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What is a Carbon Footprint?

January 21, 2016

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What is a Carbon Footprint?

January 21, 2016

In layman’s terms, carbon footprint means the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a company or individual’s existence. However, that footprint can be greatly reduced or even eliminated if the right steps are taken.

 

At Stretch and Staple we are fiercely committed to the environment.  At the end of the day we want the world to be a better place because we exists, and in the future we would like to be championed for what we have done to help the environment first and our canvas prints second. In this series I will explain everything we are doing to lead a green printing revolution.

 

The most obvious place to start for a company that uses wood in its product is trees.  Some of you may have noticed that we plant a tree each time a canvas or metal print is purchased, but we didn’t want to just plant any tree, anywhere, we wanted to plant trees in places that desperately need them.  So I thought where better to start than places that have been deforested with no plan for reforestation.  It was important to me that whoever we partnered with would ensure that the trees we are planting get what they need to survive into adulthood, and that they are properly looked after for their entire lifespan so that they can have the greatest positive impact on the environment, and on reducing our carbon footprint.

 

After a few days of research I stumbled upon WeForest, and after a little digging and a few emails to Marie-Noëlle their Founder and CEO I realized that WeForest was the perfect partner. WeForest goes into previously deforested landscapes, and partners with the indigenous people of that area to create a plan of attack for reforestation.  WeForest then employs these people to plant the trees, look after them and see that they survive into adulthood and are not illegally harvested.  I prefer this method, because unlike you or me they have a deep devotin to these forests and are there on the ground to nurture and protect these trees sometimes with their lives.

 

We are currently planting trees in the the East Khasi Hills. These hills form part of the Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion. It is considered one of the richest biodiversity centers of the Indian subcontinent. 

Known as the wettest place on earth, the district is home to sacred forests, many of which include large ancient stone monoliths that date back many centuries and serve as refugia for endangered species.

 

Deforestation and land degradation are placing these biological zones at great risk. Climate change is likely to place an additional stress and impact on food security. WeForest is supporting the local communities to restore the landscape while developing capacity to support people’s livelihoods.

 

Khasi indigenous communities fight against climate change and land degradation.

WeForest works directly with a Federation of 10 indigenous governments and 62 Khasi villages who are concerned about the extent of deforestation that threatens their natural resources and livelihoods.

 

Since the inception of this program Stretch and Staple has planted over 2000 trees here and we are planting more each day.  We Forest has planted over 10.6 million trees worldwide.

 

 

Now in order to have a fully balanced approach when it comes to trees, I had to make sure the wood we use in our stretcher bars for canvas prints is coming from a sustainable source. I started with our supplier, who is also the lumber mill that mills our stretcher bars and sources the lumber.  I informed them that we are dedicated to building a green printing company and that we needed to use sustainably farmed timber in order to do so.

 

He obliged, but I am not the type of person to just take someone’s word for it, just ask the CEO of Lumber Liquidators, so I asked for the paperwork on the purchase of the timber which led me on a month long journey back to the original timber company Tolko in British Columbia that cut down the trees, and I did eventually wind up with proof that the timber was in fact logged under the Sustainable Forest Institutes guidelines for sustainable harvesting of timber, where they insure that the forest is replanted and reestablished as part of the environment.

 

 

So how does this reduce our carbon footprint?  We have a carbon emission crisis on our hands, and the single greatest weapon we have to combat that is trees.  Trees breathe in and store carbon, it is what allows them to grow.  Right now there is more carbon in the atmosphere 400ppm than there has been in all of human history, and there are only about half as many trees as there were at the begining of human civilization.  Without trees we can do very little to capture that carbon and keep the world from becoming an increasingly hotter place, but trees can be the answer, and so can you. All you have to do to plant a sustainable tree is place an order with us, or donate to WeForest.

This is all part of our journey to become one of the world’s first carbon positive companies.  In the remaining parts of this series I will explore how we are caring for the environment through logistics,  packaging and energy consumption.

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