Pura Vida! Earth Day 2022 and a Carbon Neutral Future
If we are going to have a conversation about taking care of the planet, it only makes sense to let you all know that I am lucky enough to be writing this from one of the sustainability capitals of the world – Costa Rica! Not only is this country incredible because of its beaches, its jungles and its Pura Vida lifestyle, but Costa Rica is a perfect example of what a green future can look like.
Costa Rica is walking the walk when it comes to sustainability. Costa Ricans believe that sustainability and growth can go hand in hand, and they boast some pretty impressive stats. With 98 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources, forests that cover over half of its land, and bold plans for electrifying transport, there’s a lot that the rest of the world can take note of.
Potentially the most notable of all, Costa Rica has a robust plan to decarbonize its economy by 2050.
“The National Decarbonization Plan, with bold mid- and long-term targets to reform transport, energy, waste, and land use, was launched in February of 2019. The aim is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, meaning the country will produce no more emissions than it can offset through actions such as maintaining and expanding its forests” (UNEP 2022).
With all the conversation around carbon neutrality, I feel like it's important to understand what it all means. Here at better., carbon neutrality is important to us. As a business model that is doing better, we want to ensure that we are contributing as little emissions into the world as possible. What that means for us is prioritizing suppliers that utilize renewable energy in the production of their products, and choosing products for our clients that are less energy intensive to produce.
We are proud to work with suppliers such as Raining Rose Promos and Sanmar, who are taking important strides towards carbon neutrality. Raining Rose operates out of a LEED certified facility, upcycling some of their water through the local community in Cedar Rapids. As for Sanmar, they have introduced an entire range of certified carbon neutral styles, expanding their products created from recycled content and drastically lowering their carbon footprint in the process.
With the emissions that remain after thoughtful decisions with our partners, that’s where carbon offsets come in.
What in the world is a carbon offset?
Put simply, a carbon offset is a purchase of a standard unit that represents the reduction of carbon emissions elsewhere. The projects that you can purchase an offset from are increasingly diverse and creative, providing lots of options to fight climate change while contributing to equitable development all across the world.
For our part, we are Climate Neutral certified, partnering with Climate Neutral to contribute to a variety of projects including forestry projects, distributing clean cookstoves, and developing renewable energy. Last year in 2021, we offset 212 tonnes of carbon dioxide as part of our commitment to do business without all the excessive emission production.
Carbon offsetting is by no means an end-all-be-all to achieving neutrality, but it is definitely an important tool along the way. It also doesn’t have to be exclusive to just businesses. As an individual there are so many options for offsetting the unavoidable emissions in your life, such as your car or plane travel or your at-home energy use.
How are you celebrating this Earth Day?
We would love to hear from you about how you are spending this Earth Day!
With so many ways to get involved from participating in a clean up to offsetting your personal footprint or encouraging your local representatives to adopt environmentally-friendly policies, there are so many options for celebrating the beautiful planet that we call home.
For his part, our co-founder Danny has recently sold his car, choosing to get around by either walking, biking, or public transport. Hal, our other co-founder, is celebrating this Earth Day in his backyard garden where he has a collection of homegrown veggies and an at-home compost. Both Danny and Hal are also intentional in their food choices, heading into year three of a meatless diet!
There are endless opportunities to be more planet conscious in our personal lives. Let us know how you are choosing to cherish the Earth this year (and always)!