It's always on our minds... how can we minimize waste and offset the emissions of our daily operations?
For many years, we've been selling products that are highly reusable, re-purposing shopping bags, reusing boxes and packing material for shipments, opting for recycled version of our office supplies, etc. but the bottom line is that we do ship a lot of products (and order a lot of products). All that package transit definitely racks up emissions, so what can we do about it?
We spent a bit of time researching... it turns out that ordering online is actually more efficient if you live more than a few miles from the store you'd be driving a vehicle to to get the same thing! Obviously, there are other factors to consider, such as how many items you are ordering at once, how many shipments you receive, etc. If you can walk or take public transportation to your local store, that's ideal, but of course not everyone has an amazing natural parenting store in walking distance (or even in driving distance!) ;)
Thankfully, there are a lot of great calculators out there for businesses to assess their emissions. We'll be doing this yearly (as of 2019), and in partnership with Newleaf Environmental LLC, we are planting trees to offset our carbon footprint. What does this mean? We look at our energy usage, employee numbers and transit, delivery driving, shipment miles, and so on to calculate how many metric tons of various gases we may be causing to be emitted yearly. This is an estimate, as it is difficult to assess these numbers exactly, as is the number of trees to plant and what their potential carbon absorption will be, however this is currently the most useful way to go about assessing what we can do to offset our emissions. We are looking into official certifications, however feel there is no time like the present to take action!
There's an endearing story behind this partnership. Around the time when Kelly took over ownership of Jillian's Drawers in 2017, she met her sweetheart, Lance, a wildlife biologist and owner of New Leaf Environmental, LLC. Together they've been working to find ways to evolve their businesses, always with a focus on the environment and helping others. They been tackling all of this while building their lives together, dabbling in sustainable building (there's an Earthship in their future!), AND parenting a teen and a toddler together. Needless to say, striking a work/life balance is a major challenge!
For more information on this topic, check out these great resources: