Carbon offsets

Who should you trust when it comes to buying carbon offsets?
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

01 .Introduction

CH0712_CarbonOffsets_LEAD

In this investigation, we look at the voluntary carbon offset market. 

Can consumers trust that validated carbon offsets are genuine, or is it still the Wild West out there?

Do consumers trust carbon offsets?

A decade ago, British band Coldplay released its hit record A Rush of Blood to the Head. Reportedly concerned about the carbon emissions produced by the album, the band decided to offset this by having 10,000 mango trees planted in India.

In theory, this sounded great – the trees would absorb the carbon, the mangoes would feed villagers, and Coldplay felt good about their green credentials.

Alas, it was not to be. A few years later, it was reported that many of the mango saplings had died, and that much of the water and money promised to the villagers for caring for the saplings never arrived.

So it’s no surprise that when CHOICE asked its members if they had considered offsetting their carbon emissions, several said they were put off because of a perceived lack of accountability and oversight in the industry.

Angela Veerhuis said: “I’d be concerned about paying for it now as I’m not sure about industry regulation. Until I know what kind of planning goes into these arrangements, I won’t participate.” Ben Archer told us, “[I] haven’t and won’t, unless I find a company that actually does something to offset. Most claim [to do it], but don’t prove it.” 

Even CHOICE member Simon Reus, who has bought offsets, questioned their efficacy. “I have done it multiple times over the years when flying or hiring a car, and I’m happy to do it, however I have always wondered who regulates these programs to ensure the money goes where it should.”

Carbon standards

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is an international standard that ensures carbon reductions meet quality standards and are independently verified, numbered and listed in a central database.

The Gold Standard (GS), established by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), certifies offset projects that demonstrate greenhouse gas reductions and positively impact the economy, health, welfare and/or environment of the community where the project is located.

The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) is a voluntary Australian Government carbon offsets scheme that enables farmers and land managers to generate carbon credits by reducing agricultural emissions, such as nitrous oxide and methane, and sequestering carbon in vegetation and soils. These credits can then be sold to individuals and businesses wishing to offset their own greenhouse gas emissions.

The Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) verifies claims of carbon neutrality in Australia. To verify carbon neutral claims, the NCOS specifies that organisations must buy their offsets from projects verified under eligible schemes. These include credits issued under the CFI, VCS and GS, among others.

For more information about saving energy, see Power and energy.

 
 

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Anna Marie's comment:

  • Member since: 18 Nov 08
  • 4 Comments
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User Profile

21 DAYS AGO | What is the benefit of a thermomix to somebody who doesn't make cakes, pastries etc? I have been tossing up whether to get one but I rarely bake bread (and have a bread maker sitting in the cupboard to prove that), cakes etc. I cook things like bolognaise sauce, mashed potatoes, rice, the occasional meat loaf, steak, pork cutlets etc. Am I going to get any benefit from a machine like the Thermomix?

     

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    KNO's comment:

    • Member since: 30 Aug 14
    • 1 Comments
    • 0 Replies
    User Profile

    2 MONTHS AGO | Has anyone actually compared the Bellini & other similar appliances by using them over a period of time? What are the warranties on HMP

       

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      Noel's comment:

      • Member since: 22 Oct 12
      • 1 Comments
      • 0 Replies
      User Profile

      3 MONTHS AGO | I have had my Thermomix for about ten months now. I use it every day. Make my own bread, different types, dinners, ice cream, smoothies I love it and am saving to buy two for my children's families. Gave away a box of redundant appliances. Very happy.

         

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        Delores's comment:

        • Member since: 05 Jan 14
        • 1 Comments
        • 0 Replies
        User Profile

        4 MONTHS AGO | I bought a Thermomix because I was planning a Bollywood theme 60th birthday party and catering is expensive. I also bought the Indian cookbook. It took a while to get the hang of the Thermomix's capabilities and to decide which dishes could be easily produced in large amounts but the end result was wonderful. I used the Thermomix mostly as a cook's assistant - grinding spices, chopping onions, garlic and ginger, weighing ingredients, mixing, etc. I also used it to make the dough for nan bread. I have never organized that type of party before, let alone done the catering so I think my Thermomix probably paid for itself. Since then, I have used it constantly, especially for soups and food that requires a lot of stirring such as polenta.

           

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          ozrockit's comment:

          • 1 Comments
          • 0 Replies
          User Profile

          4 MONTHS AGO | Hi, your price is not accurate, $1939 is the price.
          I do not regret spending it.

             

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            Melz05's comment:

            • 1 Comments
            • 0 Replies
            User Profile

            4 MONTHS AGO | Hey I have been thinking about getting a thermomix for quite a while. However the price is out of my uni student budget. I have been looking at purchasing one from Spain to save money. However how did you get your Thermomix from France to work in Australia. Did you buy a converter or have the cord changed?

               

              Like to reply to this comment?

