reducing Huckleberry Knits' carbon footprint June 8, 2020 12:06

From the beginning, Huckleberry Knits has been primarily fueled by Green Power, a program of my electric utility (Puget Sound Energy) that allows customers to buy electricity from only renewable sources, like wind and solar. I've been purchasing Green Power since PSE started offering it in 1999, as a simple way to reduce my everyday carbon footprint 

I've been thinking about how to offset the impact of my shipping as well. In recent years, online sales have been a very small percentage of my business revenue, since I've been focusing on wholesale and shows. But with the cancellation of all my remaining 2020 shows and a severe drop in wholesale, I've been selling a lot more online and shipping has become a bigger part of my footprint.

Last month I switched all my shipping label purchases to Shippo, which tracks the number of miles my packages travel. My monthly summary tells me that my packages traveled 22,817 miles last month. How to translate that into an actual offset? I thought there would be an online calculator but I can't seem to find one.

For my May impacts, I'm just going to double my usual monthly donation to the Rainforest Alliance. This is a nonprofit that purchases land in the Amazonian rainforest, to protect it in perpetuity. In my previous job as a water resources planner, I became professionally convinced that buying properly functioning habitat, rather than restoring habitat, provides the biggest bang for your buck.

Beginning in June, I will be shipping through Shopify's in-house shipping app. It comes with the ability to use the Offset app, which calculates my packages' carbon impact based on distance traveled plus their weight and their type of transportation. The project that the Offset dollars are currently going to is the Jari Pará  Forest Conservation Project, which works with local communities in this 500,000-hectare (1235 acres) region in Brazil to practice sustainable forestry. 

Shopify (which is the platform that powers my shopping cart) will cover any offset costs for purchases made with Shop Pay, while I will cover any made with PayPal.