Every citizen of the earth has a responsibility to protect the environment, and there are myriad ways we can do so: reducing, reusing, recycling, making mindful food and travel choices, etc. None of the decisions are simple, as the Good Place hilariously illustrated:
But one thing is clear: the companies we interact with have an arguably larger responsibility that we as individuals: they exist a step before us in the supply chain, and their decisions and actions sometimes cancel our own, especially when they are our employers.
That’s why we at Cornershop Creative have chosen to buy carbon offsets as a way of counteracting the travel we ask our employees to do each year.
We’re lucky to work remotely from our home offices, so our team isn’t creating a huge carbon footprint by daily commuting, but we do have some significant airplane travel for a web development company, thanks to our full team retreats. Once a year (or twice, if we can afford it), we all leave our home offices and fly to a single location for valuable face-to-face time. As often as possible, we couple our team retreat with a conference we were already planning to attend, so we’re making the most of those airline miles, but it’s a whole lot of flying regardless.
The carbon offsets we buy are one way we make up for our inevitable footprint: by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving somewhere else. Our most recent carbon offset supported forestation, by planting trees in an area that had been deforested.
Although we know that many airlines must offset their emissions to meet a UN agreement, we also know that as responsible citizens of the earth, we must do our part to make good on our activities.
We also offset the swag we bring to the conferences we attend, the plastic they are sometimes wrapped in, and the shipping necessary to deliver them to the conference venue. If you’ve seen us at NTEN, Netroots Nation, or BBCon, you’ve probably gone home with a fruit- or veggie-shaped pen or stress ball. Both options are practical because they come in handy when you get back to your desk, but we also understand the significant increase these products have on our carbon footprint. We increase our carbon offset to cover these goodies so we can continue to bring smiles to our customers’ faces.
In 2020, we’ll be going a step further, by investigating and addressing the carbon footprint of the websites we build and hosts we use: it’s the next frontier in mindful environmentalism. We’ll share what we learn!