Introducing our newest partnership: the passionate folks over at the Carbon Neutral Club. Here at ecologyst, we love empowering our community to work to reduce their environmental impact on the planet. Joining Carbon Neutral Club is just one way you can get involved — a mix of education and direct action. If you go ahead and join, we’re also stoked to share that we’re offering a 25% off reward to you twice a year (excluding surfboards).
What might that look like? Say you’re eager to add our superiorly soft, thermo-regulating 195 Merino Collection to your year-round wardrobe. Well, if you join Carbon Neutral Club and decide to buy the 195 Merino Tee, you’d add it to your adventure-worthy wardrobe for about $90 instead of $125. Or add a cozy overlayer like the Women’s Fisherman Full-Zip for when the night draws in on your campfire, which can be a bit more of an investment piece for some, and you’ll have that for about $320 instead of $425.
As with anything at ecologyst, we want you to be fully educated on (and inspired by) what we’re getting up to - that you too are a part of. So let’s get into it.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
In simple terms, a carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions - specifically carbon dioxide, as well as the likes of methane, nitrous oxide, or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) - associated with all the activities of a person or other entity such as a building, corporation, or even a country. It’s an extension of a Canadian-born concept that came out of the early 1990s at the University of British Columbia by Canadian ecologist William Rees: that of the ‘ecological footprint’.
Carbon emissions tend to go beyond just the emissions from using a product, to include that of the emissions that contribute to the transportation and manufacturing of a product.
For example, the carbon emissions for an ecologyst top would include transportation from factory to warehouse to consumer. For us, thanks to our factory and warehouse being in the same space as our HQ in Victoria, BC — direct from our makers to you — our carbon footprint has been drastically reduced compared to when we used to produce wholesale and overseas as Sitka. We would then also consider the emissions that come from shipping your new, sustainably made wares to you.
Figuring out your carbon footprint can be a complicated process, and it can vary hugely depending on where you live in the world. According to Carbon Neutral Club and EDGAR (the European Commission Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research) the average Canadian’s footprint is a whopping 15.69 tonnes. However, it can vary on individual factors — part of partnering with Carbon Neutral Club means you can use their handy dandy carbon emissions calculator to average yours pretty quick.
What does Carbon Offset mean?
Carbon offsetting means that once you’ve quantified your carbon, you move to neutralize it through certified offsetting programs that are vetted and gathered by the likes of Carbon Neutral Club. For a small monthly fee, CNC will work to erase your impact by investing in science-backed projects that remove the same amount of carbon dioxide that you produce. Not all offset projects are created equally — CNC starts by selecting verified Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard offset projects that are third-party audited for their climate impact.
For us at ecologyst however, offsetting carbon isn’t enough. While a fantastic first step, many companies use carbon offsetting as a distraction from the real issue and best outcome: reducing the carbon emissions in the first place. That’s why we’re committed to continuing our journey to reduce our carbon footprint, and in turn yours, from the very start of our supply chain. While we’ve made moves to bring our production back to a local level from overseas, swapped petrochemical-based fibres for all-natural ones, and that’s just the start, we’re continuing to problem solve and innovate. As part of our work with SYNERGY — which will produce an Impact Report later this year — we also have to be doing this reduction work, not just offsetting; it’s part of their criteria.
In the interim, carbon offsets will help us cross the gap, and the fantastic concept at Carbon Neutral Club is going to help us, and you, do just that.
What’s Carbon Neutral Club?
Carbon Neutral Club was founded by Jeff, Jack, and Roee (with Alex, far left, joining a little later on). A trio that’d been working in the tech space within Toronto for the past 10 years, but were always looking for a way to marry one of their greatest passions, climate action and the outdoors, with their professional experience as tech enthusiasts.
A few months into COVID, they realized that climate change was receiving attention like never before — seemingly a part of every dinner table conversation and every press run. Immensely exciting for them, as they’d felt the time had finally arrived for the masses to take climate action. Yet, following the unfolding push, they came to realize that for some reason, this newfound interest in the topic was not necessarily translating into individual action on the scale needed. So, they decided to dig into the WHY of it, while still working away at full-time jobs.
Fast forward a little, and reviewing the analysis, they came out with two key learnings:
- People genuinely DO want to be a part of the solution. Yet, as climate change is a massively complex problem, they often just don't know where to start — it can be difficult to understand how individual actions fit in as part of the solution.
- The “green premium” (green solutions costing more) is a real thing, which can often prevent individuals who want to take action from engaging with the problem.
What they discovered, however, was that both of these problems are entirely solvable. They made the leap, and quit their jobs mid-way through 2021 — embarking on the creation of Carbon Neutral Club.
Carbon Neutral Club’s mission is to make climate action accessible for everyone — uniting like-minded brands, consumers, and employers in collective impact. In the most simple form, CNC rewards folks who contribute to positive climate action through their platform. How?
- Estimate your carbon footprint: Carbon Neutral Club’s calculator estimates your personal carbon footprint within minutes.
- Offset your footprint: A membership offsets your carbon footprint by funding projects that conserve forests and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Gain rewards at ecologyst: For doing your part, we'll take 25% off wares (surfboards excluded), redeemable twice a year when shopping with us — an investment by us and you in supporting your journey to live a more sustainable, circular life.
Carbon Neutral Club’s goal, like ours, l is not to incentivize members to shop more, but rather to help them shop better by making the sustainable purchasing decision a little easier to find and purchase across all spend categories. One of the greatest contributors to a carbon footprint is how we spend our money, so by choosing to purchase more sustainably, individuals can conceivably reduce their carbon footprint all the while supporting the future of sustainable businesses.
In the near future, Carbon Neutral Club is also focusing their efforts on reduction, and trying to answer the question 'Now that our members understand their carbon footprint, how can we engage them to reduce it'. They acknowledge the need to halve our collective carbon footprint by 2030 in order to avoid the lasting effects of climate change, so their objective is to help members accomplish just that.
Ready to join the club? Head over to Carbon Neutral Club to get started. And be sure to join our social channels and email subscribers for the latest good trouble we’re getting up to, updates on locally made and all-natural wares, and events.