Maybe you identify as The Trend Setter, the one with the sexy compact car and designer imports who takes long showers to stay fresh.
Or perhaps one of your mates is a classic example of The Urban Warrior: the apartment dweller and tram rider who nevertheless makes a mess and parties hard, whether at home or on holiday in Bali.
Call it stereotyping. Oversimplification, if you wish. For CO2 Australia, it’s something else: a strategy for demystifying the mathematics behind the carbon footprint.
Yonderr, the website launched by CO2 Australia, allows individuals and businesses to purchase carbon offset packages based on character profiles that most closely correspond to their lifestyles. Visitors can select among eight different individual and business profiles or perform some basic customisation to estimate the size of their footprint.
Once that’s calculated, they can purchase carbon credits to offset their annual CO2 emissions.
Andrew Grant, CEO of CO2 Australia, said the idea behind Yonderr came about because people were already too confused.
“No rifling through power bills or calculating your kitchen waste. Just pick a package that sounds like you,” he said. “We want to make it as easy as possible to make a positive contribution.”
Among the factors that determine the annual costs are the size of one’s car and home, consumption of meat, use of electronics, frequency of air travel, consumption of resources such as paper and generation of waste. (For those who are environmentally concerned or just curious, the site does include a full breakdown of the costs associated with each of these factors.)
Packages range from as little as $54 a year for an individual (the vegetarian hippy with a dog, but no car) to $336 a year for a family of four. Business packages range from $84 per annum for a home office operator, to $571 annually for a medium business (four cars, plus four domestic and two international flights), and up to $1,612 annually for a large business (a fleet of ten cars and frequent flights). The Yonderr website prices carbon at $12 per tonne.
So where exactly does the money for an offset package go? Towards carbon credit projects managed by the CO2 Group wordwide: reforestation efforts at home, windmill installations in India and conversion of methane gasses in US landfills to electricity.
According to Grant , the Yonderr website seeks to cut through the debate on tackling climate change and focus on the positive.
“There is a growing number of people who want to voluntarily cut their carbon right now, so we need to give them options,” he said. “Most websites in this space are technical and boring. Yonderr makes carbon offsetting easy and fun. You catch more flies with honey.”