               
               
               
               

               
               

              Astrid's comment:

              • Member since: 15 Jan 12
              • 3 Comments
              • 0 Replies
              User Profile

              5 MONTHS AGO | I bought a Bellini a couple of years ago. As the instructions aren't that great for a while I left in in the cupboard not doing much. Now thermomix released an update for their book I got the jist of it and use it a lot.

              I really like the indian book on their website and thinking of getting additional books. I find that when I adjust using the adjustment for the old thermomix, the recipes generally work well.
              http://www.thermomix.com.au/libraries/documents/tm21-conversion.pdf

              The downside is that putting the butterfly instead of the reverse function can be a bit tricky. Once I did this when cooking gluten free pasta and it still cut it up (should have changed the blade to non cutting instead). The machine sometimes beeps to say the temperate has been exceeded and stirring at low speed is sometimes not very uniform.

              Overall I am satisfied to be able to cook good food. It was nice to not have to stress about spending lots of money on a machine while being unsure if it would be useful. If the thermomix was $1000 I would jump out and buy one. At its current price I'm not in a hurry (its overpriced). And if I did upgrade, having another machine on the side to cook rice etc would not go astray.





                 

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                Anna Marie's comment:

                • Member since: 18 Nov 08
                • 4 Comments
                • 0 Replies
                User Profile

                21 DAYS AGO | What is the benefit of a thermomix to somebody who doesn't make cakes, pastries etc? I have been tossing up whether to get one but I rarely bake bread (and have a bread maker sitting in the cupboard to prove that), cakes etc. I cook things like bolognaise sauce, mashed potatoes, rice, the occasional meat loaf, steak, pork cutlets etc. Am I going to get any benefit from a machine like the Thermomix?

                   

                  Like to reply to this comment?

                   
                   
                   
                   

                   
                   

                  KNO's comment:

                  • Member since: 30 Aug 14
                  • 1 Comments
                  • 0 Replies
                  User Profile

                  2 MONTHS AGO | Has anyone actually compared the Bellini & other similar appliances by using them over a period of time? What are the warranties on HMP

                     

                    Like to reply to this comment?

                     
                     
                     
                     

                     
                     

                    Noel's comment:

                    • Member since: 22 Oct 12
                    • 1 Comments
                    • 0 Replies
                    User Profile

                    3 MONTHS AGO | I have had my Thermomix for about ten months now. I use it every day. Make my own bread, different types, dinners, ice cream, smoothies I love it and am saving to buy two for my children's families. Gave away a box of redundant appliances. Very happy.

                       

                      Like to reply to this comment?

                       
                       
                       
                       

                       
                       

                      Delores's comment:

                      • Member since: 05 Jan 14
                      • 1 Comments
                      • 0 Replies
                      User Profile

                      4 MONTHS AGO | I bought a Thermomix because I was planning a Bollywood theme 60th birthday party and catering is expensive. I also bought the Indian cookbook. It took a while to get the hang of the Thermomix's capabilities and to decide which dishes could be easily produced in large amounts but the end result was wonderful. I used the Thermomix mostly as a cook's assistant - grinding spices, chopping onions, garlic and ginger, weighing ingredients, mixing, etc. I also used it to make the dough for nan bread. I have never organized that type of party before, let alone done the catering so I think my Thermomix probably paid for itself. Since then, I have used it constantly, especially for soups and food that requires a lot of stirring such as polenta.

                         

                        Like to reply to this comment?

                         
                         
                         
                         

                         
                         

                        ozrockit's comment:

                        • 1 Comments
                        • 0 Replies
                        User Profile

                        4 MONTHS AGO | Hi, your price is not accurate, $1939 is the price.
                        I do not regret spending it.

                           

                          Like to reply to this comment?

                           
                           
                           
                           

                           
                           

                          Melz05's comment:

                          • 1 Comments
                          • 0 Replies
                          User Profile

                          4 MONTHS AGO | Hey I have been thinking about getting a thermomix for quite a while. However the price is out of my uni student budget. I have been looking at purchasing one from Spain to save money. However how did you get your Thermomix from France to work in Australia. Did you buy a converter or have the cord changed?

                             

                            Like to reply to this comment?

                             
                             
                             
                             

                             
                             

                            Astrid's comment:

                            • Member since: 15 Jan 12
                            • 3 Comments
                            • 0 Replies
                            User Profile

                            5 MONTHS AGO | I bought a Bellini a couple of years ago. As the instructions aren't that great for a while I left in in the cupboard not doing much. Now thermomix released an update for their book I got the jist of it and use it a lot.

                            I really like the indian book on their website and thinking of getting additional books. I find that when I adjust using the adjustment for the old thermomix, the recipes generally work well.
                            http://www.thermomix.com.au/libraries/documents/tm21-conversion.pdf

                            The downside is that putting the butterfly instead of the reverse function can be a bit tricky. Once I did this when cooking gluten free pasta and it still cut it up (should have changed the blade to non cutting instead). The machine sometimes beeps to say the temperate has been exceeded and stirring at low speed is sometimes not very uniform.

