Our Olympic tickets arrived the other day, and I’ve now booked our train tickets for the event.  Was relieved that the prices don’t seem to have been overly inflated, and that there was still plenty of choice in terms of ticket availability.  Prices might have affected our decision whether to take the train or go by car, and I’m relieved that we leave the car behind, both from the point of view of the hassle involved, and the environmental impact.

Even more delighted to discover in our ticket pack tags for the BP Target Neutral scheme.  OK, possibly not a huge fan of BP in recent times – a quick search of the internet will bring up all sorts of crimes against the company, and accusations of a poor safety and environmental record (we’ve not forgotten the gulf of Mexico oil spill for instance, which seemed to take months for them to tackle). But shall we give them some credit for trying with the Olympic Target Neutral scheme, or do we just discount it as a massive publicity stunt?

Publicity stunt or not, the effect will be a positive one if enough people sign up to the scheme.  It’s pretty simple – if you’re a ticket holder, you go to the website (https://spectatortargetneutral.bp.com/tag/start) and enter the code on the tag which was sent with your tickets (one per person) – and BP offset the carbon for your journey (on an estimated basis, obviously, calculated on the basis of the country from which you’re travelling).

If you’re not off to the Olympics, or you’d like to offset your whole carbon footprint, you can also buy into the scheme, which helps fund environmental projects around the world.  (There’s a cute video fronted by Adam Hart-Davis in a mad-scientist’s basement which explains more: http://www.bptargetneutral.com/2011/09/how-does-carbon-offsetting-work/)

If you want to hand over your real hard-earned money, The Woodland Trust also have an offset scheme (http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/support-us/carbon/Pages/reduce.aspx) which is perhaps easier to understand, and arguably less open to abuse, but you can explore the two schemes for yourself to see which you prefer.

But if you’re off to the games, make sure you sign up for the Target Neutral Scheme – it’ll cost you nothing, and if nothing else, will help make a statement about sustainability for future Olympic games.