As America's favorite frog once said, "It's not easy being green." But every effort we can take, no matter how small, is worthy in trying to tackle the biggest challenge of our generation: the Climate Crisis.
In neutralizing our carbon footprint in our primary business activities - hosting a website and shipping orders - our two most critical and impactful partners are our online platforms, which are primarily Shopify, who hosts our website, and Etsy, the "handmade marketplace" striving to "keep commerce human."
Both of our platforms enable us to offer carbon-offset shipping on all orders. Shipping impacts from all of our website and Etsy sales are 100% neutralized.
We joined Shopify's Offset program in 2020, a service that calculates the amount of carbon emissions produced on all our website orders by the weight of the package and the distance traveled, and then charges our account for the carbon credits of equivalent value. Carbon credit projects are determined by the organization Pachama. (As of this writing, our carbon credits are currently benefiting the Jari Pará Forest Conservation Project in the Amazon Rainforest.). In addition, Shopify offsets all delivery emissions for every order purchased through ShopPay. (On our website, that includes almost all orders except those purchased using Paypal.)
Etsy announced in 2019 that it was the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions from shipping. Today, all of the carbon emissions resulting from the orders shipped on its marketplace are offset in equal amount by Etsy investing in projects that reduce carbon emissions. Etsy includes offsets for all sellers and customers.
These are the sites that enable our sales on the internet: Etsy and Shopify. We're proud to work with Shopify for our website, who prioritizes green operations and in 2020, created a Sustainability Fund.
Both of our marketplace/partner platforms are powered 100% by renewable energy. Etsy has released an ambitious Ecological Impact Plan and has pledged to be Net Zero by 2030, and Shopify's data centers - and therefore our website - are already 100% carbon-neutral. In addition to its carbon-neutral data storage, Shopify has a commitment to becoming carbon-negative, with plans underway for LEED-certified offices and carbon-neutral operations.
In 2019, following the UN guidelines, we embarked on a transparent and singularly-focused initiative to end single-use plastics at all stages of operation at Walnut Studiolo. As of this writing, we have successfully eliminated single-use plastics from all of our packaging and products and we continue to seek out better sources for our operations. (How did we eliminate single-use plastics?)
All of Walnut Studiolo's home and workshop electricity is currently powered by our local rural power co-op, the Tillamook Public Utility District. The majority of Oregon's rural public power sourcing is from the federal government's large hydro projects in the Columbia River. Although they do not produce emissions, they do produce other environmental damages, most especially endangering native salmon.
Although renewable energy options in our rural area are not as robust as they are in cities, we signed up as soon as we moved here for TPUD's Green Power program, which encourages the development of waste methane (biogas) renewable energy projects at our abundant local Tillamook dairies.
We signed up for waiting lists with both Etsy Solar and Tesla Powerwall + Solar and have a goal to incorporate on-site solar onto our rural property as soon as it's available in our rural area.
This post is just an attempt to capture what we're currently doing as of this writing, but we are personally and morally dedicated to decreasing our carbon footprint on a continual basis.
Questions about our sustainability practices and policies? Shoot us an email here: firstname.lastname@example.org