How to offset my car’s emissions
Updated: Mar 9
Transport emissions are tricky. Almost everyone has to drive a car at least some of the time. And when you do drive, your car’s exhaust emits gas that pollutes the atmosphere and contributes to climate change.
The good news is, there is a really simple and fast action you can take to address your car’s carbon emissions right now.
Go Neutral is a pragmatic and effective initiative that exists to offset your car’s unavoidable annual emissions. Buying a Go Neutral sticker makes your car carbon neutral today, and helps spread the campaign to onlookers who see the sticker on your car.
While we all still need to take intentional steps wherever we can to reduce our car usage, Go Neutral can offset those hard-to-reduce emissions from driving.
So how does it work?
You buy a Go Neutral sticker for your car for $112 (based on an average Australian car’s carbon footprint for a year).
Go Neutral offsets your car’s emissions for a full year by supporting certified carbon sequestration projects in Australia, including Australian bushland regeneration.
The result? Driving your car doesn’t increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and doesn’t contribute to climate change. That’s being carbon neutral.
The simplest option is to buy the standard $112 sticker, which assumes your car creates 3.2 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over a year. This is the estimated average annual emissions from an Australian car.
Or, to ensure you get the most accurate estimate to offset your car’s emissions, you can use Go Neutral’s online calculator, which figures out how much you should offset based on your car’s annual mileage and estimated fuel efficiency. You can then adjust your sticker price to offset your car’s calculated footprint.
Your sticker then gets delivered to your door. All that’s left to do is to stick it on your car’s rear window, to help spread the message and encourage others to Go Neutral too.
Go Neutral is also generously giving One Small Step $5 for every One Small Step member who buys a Go Neutral sticker to support our work helping everyone to live more environmentally-healthy lives. You can use the code ONESMALLSTEP when you check out if you want to support us.
When you buy your Go Neutral sticker, your money is put into certified carbon offset projects that are all Australian-based, are registered with the Australian Clean Energy regulator and use Australian Carbon Credit Units. You can read more about these awesome projects on Go Neutral’s website.
Is offsetting really the answer?
Offsetting is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s critical that we reduce emissions as much as possible by choosing public transport, cycling and walking instead of driving.
To make offsetting your car’s emissions effective, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Beware of the rebound effect. Just because you’re offsetting, it doesn't mean you should drive more. In fact, if you end up driving more than usual after offsetting your calculated emissions, you’ll actually negate the environmental benefit of this action and end up putting more emissions into the atmosphere.
Think of offsetting as an insurance policy. Offsetting covers you for the emissions you can’t avoid. But in order to change systems and start to pull more greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere than we’re all creating, we still need wide-scale behaviour change and a reduction in overall petrol car usage. Offsetting alone won’t cut it.
That said, every single car that goes neutral makes a big difference. And the more people that join the movement, the bigger difference it makes.
For a step-by-guide guide for offsetting your car’s emissions through Go Neutral, take One Small Step’s Quick Wins course. The 3 Quick Wins course shows you how to take 3 simple actions that have an outsize positive climate impact. And it takes less than an hour!
Here's what our free 3 Quick Wins in-app course will take you through:
Offsetting your car’s emissions through Go Neutral to eliminate hard-to-reduce transport emissions.
Switching to one of the energy providers we recommend to get your carbon emissions from electricity offset for free.
Switching to a super convenient, low-carbon, zero plastic product & support much-needed sanitation projects worldwide.
One Small Step’s mission is to help millions of people achieve net zero emissions so that together we can create a healthier future for our planet. You can download the app for free today to start cutting your personal emissions and track your impact as you do it. You’ll be joining tens of thousands of others taking small steps towards a better world.
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One Small Step is your coach for environmentally-healthy living. When you download the app, you’ll receive a personalised roadmap that is tailored to you and the way you live your life to help you get down to a liveable carbon footprint. Start your journey towards zero emissions today. Download the app for free.