I know about the lottery and I know about the importance of fighting climate change, but I’ve never seen these two ideas merged into one. That is exactly what is going on with the U.K.-based Carbon Lottery. The next lottery, scheduled for July 26, 2011, is up to €4 million (about $6.3 million U.S.) and a ticket only costs £2 (about $3 U.S.).

Now we all know that the chances of winning a multimillion dollar Euro lottery prize are slim, but you can still get that winning feeling with your ticket purchase. Part of the ticket fee goes toward building the jackpot and part is used to purchase carbon offsets. Each ticket you purchase will offset 100 kilograms of your carbon footprint.

If you want to purchase enough tickets to completely offset your carbon emissions, the Carbon Lottery website has a tool that you can use. If you’re in the United Kingdom, you would need to purchase 106 Carbon Lottery tickets each year to completely offset your carbon footprint. Residents of other countries can use the more in-depth Carbon Calculator to determine the number of tickets they would need to buy.

The Carbon Lottery is definitely a new way to address climate change by supporting the carbon offsetting market. Gregor Paterson Jones, co-founder of the lottery, comments on the idea:

“Tackling climate change needs both innovation and a cultural change, and that’s what the Carbon Lottery is all about. It’s about increasing the impact of offsetting by removing confusion and injecting fun into doing the right thing. Lottery is a familiar idea that people can readily identify with – 70% of us already participate in lotteries in the UK so this is a great way to increase understanding of offsetting. It’s also a great way for businesses to incentivise employees to get behind the work they’re doing to address climate change in an engaging and rewarding way.” Source: The Carbon Lottery

Funds generated through the lottery benefit several carbon offsetting projects including a wind farm in Turkey, a geothermal project in Guatemala and a hydropower project in India.

For more information, visit The Carbon Lottery website.

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