While there are numerous offset providers in the marketplace today, Evanstonians can choose to compensate for their emissions by contributing to a fund right here in town. The Evanston Climate Action Fund, administered by the Evanston Community Foundation, invests in GHG emissions-reduction projects in Evanston, with a special emphasis on projects benefiting nonprofit organizations and lower-income households.

ECF officials say current contributions will help support a first set of grants to local childcare centers for energy-efficient lighting upgrades. In addition, the families of the children served by the centers will be given information about energy-saving steps they can take and will also receive compact fluorescent lights to install in their homes.

Maintained by the Evanston Community Foundation, the fund is part of a community-wide campaign to reduce Evanston’s collective carbon footprint by13 percent by 2012.

ECF says travelers who wish to “save up” their emissions may make a contribution once or twice a year rather than after each trip. Contributions may be made online at www.evanstonforever.or or checks (designated for the Evanston Climate Action Fund) may be sent to Evanston Community Foundation, 1007 Church Street, Suite 108, Evanston, IL 60201.