WCAS’s Carbon Offset Project, begun several years ago and modeled after an effort launched at the 2011 Midwest Birding Symposium, is a way for members to make contributions that offset their use of carbon while participating in birding activities (or any other activities) that requires travel.
By Tim Colborn, Board Member, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
Conservation continues to be a pillar of the foundation of your Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society! In addition to the speaker series, the bird walks, field trips and other benefits provided by membership in the club, each year your Board of Directors seeks to selectively apply a portion of club funds to important conservation projects.
WCAS’s Carbon Offset Project, begun several years ago and modeled after an effort launched at the 2011 Midwest Birding Symposium, is a way for members to make contributions that offset their use of carbon while participating in birding activities (or any other activities) that requires travel. Many of us enjoy travelling to look for and find birds in areas outside our own neighborhood. Western Cuyahoga Audubon offers a way to offset the carbon impact of some of this driving.
Here is how it works: Any time we have a field trip where more than 100 miles of travel may be involved (Think Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area or Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge) participants may voluntarily contribute to a fund, based on mileage. Monies generated by carbon offset will go toward habitat preservation in our Rocky River Important Bird Area, or in another area of local interest.
While there are many carbon offset models and calculators, we offer a simple formula.
- Compact car: driver only - 10 cents per mile, additional passengers 5 cents each per mile. Multiply these amounts by the total miles and divide by 10.
- Mid-sized car or small SUV: driver only - 20 cents per mile, additional passengers 10 cents per mile. Multiply these amounts by the total miles and divide by 10.
- SUV, Truck or Van: driver only - 25 cents per mile, additional passengers 15 cents per mile. Multiply these amounts by the total miles and divide by 10.
For example, if I drive my compact car to Killdeer Plains, the round trip will be 250 miles. Driving with two passengers, figure 20 cents per mile (my 10 plus 5 each for the passengers). Twenty times 250 divided by 10 equals 500, so I will put in $5.00 for carbon offset. Note that rounding to the nearest 50 miles when calculating your trip distance may produce an easier payment amount.
Of course, any donation is completely voluntarily, just another way to help, and of course any contribution to WCAS’s conservation efforts are welcome. Go to CarbonFund.org to calculate your donation.
About Bird Walk Leader Tim Colborn: Tim’s love of the outdoors began at an early age. He spent his summers as a boy in the Eastern Townships of Quebec hiking, swimming and fishing with his brothers but it wasn’t until a quiet encounter with a Great Blue Heron on his honeymoon that his interest in birds and birding was sparked. In the following 25 years, he has birded in more than 35 states around the country as well as in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Ireland. Much of Tim’s birding has centered in New England and the Midwest where he has led field trips, participated in Breeding Bird Surveys and Christmas Counts and given presentations to bird clubs and school children. Tim is proud to be a longtime Western Cuyahoga Audubon member. He is also the current Northeast Regional Director for the Ohio Ornithological Society and a past Vice President of the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club in upstate New York.