by Russ Ensley, UPS For a long time, the term “carbon offsetting” sounded to me like vague corporate speak. I had little or no idea what it really meant, and struggled to understand it. But when our video team at UPS was tasked with producing a video project centered around carbon offsetting at the Garcia River Forest, I finally had something tangible to (forgive the tree-hugging pun) “put my arms around.” It suddenly seemed incredibly simple. Our carbon offset program at UPS is used to support projects such as the forestry efforts at Garcia River, and the trees in the Garcia River Forest suck carbon dioxide from the environment. At last, we had something visual – and real – to help tell the very non-visual story of what carbon offsetting actually is, and does. Being on the video shoot at Garcia River Forest was definitely a unique experience. The closest I’d ever been to “wilderness” before was visiting a state park or two – not exactly roughing it. I’d never been in an environment that was so raw, so untouched by human hands. Once inside the forest, our crew was literally cut off from civilization. Cell phones were useless, and the logistics involved in executing the simplest of shots were unlike anything I’d seen in 29 years of doing video production. Just getting our equipment into position involved a lot of people schlepping a lot of gear, up steep hills, through dense brush, over rock-lined streams, all through the ever-present poison oak. Personally, I was convinced that getting Lyme disease from a tick bite was a foregone conclusion. But through it all, no one on the crew really complained. In fact, just the opposite happened. Everyone pitched in and did their part, above and beyond the call of duty. I think a big reason for that is we all “got it” and wanted to create something special that would allow others to “get it” regarding the carbon offsetting story. Even if it meant getting a little poison oak in the process. Check out this infographic to learn more about our carbon neutral service. Or, watch the video about the Garcia River Forest here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIb4IZS0Gb0&feature=plcp.