Why Carbon-Neutral Is So Important
Being carbon neutral is something that we should all strive for in our lives. It acknowledges that we use materials and participate in activities that contribute significant amounts of carbon dioxide and take steps to minimize the harm we do.
What Is Climate Change?
Climate change is the rise in average temperature caused by greenhouse gas emissions. This change in temperature is responsible for dangerous weather and events around the globe. Some of the weather phenomena caused by global warming includes droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, blizzards, and more.
What Does It Mean to Be Carbon Neutral?
In order to be carbon neutral, we must be aware of the greenhouse gas emissions we create going about our lives and then take steps to offset them by other means. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions as much as we can.
For carbon dioxide emission-causing activities that we can’t avoid, though, the act of offsetting the equivalent amount of carbon makes us carbon neutral.
Why Is Carbon Neutrality Important?
Carbon neutrality is important because it is a way to diminish unnecessary usage and our emissions while giving back to the environment and causes that will provide us with a brighter future. Striving for and achieving a carbon-neutral lifestyle is an enormous step forward in sustainability.
There are tools in place to calculate how much a specific greenhouse gas-emitting activity might produce and how much to contribute to carbon offset to get back to net neutrality. Carbon offset projects are centered around eliminating greenhouse gases before they can reach the atmosphere, creating renewable energy sources like wind or solar, and taking part in carbon sequestration efforts like planting trees and maintaining our forests.
How Can You Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
The other side of reaching net-zero carbon is reducing the amount we need to offset in the first place. Many of the activities we participate in daily may be contributors to global warming, so it’s important to understand what they are and how we can take actionable steps to implement sustainable practices and reduce the harm we do to the planet.
For more concrete numbers, there are calculators available that can help determine a household’s likely carbon footprint. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has one of these calculators.
Reduce Meat Consumption
Consuming meat and other animal products add to the negative effects of climate change in numerous ways. For one, cows produce between 250 and 500 liters of methane per day, simply from their gas (natural gas, that is). In addition, we need a great deal of land to house the animals we farm.
This land is often deforested by natural ecosystems, disrupting the land and the wildlife who lived there. The production of meat and animal products uses up significantly more resources than just plant products alone.
The best way to avoid these negatives is to reduce how much meat we consume and possibly even consider going vegan. If we aren’t quite ready for that, though, try giving Meatless Mondays a try!
Use Renewable Energy
The generation and use of electricity is another enormous contributor to the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into our atmosphere. To combat this, renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and water are our best bet.
Not only does utilizing natural energy sources greatly diminish our carbon footprint, but it is also cost-effective, as monthly utility bills will be lessened as well.
Cut Down on Air Travel
It’s important to only travel via air if absolutely necessary, as flying adds substantially to global warming, creating unpredictable and inclement weather patterns. If flying is unavoidable, look into zero-waste airlines.
Get Rid of Single-Use Plastics
We’ve all seen countless plastic bags taking up space in bodies of water, parks, and pretty much everywhere. We can make changes to reduce the presence of polluting plastic and eventually get rid of it completely.
By not using single-use plastics (plastic bags, plastic water bottles) instead of using items that can be reused multiple times (cloth bags, reusable water bottles), significantly less plastic can end up in a landfill or the ocean.
Some stores put sustainability efforts at the forefront of their business model, and it’s important to patronize them instead of other companies. By shopping at more sustainable companies, it sends a message that sustainability is here to stay, and so is the Earth.
How Can Companies Offset Their Carbon Emissions?
While there is an element of individual responsibility in the pursuit of going carbon neutral, companies are significant contributors to carbon emissions. As a result, it’s integral that corporations understand the tremendous responsibility to leave the Earth a safe and healthy place for generations to come.
Discussing carbon neutrality is all well and good, but it is nothing without commitment. Companies have to commit to reducing their carbon dioxide emissions as well as offsetting the emissions that remain. This isn’t a one-time thing, either. Continuous positive action has to be taken to save the planet.
Counting Current Emissions
Becoming carbon neutral is dependent on keeping track of our current carbon dioxide emissions and the activities that create those greenhouse gases.
As mentioned, some of the activities we often take part in that greatly contribute to CO2 emissions include:
- Air travel
- Use of animal products
- Buying unnecessary products
- Using energy that is not renewable (29% of greenhouse gas emissions in America are caused by electricity generation)
- Driving cars that run on gas or diesel
Companies buy carbon credits to allow them a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Over time, the amount of allotted credits is reduced to move toward a carbon-neutral (or someday zero carbon) society.
Helping our environment thrive is a moving target, so while we know where we need to go (zero-waste, net-zero carbon, etc.), there are a lot of steps we can take to get there. Making incremental changes to save the environment is still positive, especially when added onto over time. After all, eventually, small steps turn into great strides. We all have to start somewhere.
Is Bite Toothpaste Carbon Neutral?
We are incredibly proud to say that Bite Toothpaste is completely carbon neutral. We have always operated while creating as few carbon emissions as possible, but it was important for us to fully commit to doing no harm to the environment.
Now, we still function while keeping our carbon footprint as minimal as possible, but to be carbon neutral, we offset the use of any carbon we cannot avoid with the help of carbonfund.org.
Bite Toothpaste has taken several important measures in efforts towards sustainability. Over one billion plastic toothpaste tubes are thrown out annually, ending up taking up immeasurable space in landfills and further polluting our oceans.
We knew we couldn’t be a part of that, so we deliver our Toothpaste Bits in glass bottles. Not only do these bottles contain absolutely no plastic and are quite nice to look at (if we do say so ourselves), but they also break down naturally to eventually become sand.
In alignment with our commitment to being zero-waste, all Bite packages are 100% plastic-free. Our envelopes are recyclable and compostable. Our boxes are entirely recyclable. We also use paper tape, because plastic tape was so last decade.
In our pursuit of being a carbon-neutral company, we had to figure out how to ship our products straight to your door in an efficient and environmentally conscious way. We found the perfect solution by using existing shipping routes.
Using this method, our products essentially use a public transit delivery system, so we don’t contribute to fuel waste and save energy. This way, your order gets to you promptly without adding any extra carbon emissions.
We know that carbon neutrality affects every aspect of our company, from production to delivery. The use of shipping routes that already exist helps to keep our delivery system free of carbon emissions.
Our direct-to-consumer platform also contributes greatly to our vow to be carbon neutral. In being direct-to-consumer and skipping retail, we save time, energy, and resources. We know how crucial it is to have products delivered right to your door, and being DTC allows us to do just that. We also conserve significant amounts of energy by not shipping our products to retail locations, and customers don’t have to drive to pick up what they need.
Bite ensures that our products are great for humans, the environment, and animals. Our ingredients are completely vegan, and our products are cruelty-free, meaning they are never tested on animals. Each ingredient is there to make our product better.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
It is crucial to the future of our planet that we learn how to live more sustainably. Much of this sustainability can be achieved by always remembering to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Reduce the amount you buy, the amount of waste you create, and the harmful emissions we create. Reuse what you do have, giving new life to old items and eliminating the need to buy something new. Finally, when something has reached the end of its natural life cycle, recycle it to return to the ground and start the process all over again.
Carbon Offsets Explained | Terrapass
Methane Emissions From Cattle | PubMed
How Communities Have Defined Zero Waste | US EPA
What We Can Do | Center for Climate and Energy Solutions