In deciding to start an e-commerce business focused on natural products, the environmental impact of shipping has become an ongoing company discussion. The carbon emission difference between shopping at your local store and purchasing online is complex and unclear. Calculating the carbon footprint of shipping systems and how to improve upon them is going to keep me busy for years, but that does not mean we shouldn't do everything we can now.
One of the ways we try to reduce shipping it so have many of the products we sell ship directly from the artisans that manufacture them. As our company grows, we will ultimately offer you the ability to shop and ultimately purchase based on proximity to your community. We are also very excited about the UPS carbon neutral program. In addition to continually trying to perfect driving routes to reduce fuel costs, UPS now offers a carbon neutral shipping system. Like nearly all carbon neutral systems, it is really a carbon offset system (as we have not yet braved a transition away from liquid fossil fuels.) UPS partners with The Carbon Neutral Company to calculate offsets and then uses that cost allowance to support greenhouse gas mitigation including several landfill gas reduction projects. So here is the catch. The choice of whether to participate in the UPS Carbon Neutral program rests with the shipper and if the shipper chooses to pass on the choice, it rests with the consumer. When an item you purchase ships from our warehouse it ships through the carbon neutral program automatically. We have made that choice for you. We were excited to learn that all of the large distributors we are working with and many of the individual artisans we work with are either using a carbon neutral system or are willing to let us pay for that choice.
While I believe it will take more than just "smart shipping" to solve the climate challenge we face, it is thrilling to see yet another "silent spring" of hope for a sustainable future!
Vincent M. Smith