It just makes sense...
Anyone with access to the outdoors or a thermostat knows climate change is real. The winters are colder and the summers are hotter. Extreme weather events seem to occur more often. The ice caps are melting - raising sea levels. And it will only get worse unless we all do our part to make changes.
Here in Colorado, we see it firsthand with droughts, forest fires, and diminishing rivers. The view of the mountains has been covered in a haze of smoke from other Western states experiencing the same issues.
But aside from the view, I have had to keep my inhaler handy because breathing is much more difficult due to the drifting smoke. Farmers and ranchers are concerned with water access - as are others who rely on drinking water from tributaries originating in the region. Higher temps causing snowcaps to evaporate instead of feeding into the rivers or creating rains to water the forests. High temps and lack of moisture are a contributing factor to forest fires.
It all seems so overwhelming. What difference could one person - or one household even make? I am not sure of the answer to that question, but I am sure I need to do what I can - because otherwise I am only adding to the issue.
What can we do?
Again, I am not sure how much difference we will make as a company, but I do know we are going to try our best to do what we can. So here are a few things we're doing in the studio to help minimize our negative impact on the planet, such as:
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce
We have added recycling bins to the shop. Any waste that can be recycled will be recycled. That means all paper, aluminum, glass, and plastics will be taken to the recycling plant as needed.
We will reuse water used in processing wherever feasible - whether that means using the same bucket to prep yarn in, or using old dye water to clean. We use well water, so this is especially important to me to preserve our water.
Plastic bags used in packaging that we receive will be reused in shipments when necessary. The same goes for cardboard boxes. So if you receive an order that has old shipping labels blacked out, that's why.
This is where we will make most of our changes. Our first step here is to avoid single use items - such as disposable nitrile gloves, cleaning products that come in non-refillable plastic bottles, paper towels, etc. This cuts down on our waste significantly. Another way we plan to reduce is to include fewer printed promotional items and more QR codes.
We are also experimenting with green energy options to reduce the amount of electricity used in production. This includes solar dyeing (stay tuned for more on this soon), and using the naturally dry and warm high desert climate to dry yarn. Traditionally, we have used steam tables and fans in production. We may still need to use these on occasion, but the goal is to eventually move the entire shop to solar-powered.
Our goal is to use only biodegradable packaging materials by the year's end. This will include biodegradable plastics (plant-based) for packaging your yarn and fiber as well as recycled paper labels and boxes.
We use Sendle to ship all domestic orders. They are a neutral carbon footprint shipping company. We will also cut down on our own footprint by only shipping twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. We are fairly rural and the nearest post office is almost 20 miles away. I know everyone is usually super excited to get their package in the mail to them right away, but we know you all will understand the reason for the change.
We're all in this together
As I mentioned earlier, I do not know how much of a difference we can make as a single company, but I am hoping you will join me in working towards a greener future. Every bit counts, right? Collectively, we can make a difference. Will you join us?
Let us know what you are doing to make things a little greener in your corner of the world. And let us know if you have any suggestions on how we might be able to make further changes in the studio.