While solving the climate crisis essentially requires systemic change and collective action, individual action plays a key role in achieving structural change. By being aware of how personal choices affect the climate, people are more likely to change their behaviors and consequently demand meaningful collective action.
With this in mind, a new app called Klima is helping individuals estimate their own emissions and offering ways for them to offset those emissions by supporting credible carbon-reducing projects.
“Individual carbon offsetting, we found, is one of the most effective things that you can do as an individual that really produces measurable results,” says Markus Gilles, cofounder and CEO of Klima, the Berlin-based company behind the eponymous new app.
To estimate your carbon footprint, the user-friendly app factors in such variables as the number of flights you take each year and your diet, and lets you choose categories of well-vetted offsets to support through a monthly subscription, including reforestation initiatives, solar power projects, and “clean cookstove” projects that improve the livelihoods of families in developing countries.
What’s more, to give you a good impression of how much you’ve helped, the app displays in real time a counter that shows exactly how many trees have been planted by the money you’ve funded or how many kilowatt-hours of solar energy you’ve added to the grid.
The app also makes suggestions about how to lower your own footprint, including changing your diet or the way you commute. The best of it, as your footprint shrinks, your monthly subscription cost goes down as well.