Why should I contribute?

Without even knowing it, most of us go about our daily lives doing things that generate a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas emissions. (This is called our carbon footprint and you can learn more about it here) Unfortunately, we often don’t have alternatives for doing these things. Either the technology isn’t available (like solar-powered planes), or we simply can’t afford to change our lifestyles at the moment (like buying a new hybrid car or installing solar panels). 

This is where CathCAP comes in. By simply paying a little bit of money for your most carbon-intensive activities, you and your faith community can help reduce the effects of some of the carbon dioxide that your activities produce. It’s a way to both personally and collectively help tackle climate change and also take more responsibility for our actions.

How can I contribute?

You can either donate to the account of an institutionthat you, a friend, or family member are a part of, donate to CathCAP’s general fund. Using a carbon offset calculator, you can easily figure out how much to give: just enter the information about your chosen activities and CathCAP will calculate the cost to offset them. Then you can pay that amount to the account you want to support! 

Where is my money going?

Nearly all of your money goes toward funding a carbon offset project in your community or somewhere else in the world. CathCAP uses five percent to cover administrative costs. If you contribute to a participating institution, your money will go toward the specific carbon offset project chosen for their offset fund. If you contribute to CathCAP’s general fund, your money will go toward one of the worldwide projects we support. 

Pooling your money this way is much more effective than if everyone started their own projects, and by doing it through CathCAP, you know exactly where your money is being spent. Even if everyone contributes a just little bit, it will add up to have a huge impact!

How can my school, parish, or university group start collecting money for an offset project?

Start by designating an institution representative to create an account for your institution where people can pool their offset funds.

Once you have this set up, start involving other members of your community, explaining why and how to contribute. CathCAP provides useful materials and strategies for encouraging participation within your community. After the account grows sufficiently, it will be up to your community to decide what kind of project it would like to fund in order to offset its carbon footprint.

If you’re wondering whether your institution could create its own carbon offset program, the answer is yes, of course! However, CathCAP has made it easy for institutions to jump right in: the platform already exists and all the necessary tools and materials to run the technical side of things are provided. So all you have to do is choose a project and encourage people to participate.

By using CathCAP, your organization will also be linked to a larger community of environmentally-conscious Catholic organizations, which will allow you to share resources, ideas, and support amongst each other. 

How much money is a typical carbon offset contribution with CathCAP?

We calculate a ratio of $15 per ton of carbon emitted, but everyone has unique travel patterns, so your CathCAP contribution could range from $30 to $300 or more. The amount varies depending on the mode of transportation, distance, and energy efficiency of your travel.

Here is an example: 

I drive 15,000 miles per year and my car averages 28 miles per gallon. My total contribution to CathCAP for automobile transportation this year is approximately $75.

I made three roundtrip airline flights this year: one lasting one hour each way (DC to NYC), the second two hours each way (DC to Chicago), and a cross-country trip averaging 4.5 hours each way (DC to Los Angeles). My total annual offset cost for air travel is approximately $46.

My total annual contribution to CathCAP is approximately $131.

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