When it comes to the environment almost everything you do has a side effect. Mowing your lawn, even brewing a cup of coffee can pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That's where the concept of carbon offseting comes in. It's a way to look for ways to reduce your carbon dioxide emmissions by the same amount you create. At the end of the day your net impact should be zero.
At the coffee connection, energy is used everywhere. From the trucks that transport the coffee to the machines that roast and brew it. It adds up fast, 4.3 pounds of carbon is produced for each pound of coffee consumers drink.
Pat Mannix from the Coffee Connection says, "you can't ride your bicycle to peru to pick up the coffee," so they're trying to offset that carbon footprint by doing something good for the environment.
Mannix says, "one of the things we are doing is looking into the planting of trees. the planting of trees offsets the carbon. It absorbs the carbon and keeps it from going into the atmosphere."
But offsets alone won't fix the problem, so many are finding other ways to equalize the amount of pollution they create
"we just try to use as little energy as we can. so i guess that's how we offset our carbon footprint. just by trying not to have one," says Kristin Cox. She and Ben Munson are changing the way they live.
"It's kind of been interesting to me to dig into it a little bit and see how the things we're doing day to day kind of impact the bigger picture."
Ben and Kristen have taken their mission to the web. The site is called www.theurbanhomesteaders.com
"it's an on-going documentary of what we're doing here in the house. just all the big and little things we are doing and hopefully it will educate other people and get them doing it as well," says Munson.
They started indoors by making their older home more energy efficient. Then they moved outside where they're composting.
It's a great way to keep waste out of landfills. They've also started using push mowers instead gasoline powered ones.
That one move can have a big impact. Gas powered lawn equipment accounts for 5% of the nation's air pollution.
Kristin and Ben hope all the little things they're doing will inspire others. "It makes me a little bit sad that people think that they can't make a difference."