Man Auctions Own Carbon Offsets on Ebay

Person Biking Up Mountain in Sunlight Photo

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We're not sure if this is legal, or if it's the first of its kind, but thanks to Tipster Jason for the scoop on this latest in carbon offsets. Seems where there is a need, there is a market and one man has decided to test this theory out and make a few bucks on ebay in the meantime.It seems a gentleman from Rochester, MN has chosen not to drive for an entire year and a half, and instead sell the "offsets" from his personal choice on ebay for $100 (or more). Now it is your turn to cash in - for just $100 you can feel good about doing all of your driving knowing that someone else has not driven for an entire year.

The owner estimates that since 1997 (when he started) the 1995 Ford Taurus should have driven around 19,000 miles. Using a carbon offset calculator from Conservation International, they decided that 19,000 miles equals $288 in offsets. Should this person get a bid, the money will be used to purchase a new bicycle (to replace the one that was recently stolen - he's currently walking to work) and allow him to keep selling offsets for more years of not driving.

Technically, we should all be cutting back on our driving habits, and paying someone else to not drive so that you can continue with your eco-sins sort of misses the point. But, for people who live in rural areas or Los Angeles and have a hard time not driving, then this is just another offset scheme to cover those emissions.

Could this be the beginning of an entire green sector? A new way for college kids or retired folks without cars to earn some extra cash? New certifying agencies might spring up to ensure that those selling offsets truly are "walking" the talk. The truly green will get notices in the mail from organizations looking to secure those offsets in order to sell them down the road on the carbon market. If organizations can get paid for preserving their plot of the rainforest (ie make the trees more valuable standing than cut down) then why can't individuals get paid for their good deeds? If there were more carrots out there in the form of direct payment, would more people jump aboard the green bandwagon?

Technically you have until June 18, at 9:59 AM PDT to put in your bid (or to come up with your own carbon offsetting program). :ebay
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