Updated: Feb 26, 2020
"Carbon offsets can seem too good to be true. In theory, the offsets work like a big sponge sopping up all the emissions you put into the environment when traveling by plane or riding in a car. It all comes at a relatively low cost, as well: you can offset emissions for a 12-hour flight for the price of an airport cocktail.
They’ve skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. Most people might know them only as a little feel-good box you can check when booking a plane ticket through some carriers, but now you can buy them through various providers whenever you feel particularly carbon bloated. One of the providers, the non-profit Cool Effect, saw a 700 percent increase this summer, thanks in part to teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who sailed a boat across the Atlantic to America in order to bring attention to the carbon emissions of airplane travel."