The Footprint Fund is a community carbon offset program of Climate Smart Missoula. This program allows you - an individual, business or nonprofit - to "offset" your carbon footprint by supporting local projects that benefit our neighbors and community. In turn, it also allows developers, builders, and other nonprofits to use these funds to add energy saving measures or renewable energy to housing or other buildings when money for such is not available. We're ramping up efforts in 2023!
Financially supporting energy savings for others is just one way we can take action to reduce climate impacts. Learn more about how offsets fit in, and how you can act to reduce your footprint, advocate for big climate solutions, and invest further.
What is a carbon offset?
How will offsets help our community?
An offset is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in one place that can be used to compensate for emissions elsewhere. For example, you can offset the emissions from a plane flight by giving money to a project that will improve the energy efficiency of a home, which would not have been done otherwise. This is the heart of the Footprint Fund. Other publicly available offsets might, for example, support solar energy, forest restoration or urban forests.
Offsets need to be done right - with proper accounting, transparency and verification. We are working to set these up right. Read more here. And the "we" is here.
Why should I buy offsets?
There is a lot we can do to shrink our climate footprints, but we're still connected to energy and transportation systems that make it nearly impossible to get to zero on our own. Offsets can help get you closer to a zero energy footprint.
Indeed, the projects of the Footprint Fund will go a step further - not only will they help you reduce your footprint, but they will help reduce a community member's energy bill and improve the comfort of their home. All offset purchases will go towards low-income weatherization projects, reducing the energy use in homes where residents need a reprieve from their energy bill the most.
Our unique Footprint Fund offsets are designed to help fund residential energy efficiency projects for low-income households in western Montana. They will allow you to offset your impact while making a difference in our local communities.
We often hear that housing affordability and climate change are the two most pressing issues facing our community. The Footprint Fund aims to address both in tandem, by "bridging the gap" for large building projects or helping one family at a time reduce their energy use, resulting in healthier homes and lower energy bills.
What else should I know?
You may be thinking, "Cool, I'll buy offsets and then go on with my life, guilt free...." We say, "Whoa, there's more to it!"
As much as we like offsets and believe in this particular program, designed to assist those in our community who need a hand, we cannot stop here.
We encourage everyone to ACT, ADVOCATE and ASSIST. All three are key. To turn the tide on this climate crisis we all need to tell our stories, support climate leaders, agitate for needed policies and be willing to use our voice. THANKS for doing what you can and then a little bit more.
Here at the Human Resource Council, we're so thrilled that we're on the receiving end of carbon offset funds. We are using these funds for weatherization work. We're so grateful to add extra insulation or replace a window in the homes or our neighbors, measures we would not have been able to do without these extra Footprint Funds. A mighty big Thank You!