Instances of weather extremes increased over the past few decades. Until recently, the noticeable changes seemed gradual, but the impact was huge. Experts blame climate change for deadly heat, flooding, snow levels, and raging wildfires. According to scientists, these weather extremes will continue to increase. Furthermore, they call for businesses and the public to take drastic measures to reduce their carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
When someone talks about reducing their carbon footprint, they are talking about the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air resulting from their energy need. Lowering energy usage includes transportation, electricity, food, clothing, and other goods. NASA further explains it is easy to reduce a personal footprint by turning off lights, televisions, and computers. In addition, they could use solar power, carpool or use public transportation, decrease plastic use, and more.
As more consumers become aware of their carbon footprint, they also become conscious of the environmental impact of a product’s manufacturing and shipping. As a result, many people prefer online shopping from companies that show they are concerned about climate change. Eco-friendly e-businesses strive to:
- Reduce transportation emissions in three important ways. First, many operate without physical commuting, which allows employees to lower their carbon footprint. Second, these companies use shipping services with proven efforts to cut their emissions. Last, organizations create shipping choices to motivate consumers to consolidate their orders. For example, bulk or bundle packaging decreases the number of boxes used to ship items and the number of trips to the customers’ locations.
- Cut down on paper waste. Sana Commerce says that companies are the biggest paper waste creators. Therefore, more businesses are switching to digital information storage.
- Use environmentally friendly packaging using compostable boxes and recyclable padding materials rather than styrofoam peanuts and inflatable plastic bags.
Measuring Carbon Footprint
Companies also seek to balance their carbon and greenhouse gas levels, similar to Amazon’s vow to use electric delivery vans. Ecologists call this balance “net zero” to explain what happens when carbon dioxide created is equal to or less than the amount of greenhouse gas removed from the air.
According to Columbia University’s Climate School, the world must reach net zero by 2050 to avoid climate change’s disastrous impacts.
As a result, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires organizations to monitor their carbon footprint. A company must file a report with the EPA when its yearly CO2 output exceeds 25,000 metric tons. Currently, the EPA requires approximately 7,600 U.S. businesses to file annual reports.
Nonetheless, many companies of all sizes, like Simpleaf, are committed to reaching and maintaining net zero. By partnering with multi-faceted emission reduction organizations like Cloverly, businesses can offset their carbon footprint by measuring CO2 emissions and funding carbon-capture projects to counter climate change using carbon offset credits (COC). A popular project is planting trees.
Simpleaf is proud to announce its 2022 total footprint offset is 1.89 tons (3,774 pounds), and its carbon balance is negative 1.89 tons (-3,774 pounds). That means they are carbon footprint neutral, and their carbon offset credits help to fund Cloverly’s projects.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
(Originally published on Simpleaf)
Terrapass: Restore the Balance
International Business Times: Carbon Offset Programs: Feeling Guilty About A Carbon Footprint? There’s An App For That; by Cullen Paradis
EPA: Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
NASA Climate Kids: What can we do to help?
Columbia Climate School: Net Zero Pledges: Can They Get Us Where We Need to Go? By Renee Cho