The Problem

Carbon pollution trapped in the earth’s atmosphere is altering the climate. Now comparable to a 10.5-foot blanket of pollution surrounding the earth, excess carbon is dangerously warming the planet as it traps the sun’s heat.

Driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are being released into the atmosphere.

This heat-trapping pollution is already harming the environment and our communities. The effects of increased carbon pollution include warming seas, ocean acidification, altered ocean currents, changes in storm patterns, increase in precipitation and sea level rise. Many of these effects are already observable and causing environmental destruction.

While collective action on multiple levels is required to create any kind of meaningful impact, there are specific steps that every individual can take to reduce their contribution of carbon pollution to mitigate this climate crisis.

The Approach

Your carbon footprint is the direct or indirect impact of your activities, from the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced through the burning of fossil fuels. As a measure and calculation, it can indicate how your behaviors are contributing to the overall effects of carbon pollution in the atmosphere.

Our position is to first take the lead and encourage personal action to reduce your individual carbon footprint before looking to source offsets for those emissions reductions. We encourage boaters to create a new path forward by adopting best practices in Green Boating.

We are glad you have arrived here to learn more and begin by understanding how each of us is a contributor to the problem.

How Can You Help?

Start by considering your individual impact. How do you, your family, or your business produce excess carbon emissions? Using the tools and links provided on this page, make a plan to reduce your emissions and don’t be afraid to start small. By sharing your progress with friends, family and colleagues, you can increase your overall impact. Small actions, such as reducing single-use plastic usage or investing in renewable energy for your home, can have large impacts when we all work together.

Carbon Partner

When you have reduced your carbon impact and want to offset them completely, consider purchasing Carbon Offset Credits through a program like Sustainable Travel International (STI). This program works by funding projects that actively remove carbon from the atmosphere, such as planting carbon-removing trees or the creation of other carbon-sucking technology. For more information on Carbon Offset programs, see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below or download the Carbon Offset Guide.

Who is Taking the Lead?

Making a difference in our environmental impact is not just about changing our behaviors or community effort but also includes the use of new technologies and improved methodologies. In this section we highlight industry partners who are making strides in protecting our oceans through their innovations.

Suzuki Marine

Throughout the last decade, Suzuki has committed to being more than just an engine manufacturer. In addition to their breaking-edge technology development, Suzuki’s commitment to a better world has taken the form of the CLEAN OCEAN PROJECT. They have engaged over 9,000 people in their campaign to “Clean-Up the World” and have led beach cleanups globally since 2011.

By switching the packaging of their marine genuine parts from plastic to eco-friendly materials like paper, they have positioned the industry closer to eradicating the 2.3 tons of unnecessary plastic packaging used per year. However, Suzuki is not just mitigating the source of plastic pollution – they are leading the way in how we clean up the plastic mess that is already in the ocean. Attaching the simple Micro-Plastic Collecting System to an Outboard Motor can convert what would be just a simple cruise through the Intracoastal into a marine micro-plastic cleanup. Continue reading, click here.

How Can You Support SeaKeepers Efforts?

Join Our Membership Program

Neutralize your carbon footprint by becoming a SeaKeepers Member at our Carbon Offset Level of giving.

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Sponsor a Beach Cleanup

Support our local shoreline and underwater cleanups by funding our sustainable materials.

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Become a DISCOVERY Yacht

Integrate our Green Boating Guide tips and become a DISCOVERY Yacht in our fleet and support marine science.

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Donate Your Vessel

Help us fund our DISCOVERY Yacht Program and donate your vessel to our Yacht Donation Program.

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Understanding It All | Carbon Offset FAQs

By simple definition, Climate Change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns of the Earth’s local, regional, and global climates. Climate Change, which includes global warming, refers to the Earth’s rising surface temperature and the effects of warming that are happening to our planet.

Observable impacts of Climate Change include sea level rise, ocean acidification, rising sea temperatures and melting polar ice, dramatic fluctuations in local weather patterns, and increased natural disasters.

Climate Change is primarily driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in the Earth’s atmosphere, acting as a blanket wrapped around the Earth. Since the industrial revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen dramatically as humans burn fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide gas. Heat from the sun is reflected off the world’s oceans and into Earth’s atmosphere, where the build-up of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, prevent the heat’s escape.

