With only 13 percent of carbon emissions naturally sequestered a year, the concept of offsets is meant to lessen our growing carbon footprint.
When we exhale, we release carbon dioxide into the air around us. That carbon dioxide is naturally removed from the atmosphere by plants and the ocean in what is known as the carbon cycle. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s, human activities like burning coal and cutting down forests have thrown off the carbon cycle's delicate balance. With only 13 percent of emissions naturally sequestered in 2006, this is where carbon offsets come in.