For almost a decade now, world environmental agencies have declared ‘climate change’ the most critical problem of the time. It is most critical and most threatening as to how the environment has been damaged by it in the last decade. We as citizens of the modern-day need to do something about it. We need to take some individual action to fight the crisis that prevails.
Amazon and GM have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040. Apple is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030, while Google claims it's been carbon neutral since 2007. Becoming carbon neutral is a growing trend among major companies -- and even entire countries -- but what does it actually mean, and is it something you can achieve as an average person?
Achieving carbon neutrality has a much larger benefit when it comes from an industry or a national economy, but it's also a worthwhile goal for individuals. Here's what it means and how you can start minimizing your own carbon footprint.
What Is Carbon Neutrality?
Everything you do that produces carbon dioxide -- from driving to powering your home and more -- makes up your carbon footprint. Being "carbon neutral" means that you, or the operations of your business or your national economy, emit the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that you offset by some other means. Adding solar panels to your home, or switching to an electric vehicle are examples of things you can do to reduce your carbon dioxide output.
Achieving carbon neutrality means that your carbon dioxide output has a net neutral impact on the environment, and it can help stem the effects of climate change. Greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide increase average temperatures worldwide, which in turn contribute to rising sea levels, changing weather patterns and other factors associated with climate change.
Some greenhouse gasses are naturally occurring -- did you know cows burp methane? -- while others are produced by humans. Carbon dioxide makes up roughly two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions, and that's caused mainly by burning coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Around 63% of electricity in the United States is generated by burning fossil fuels.
Carbon offsetting is one way to take individual responsibility and respond to the global crisis of climate change. It refers to lowering your individual carbon burden by spending on projects that minimize environmental impact. These could be tree plantation projects; saving natural forests projects; alternate energy projects; and or transportation impact reduction projects where you can spend and lower your carbon footprint.
Carbon offsetting provides the opportunity to take part in environmental sustenance and we at Lifestyle Furniture assist you in doing it. Yes, we provide you the authentic way of carbon offsetting.
What Is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon offsetting allows individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact. By purchasing carbon offsets, customers support environmental projects that remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere (such as planting forests), or prevent future emissions from occurring (such as replacing a coal-fired power station with a wind farm).
How To Reduce Carbon Emissions From Shipping
In addition to going carbon-neutral, it is important to also focus on reducing emissions throughout the supply chain. Here are different ways your business can reduce carbon emissions during the fulfillment and shipping process.
Use recycled & recyclable packing materials
With more people shopping online than ever before, more packing materials are being used to pack and ship orders, leaving the customer responsible for disposing waste. Eco-friendly packaging can help minimize waste and add a sustainable practice to your business.
For some e-commerce businesses, your packaging is almost as important as your products. Packing materials should not only ensure that items are delivered safely, but there should also be a focus on sustainably.
There are a range of materials that could be used to satisfy eco-friendly packaging for your business.
Eco-friendly packaging options for e-commerce include:
- Papers and cardboard
- Easily reusable and recyclable
- Easy to source in quantities that suit the business
- Usually derived from plant-based materials
- Well-suited for composting
- Biodegradable plastic packaging
- Traditional plastics that have been modified to break down faster through the presence of heat or light
- Plant fibers
- Eco-friendly packaging materials in the form of reusable tote bags to wrap your product
- Made from jute and cotton
- Inflatable air pillows
- Inflatable plastic film bags that can be used to protect products
- Made from post-consumer recycled materials
- Corrugated bubble wrap
- An alternative to dunnage which is the packaging to protect the goods during the shipping process (packing peanuts, bubble wrap)
- Typically made out of 100% recycled cardboard
Minimize the amount of overall packaging
Can you think of the last time you received a package in a large box when only the item took up one-third of the space?
Packing a small item in a big box is a common packing mistake and one that customers notice right away — but also one that costs businesses.
Dimensional weight is a pricing technique used by carriers that calculates the amount of space a package takes up. Sometimes, a lighter package can take up more room than a heavier one based on the DIM weight, which is computed by multiplying length x width x height. The more you minimize the amount of packaging used, the more money you might be able to save for a smaller DIM weight.
Avoid as much single-use plastic as possible
When it comes to keeping items safe while in transit, a lot of the time bubble wrap isn’t needed and there are plenty of alternatives such as recycled kraft paper. Another option is the use of corrugated bubble wrap, which can be used in replace of packing peanuts and regular plastic bubble wrap.
Distribute your inventory to multiple fulfillment centers
Distributing your inventory across multiple fulfillment centers can help not only reduce shipping costs while speeding up transit times, but it can also reduce carbon emissions. When you split inventory across locations, the distribution center closest to where the customer lives will pick, pack, and ship the order.
Carbon-Offset Shipping and Delivering at Lifestyle Furniture
Lifestyle Furniture is the first major retailer in Fresno to offset 100% of carbon emissions from our delivery and pickup. With every purchase, we balance out the carbon emissions by contributing a positive environmental impact.
The Central Valley of California acts as a pool for many pollutants produced by our 3+ million population. Emissions get trapped and we bear significant smog problems. We want to do our part in reducing our impact and lighten the carbon footprint, to make home a healthier place.
How does it work?
We fund solar projects with Lifestyle Energy to add more solar projects every year, and sponsoring other environmental groups that help protect the air quality. In addition, our entire roof of our 50K+ showroom is completely full of solar panels providing our building with clean and sustainable energy.
What does this cost me?
This costs you nothing. It's a great thing about shopping with Lifestyle Furniture and our local focus with the Central Valley.
Sustainable Materials and Production
The aim of sustainable production is to ensure that the production of goods conserves resources and preserves the regenerative capacity of the environment. Sustainable products secures the natural foundations of life for future generations.
Sustainable product design is about you doing the right thing for the planet. It includes picking the materials that suit your design, that support your carbon footprint target, that are not harmful during use, and that can be used again.
Lifestyle Furniture always puts the environment on top of everything we do to help create a fresher future and sustainable global economy.
The Bottom Line
Saving the environment starts with you and it is the little actions that go unnoticed that really make the difference. Following these suggestions for carbon-neutral shipping to reduce carbon emissions can go a long way into preventing further damage to the atmosphere. Try to practice these simple methods like reducing the rush orders and returns you make can help reduce carbon emissions.
Since customers have shown great interest in sustainability, Lifestyle Furniture is also taking responsibility for reducing the footprint through a thorough assessment of the global impact on the environment. We are sending a powerful message about taking action to safeguard the Planet – and so does every company that decides to pick this eco-friendly shipping solution.