Apparently there are a variety of options. I have looked at three and would appreciate your input.
OK, so the three options I looked at were offsetting through a registered organisation, donating to a conservation project personally, and planting trees myself.
1. CarboNZero is a registered programme that buys carbon credits under the emissions trading scheme on behalf of people wanting to offset their emissions. It appears to be primarily for businesses, offering certification to those who completely offset. So the deal here is you give them money and they use the money to purchase carbon credits from a carbon-reducing project, which provides the project with further funding. So you can sponsor a project that helps another country reduce its emissions. Example projects are listed down the page. Carbon credits are currently worth about $7 a tonne, so I could ostensibly offset my emissions for under $50 - dunno, that sounds.. not that offsetty for the amount of damage I'm likely doing, you know?
2. There are a couple of ways I could donate to conservation projects. One is to do something like donate through Carbon.org.nz, which takes your money and uses it to buy trees, which are then planted in the South Island. This site claims that 2-3 trees a year will offset the average Kiwi emission of 7 tonnes. But another site I looked at says it should be more like 5 trees per tonne, which would mean 35 trees. The cheapest trees on that site are $29 each, which means by their calculations I'd be looking at $100 a year and by the other site's calculations I'm looking at $1015 a year.
Another way I could do this would be to make a donation to a local project. One close to my heart is Horokiwi Reserve. I shear most of the sheep up this road and know most of the people, I used to live up there, and the Reserve backs onto a Regional Park which is also full of trees. Donating to these guys would make me quite happy in my happy place, with the added bonus that I could donate to a level I'm comfortable with. $100 seems too little, $1000 becomes difficult, budget wise.
3. I could plant trees myself by finding a project and turning up to plant trees, or by, as has been suggested, adding trees to the section of certain people who have a large one and who are not about to leave in a hurry. Again, the Horokiwi project appeals but considering I have to drive to get up there, I'd have to plant an extra tree or two to make up for that.
So, those seem to be my options. Which would you do? I mean, ideally I'd like to have my own bit of land in Queen's Covenant and plant shitloads of trees on it, but failing that? I quite like getting my hands dirty, but I also understand these projects don't just run on dirty hands and could probably do with some money. And carbon credits may be ultimately more helpful in terms of reducing global reliance on fossil fuels.
Today we went to Raukawa Marae. My tummy is very full (this is a common side effect of maraes I find). We learned about tuna (eels, not the fish) and about the way in which climate change parallels the Maori creation story, and also what Ngati Raukawa are doing to restore their wetlands. But I'll write about that tomorrow.