Eligible employees of both Lindblad Expeditions and Natural Habitat Adventures based in the US get to participate.Everyone who receives an invitation to participate is eligible. You must use your expeditions.com or nathab.com email address to register.
Is this mandatory?
Nope! But we hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity! And if you’re already ahead of the game (like if you already source green energy), we’d love for you to consider engaging socially to share your experience with your colleagues and/or provide encouragement to others.
Do I have to participate in all three behaviors?
You can pick and choose. If you want to take advantage of all three benefits, you can! If you only want to take part in one or two of the benefits, that’s absolutely fine. You’ll get more points for greater participation, but at the end of the day, the goals are to learn, try something new that can have a positive impact on the climate, and have fun.
How long will this program run?
Eight weeks in total. The pilot program starts June 7 and ends July 30. BUT… enrollment in the benefits will end at 11:59 PM EDT on July 29th.
Who are the Ambassadors?
The Green Benefits Ambassadors are members of the Natural Habitat Adventures and Lindblad Expeditions who are your in-house green enthusiasts. They will provide encouragement and help create a sense of connection and community around actions that can have the greatest impact on slowing climate change. Many of them have already taken action in the pilot program areas, so they’ll be great resources throughout this program.
Can I participate if I live in Hawaii or Alaska?
Yes! And….it’s complicated.
The carbon offsets matching benefit is available to all eligible employees no matter where they live.
For your green energy provider options, visit the Arcadia and CleanChoice sites for availability in your area.
For plant-rich food benefits, unfortunately Beyond Meat and Purple Carrot only ship directly to the contiguous US. HOWEVER, you may still qualify for a $50 rebate through some finagling. Reach out to email@example.com and we’ll work with you to get your $50 benefit to spend toward plant-rich food.
Is this program taking responsibility off the shoulders of big companies who pollute the most?
Not at all! While we still need larger changes from corporations and governments, it’s pretty empowering to know we do not have to wait. We can each find at least one way to start making positive changes now. When it comes to our environment, we are all in this together. Plus, as consumers, we can send powerful signals to corporations and governments with our everyday decisions. As demand for plant-based meat, green energy, carbon offsets, electric vehicles, composting, and other high-impact goods and services goes up, and as we talk more about the actions we’re taking, we can shift social norms, which often help pave the way for other changes.
Why is there a debate about carbon offsets?
Some worry about people taking offsetting as a license to pollute as much as they want without making meaningful changes to reduce carbon emissions. We don’t want that either!
Carbon offsets are about amplifying your impact. We need to reduce what we can AND do more to catch carbon that’s already in the atmosphere. That’s where carbon offsets come in.
How can I know the carbon offset projects I support with my donation make a difference?
Rare, the organization behind Green Benefits, partners with organizations that adhere to the most rigorous quality standards in carbon reduction. All carbon offsets supported through this program must be:
Additional: The projects and their greenhouse gas reduction would not have been achieved without offset funding.
Measurable: The projects have a reliable protocol for measuring how much greenhouse gas they prevent or sequester.
Transparent: The projects share as much information as possible.
Third-Party Verified: The projects are verified by a trustworthy, independent third party. (The world’s major carbon standards are: the Gold Standard, the Verified Carbon Standard, the Climate Action Reserve, the American Carbon Registry, or the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism)
Permanent: The projects must demonstrate that the emissions reductions or removals represented by a carbon credit endure for the long term.
Airtight: The projects must demonstrate that they are not resulting in an increase in emissions outside of the project.
Enforceable: The carbon credits issued from a project are sold once and retired.
Rare has also put together a deep-dive list of questions and answers specifically about carbon offsets. If you’re interested in that, click here.
Why did you pick these companies? Are they reputable?
Both Arcadia and Clean Choice met our goals of offering reputable services with the widest possible geographic reach. There are other providers that operate in specific regions, but for the purposes and nature of this pilot program, it was important to choose nationally recognized providers. That said, we continue to evaluate the market as we look to scale Green Benefits. We’d love your suggestions for other great companies we should consider!
How did you decide on this dollar amount for a rebate?
The $120 rebate is based on the nationwide average of what it typically costs to switch to green energy. In most places, opting for 100% green energy does cost slightly more than the standard energy mix on the grid (for now). This $120 rebate is meant to help you cover that additional cost for a year, which works out to about $10 per month.
Is this really going to make a difference?
Renewable energy certificates (RECs) encourage renewable energy production so that more of the energy we consume is cleaner and better for the environment than oil, gas, or coal. RECs represent energy generated from sources such as solar or wind power facilities, but buying RECs isn’t quite like directly buying electricity. When you purchase RECs, clean energy gets generated on your behalf. One of the greatest ways that RECs make a difference is by sending a powerful demand signal to the market. As demand for RECs goes up, so can the supply of renewable energy. It’s a little like voting for clean energy with your utility bill. For more information on RECs, check out this article.
Once I enroll, am I stuck?
Nope! All plans can be canceled, but please refer to your energy provider’s website or customer service for more details. Any cancellation requests must go directly from you to the provider.
I already have solar panels on my house. Can I still participate?
Before we answer this question, we first have to say: congratulations! You’re already ahead of the curve on generating green energy. If you want to go above and beyond the solar power you are already generating and purchase RECs….well, that’s where it gets a bit complicated. REC products and processes vary by locality and vendor, so we recommend exploring both vendors’ sites and seeing what’s available in your area.
That said, installing solar panels on your home is one of the most impactful steps you can take to reduce your household carbon footprint, so great job!
If I only buy local beef, does that mitigate its carbon footprint?
Buying from local farms is great! Keep it up! Unfortunately, only about 0.5% of beef’s greenhouse gas (GHG) impact comes from transportation (Ritchie, 2020). The vast majority results from activities at the farm level. This is because raising livestock requires clearing a lot of land (often forests) for cattle grazing, water and other resources to feed the livestock, and everyone’s favorite fun fact – methane from the cows themselves. In fact, for most foods, transportation makes up less than 10% of total emissions, especially since very few foods are actually air-freighted (Ritchie, 2020). If you want to see a cool chart about the carbon footprints of different foods, click here, and you’ll see that foods that come from plants have a significantly lower carbon footprint than meat. The World Resources Institute also has more information and cool charts.
Are you secretly trying to get me to go vegan?
Not at all! Right now, most Americans eat well over the doctor-recommended amounts of meat. If every American cut their meat consumption back to doctor-recommended amounts (about 3-4 servings per week), we could cut food-related carbon emissions by 25% (WWF, 2020). But even cutting back on meat a few times a week adds up.
Can I participate if I am already a Vegetarian/Vegan?
Yes! You are still welcome to sign-up for the benefit and try some products or services. Also, we encourage you to be extra engaged and share your experiences, tips, and tricks with your colleagues who are just starting to move towards a more plant-based lifestyle.