For millennia prior to the 1900s, the atmosphere did not see carbon dioxide concentrations greater than 300 parts per million - now, levels are well over 400. The Earth’s temperature has risen about 2°F in response.

Every day, our activities directly and indirectly result in the emission of greenhouse gases. Your “carbon footprint” refers to the amount of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, that are likely produced from your lifestyle and activities. Greenhouse gases can be emitted through land clearance and the production and consumption of food, fuels, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, transportation, and other services. Carbon footprints are usually measured in equivalent tons of CO2.

Online carbon footprint calculators allow you to determine your carbon footprint based on many aspects of your lifestyle, including your home, your vehicle, your travel and even your diet. These calculators use known average emissions for each factor to determine how much carbon you are likely emitting during the course of a year. Interested in determining your carbon footprint? See our Carbon Footprint Calculator for Yacht Owners above.

Carbon offsetting is the act of reducing carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases to compensate for emissions that were produced elsewhere. Offsetting can be achieved by purchasing “carbon credits,” which fund certified climate action projects that reduce, remove, or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. By using a carbon footprint calculator, an individual or company can estimate the amount of carbon their activities release into the atmosphere and offset it through the purchase of carbon credits, effectively funding such carbon-reducing projects.

Many companies sell carbon credits that fund various projects, and therefore it is important to do your research into the projects being funded when selecting a carbon offset provider. There are several carbon offset providers that support the advancement of carbon reducing technology and research, effectively offsetting carbon for each carbon credit purchased. To learn more about how to ensure your carbon credits are being used effectively, read our “Criteria for the Evaluation of a Carbon Offset Provider” section below.

Offset providers act as aggregators and retailers between project developers and buyers. They provide a convenient way for consumers and businesses to access offset credits from a portfolio of projects.

It is often a good idea to work with someone who has a detailed understanding of the sectors or project types being considered, which in some cases could involve enlisting multiple experts. The goal is to utilize the services of consultants or trusted retailers to examine projects, navigate different options, and put together a portfolio of offset credits that meet a buyer’s goal (with respect to location, project type, offset quality, and co-benefits, for example).

When choosing a Carbon Offset Provider, consider:

  • Are their projects all third-party verified and validated? Are projects accredited by internationally recognized Program Stands, such as CDM, Gold Standard or VCS, Plan Vivo, etc.
  • What type of projects do they offer in their portfolio? (e.g., wind farm, methane recovery, etc.)
  • Where are the carbon offset projects located?
  • What portion of the carbon credit price is allocated to the project developers?
  • Does the project reduce greenhouse gas emissions or remove carbon from the atmosphere or destroy the greenhouse gas?
  • How do they ensure that the greenhouse gas reductions that the carbon offsets represent were quantified accurately?
  • What steps have they taken to ensure that the carbon offsets that are selling are additional?
  • How do they ‘retire’ credits? Do they use a publicly accessible registry to track and retire your credits?
  • Do their projects go beyond carbon offsetting? Every project has huge potential to provide community benefits and biodiversity protection. Find out which of their projects provide employment opportunities, health care benefits, education, and the protection of certain species. These impacts are often called co-benefits and checking that the projects align with the UNs Sustainable Development Goals can be a good place to start.
  • What is their experience in carbon offsetting? Many organizations are new to the field of carbon offsetting and may not have the technical expertise and established relationships when it comes to offsetting.
  • Are they transparent? A reputable organization will have information about their projects, methodologies, and quality assurance protocols readily accessible on their website and be willing to answer your questions. If not, that is a good clue that they may be trying to hide something. Check that the methodologies used by the organization are clearly defined and any questions you have about your support are answered with clarity.
  • If they are selling credits that will be created in the future (i.e., through forward crediting), what mechanisms (insurance or otherwise) are in place to ensure the offsets will actually be delivered?
  • What percentage of the portfolio (by tons of CO2 e) is made up of offsets from tree planting or agricultural soils projects? If it is a significant percentage (more than 20% of your portfolio), how do they address permanence risks?
  • What is the organization doing to educate consumers about climate change and the need for government policy to deal with it?
  • Are they a member of any alliance which has a Code of Best Practice that members must adhere to?