
we can't "shop away" global climate change. The most important thing for all of us — individuals as well as companies and other organizations — is to use energy more wisely by being as efficient as possible in everything we do. It is also important that, whenever possible, we purchase renewable energy through our utility providers and use alternative fuels in our vehicles. The final thing to do is to offset those remaining impacts that can't be avoided.
According to the New York Times, every Earth Day it will use the money to buy offsets from projects that capture methane from landfills and coal mines. Later, it will add reforestation and alternative energy projects.
They have launched a website with tips and a basic carbon calculator at ::myearthrewards.
Disclosure Note: GE advertises on TreeHugger and the New York Times says:
G.E. is keeping everything about the card as green as possible. It is spurning paper applications, insisting that people apply online or by phone. Although by law it must send paper bills when asked, it is encouraging cardholders to receive and pay their bills online. It plans no direct mail and will advertise on search engines like Google and on environmental sites like treehugger.com. ::New York Times
See also Treehugger on How to Green your Carbon Offsets