Imagine the situation: you are about to pay for your daily lunch at the university café, and a question arrives: “Would you like to compensate for the carbon footprint of the meal? Fifteen cents for the meat dish, ten for fish and vegetarian, five for vegan?”
Words: Meri Frig
Antero Vartia, a Finnish Green party parliament member and entrepreneur (one of the founders of Löyly, the architectural gem in Helsinki that we have featured on the pages of Savant before) just launched the Compensate foundation, with the aim to save the planet.
The idea is rather simple: the foundation offers an easy and direct way to compensate for the CO2 emissions, directly at the time of purchase. But you can also calculate your personal carbon footprint very easily at the website and subscribe monthly to compensate for it. The payments are directed fully to carbon sink projects, such as reforestation and protecting existing forests.
The initiative is first launched in Finland, and many companies are eager to take part. Vartia wants companies to join a movement; not to give the message that irresponsible levels of consumption are acceptable. Many customers are applauding the easy way to compensate for the environmental damage caused by their consumption and are rushing to tweet #wecompensate to support the cause.
Although reactions have been largely positive from all corners of the society, the launch of the initiative has reheated the discussion about individual’s responsibility. Top climate change researchers add that, although the initiative is much welcomed, the most urgent action to take now is to radically reduce contemporary consumption levels. Companies and governments need to take part.
At the same time, a columnist in the Finnish local newspaper called for (more) modern superheroes, who would use their exceptional skills and bravery to fight the villains that are currently most responsible for destroying our planet. We are excited to see how the #compensate movement unfolds!
Follow the initiative here: compensate.com