This post was written by Dee Lawrence, co-founder of Cool Effect. Cool Effect is a partner of March for Science and can help you offset the carbon associated with your March for Science travel.
There are a ton of reasons why we should save the planet from climate change. And, thanks to science, there are solutions that you can access. My husband and I have reduced one million verified tonnes of CO2 and to share our experience with you, we created Cool Effect.
Cool Effect is a non-profit organization intended to be a trustworthy, easy-to-understand platform where those of us alarmed and concerned about climate change can reliably support projects that have been proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A Million Tonnes? Really?
Our story began 13 years ago in a little schoolroom medical clinic in the mountains of rural Honduras. We saw a lot of women and children suffering from respiratory illness and breathing on nebulizers. We asked ourselves, why? It was fairly simple: they cooked their food over wood fires and were breathing toxic poisonous smoke.
We Addressed the Root of the Problem
Medicine works, but, we thought, why not attack the problem at the source? We found an efficient stove built on rocket-elbow, thermo-dynamic science that removed smoke from homes and burned less wood. When less wood is burned, less CO2 is emitted so each stove also contributes to the health of the planet. The stoves worked great, but the question was, how to fund the 500,000 stoves needed for homes in rural Honduras?
We Became a Gold Standard
We applied and became a Gold Standard carbon emission reduction project. It took us four years of a lot of science. Projects like ours use things like the calorific value of wood, the mass of woody biomass consumed during cooking, methane (CH4) emission factors, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) defaults, abandonment rates, non renewability factors for forests, standard deviations on science, designed field based testing of baseline versus project scenarios, and many more. All of these things help to calculate how many tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are actually being reduced by the installation of a simple technology like a cookstove. These calculations are checked by other scientists, validated, verified and monitored.
With scientific proof in hand, a countable number of emission reductions can become a valuable currency for any government, corporation or individual looking to reduce their impact on the environment.
We Helped Half a Million People
As a result of our Gold Standard certification, we were able to sell our tonnes, create Proyecto Mirador and build 141,000 stoves to-date benefitting 500,000 people. We’ve verifiably reduced over one million tonnes of CO2! This carbon-busting project saves lives, helps the communities in the area and creates jobs all at once.
We Created More Carbon Reduction Projects
Enter Cool Effect. It’s our vision to be able to match the climate saving efforts of projects like ours with people who are alarmed by and concerned about climate change, and want to do more. Cool Effect now features 10 carbon reduction projects. Each has a variety of social benefits and all are using science to save people, plants and animals to fight the impacts of climate change.
There’s a productive poo (yes, poo!) project in India that reduces methane emissions by installing biogas digesters. These digesters convert poo from cows into clean biogas that families can use for cooking. We also feature a wind power project in Costa Rica where turbines are generating renewable energy for local families.
Each project has its own page on our site where you can learn how the project reduces CO2, see images from the project and the communities they are helping, understand project challenges and have access to all project due diligence documentation. And if you choose, you can support a project of your choice and help it continue its work.
We Can Help You Offset Your March for Science Travel
Cool Effect offers real, countable, verifiable action! And as a proud partner with March for Science, we’ve made it easy for people to minimize impact of their travel (and impact beyond Earth Day!) by allowing people to offset their travel here.
Thank you science of all kinds—Cool Effect projects couldn’t do what they do for the planet without you!