Published by Kerry on 14 Sep 2010 at 06:39 am
While we have been hard at work reducing our carbon footprint, what we couldn’t eliminate we are offsetting using TerraPass. We are determined to keep taking steps in the battle against climate change.
How we’re keeping our footprint small
When we submitted our commute distances, air travel, electricity bill, and server specs to TerraPass, they calculated our carbon footprint at 20 metric tons. Check out our profile here. We have already taken many steps to reduce our footprint. Some of these include:
- WiserEarth.org is handled by three servers, down from five, due to more efficient code.
- We designated Friday our ‘telecommute day’ every week, not to mention our international team in France, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia telecommutes full time everyday.
- We buy over 80% of our office supplies from green suppliers, like TheGreenOffice.com. This includes business cards, printer paper, pens, media materials, and more.
- Our Executive Director bikes to work every other day, and many of our staff use public transportation exclusively.
- Our small office has a big skylight so we use natural light as much as possible, plus we now share conference space with other organizations.
About TerraPass and carbon offsets
TerraPass is a San-Francisco-based social enterprise from which individuals and businesses can purchase so-called carbon offsets: certificates representing the reduction of one metric ton, or 2,205 pounds, of carbon dioxide emissions. Proceeds from this program fund North American emission reduction programs in the areas of clean energy, farm power, or landfill gas capture, everywhere from Maine to Washington. These ultimately help to reduce or balance the overall amount of greenhouse gases produced.
There has been some skepticism from the public regarding carbon offsets. Some see it as a form of “indulgence,” or paying as an excuse or guilt-reduction-technique to “sin” again with one’s carbon emissions. TerraPass decided to conduct a study of what was really happening amongst its carbon offset customers, and found that on average, they were more environmentally conscious than the general public.
At WiserEarth, we don’t view offsets as a substitute for reducing our remaining carbon emissions, and are actively working to cut even more. However, we do see it as another valuable step we can take.
Staff goals for scaling back carbon
Here are a couple of ways WiserEarth team members have resolved to cut carbon out of their everyday lives:
Alex: I plan to eat 30% less meat in the next year.
Angus: I’m going to retrofit my toilets into dual flush (small and large amounts of water) by using this nifty converter. It turns out that water-related energy use (mostly from agriculture) consumes 19 percent of the California’s electricity, 30 percent of its natural gas, and 88 billion gallons of diesel fuel every year.
Bowo: I plan to eat less factory-processed food and more local food, and offset previous flights.
Camilla: I’m going to be planting my own vegetable garden.
Julio: I’m going to start using organic nappies on my baby.
Kescia: I commit to catching BART (public transportation) at least once a week instead of driving!
Oz: I commit to 90% commuting on my bicycle.
Peggy: I commit to 90% walking and cycling for my transportation, and to convert all the staff to cyclists!
Roseli: These are my goals: unplug appliances, including the power strip and/or surge protector when not being used, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and change out incandescent bulbs for fluorescent.
Tim: My largest controllable environmental impact tends to be transportation. Presently, I commute 60 miles or more, two or three times a week! I finally got a bike, and hope to replace my short distance driving, 30 miles per week, with bike riding!
Share the ways you’re cutting carbon, and collaborate in the WiserEarth 10:10 group!
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