                            Overall I am satisfied to be able to cook good food. It was nice to not have to stress about spending lots of money on a machine while being unsure if it would be useful. If the thermomix was $1000 I would jump out and buy one. At its current price I'm not in a hurry (its overpriced). And if I did upgrade, having another machine on the side to cook rice etc would not go astray.





                               

                              Like to reply to this comment?

                               
                               
                               
                               

                               
                               

                              Anna Marie's comment:

                              • Member since: 18 Nov 08
                              • 4 Comments
                              • 0 Replies
                              User Profile

                              21 DAYS AGO | What is the benefit of a thermomix to somebody who doesn't make cakes, pastries etc? I have been tossing up whether to get one but I rarely bake bread (and have a bread maker sitting in the cupboard to prove that), cakes etc. I cook things like bolognaise sauce, mashed potatoes, rice, the occasional meat loaf, steak, pork cutlets etc. Am I going to get any benefit from a machine like the Thermomix?

                                 

                                Like to reply to this comment?

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 

                                 
                                 

                                KNO's comment:

                                • Member since: 30 Aug 14
                                • 1 Comments
                                • 0 Replies
                                User Profile

                                2 MONTHS AGO | Has anyone actually compared the Bellini & other similar appliances by using them over a period of time? What are the warranties on HMP

                                   

                                  Like to reply to this comment?

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   

                                   
                                   

                                  Noel's comment:

                                  • Member since: 22 Oct 12
                                  • 1 Comments
                                  • 0 Replies
                                  User Profile

                                  3 MONTHS AGO | I have had my Thermomix for about ten months now. I use it every day. Make my own bread, different types, dinners, ice cream, smoothies I love it and am saving to buy two for my children's families. Gave away a box of redundant appliances. Very happy.

                                     

                                    Like to reply to this comment?

                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     

                                     
                                     

                                    Delores's comment:

                                    • Member since: 05 Jan 14
                                    • 1 Comments
                                    • 0 Replies
                                    User Profile

                                    4 MONTHS AGO | I bought a Thermomix because I was planning a Bollywood theme 60th birthday party and catering is expensive. I also bought the Indian cookbook. It took a while to get the hang of the Thermomix's capabilities and to decide which dishes could be easily produced in large amounts but the end result was wonderful. I used the Thermomix mostly as a cook's assistant - grinding spices, chopping onions, garlic and ginger, weighing ingredients, mixing, etc. I also used it to make the dough for nan bread. I have never organized that type of party before, let alone done the catering so I think my Thermomix probably paid for itself. Since then, I have used it constantly, especially for soups and food that requires a lot of stirring such as polenta.

                                       

                                      Like to reply to this comment?

                                       
                                       
                                       
                                       

                                       
                                       

                                      ozrockit's comment:

                                      • 1 Comments
                                      • 0 Replies
                                      User Profile

                                      4 MONTHS AGO | Hi, your price is not accurate, $1939 is the price.
                                      I do not regret spending it.

                                         

                                        Like to reply to this comment?

                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         

                                         
                                         

                                        Melz05's comment:

                                        • 1 Comments
                                        • 0 Replies
                                        User Profile

                                        4 MONTHS AGO | Hey I have been thinking about getting a thermomix for quite a while. However the price is out of my uni student budget. I have been looking at purchasing one from Spain to save money. However how did you get your Thermomix from France to work in Australia. Did you buy a converter or have the cord changed?

                                           

                                          Like to reply to this comment?

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           

                                           
                                           

                                          Astrid's comment:

                                          • Member since: 15 Jan 12
                                          • 3 Comments
                                          • 0 Replies
                                          User Profile

                                          5 MONTHS AGO | I bought a Bellini a couple of years ago. As the instructions aren't that great for a while I left in in the cupboard not doing much. Now thermomix released an update for their book I got the jist of it and use it a lot.

                                          I really like the indian book on their website and thinking of getting additional books. I find that when I adjust using the adjustment for the old thermomix, the recipes generally work well.
                                          http://www.thermomix.com.au/libraries/documents/tm21-conversion.pdf

                                          The downside is that putting the butterfly instead of the reverse function can be a bit tricky. Once I did this when cooking gluten free pasta and it still cut it up (should have changed the blade to non cutting instead). The machine sometimes beeps to say the temperate has been exceeded and stirring at low speed is sometimes not very uniform.

                                          Overall I am satisfied to be able to cook good food. It was nice to not have to stress about spending lots of money on a machine while being unsure if it would be useful. If the thermomix was $1000 I would jump out and buy one. At its current price I'm not in a hurry (its overpriced). And if I did upgrade, having another machine on the side to cook rice etc would not go astray.





                                             

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