The main challenge we face as a company working to have sustainable practices is the use of vehicles. Eco-yards is now buying offsets from Less Emissions (a Bullfrog Power company). We are doing this to offset the carbon emissions from vehicle use:
• staff driving to, from and for work
• company pick-up trucks bringing crew, equipment and materials to and from work sites
• large trucks delivering materials to our work sites
We track and estimate the mileage on these items, then we ask Less to calculate the tonnes of carbon emitted from that, and purchase the offsets to make our carbon output neutral or effectively Net Zero.
While we make an effort to minimize driving, it is still an inescapable part of our landscaping work (at least for the foreseeable future). So far, there is not an electric or hybrid truck made or soon to be released that would be powerful enough for what we need. The Ford F-150 electric does not have the carrying or towing power we require. Converting our one diesel truck to bio-diesel is not yet a viable option.
We will continue to make an effort to reduce the carbon emissions produced by our work. We will also continue purchasing offsets to remain carbon neutral.
More about Less Offsets
We buy offsets from Less Emissions, Canada’s highest quality carbon offset provider, and use Gold Standard certified carbon offset credits which contribute to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Purchasing emission reductions for projects that support sustainable development in vulnerable communities ensures that offsetting also contributes to climate justice, improving the lives of those least responsible for the problem and least economically equipped to adapt to the changing conditions caused by climate change.
Here is a Less project we support:
Featured project: Vietstar Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Plant in Vietnan
This facility captures methane gas emissions from municipal waste and converts organic materials into sustainable compost for local farmers. The project involves pre-sorting and classifying municipal solid waste, recycling plastic, and treating organic matter with LEMNA composting technology. Prior to this initiative, improper disposal of waste led to organic materials decaying openly in landfill and releasing methane emissions into the atmosphere.
The project treats approximately 400,000 tonnes of solid waste per year, and it has boosted the local economy by creating 810 jobs. The waste treatment plant is expected to produce 53,568 tonnes of organic compost annually, and prevent 182,000 tonnes of CO2e from entering the atmosphere on average each year.
Taking Action on Climate Change
The scientific consensus is that we have until 2030 to turn back climate change before critical “tipping points” are reached that are likely irreversible. This is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced collectively.
Resources for Hope and Inspiration
To be inspired and garner hope for taking climate change actions, here are some great resources:
1. Countdown.ted.com is a global initiative to accelerate solutions to climate change. The launch video from October 2020 is upbeat and has great short interviews/talks with world leaders and environmentalists. It also has animated snippets explaining the climate crisis.
The launch video and subsequent podcasts from the launch are informative and inspiring. You might be surprised to hear the clips on what Amazon and Apple are taking to address climate change. My favourite clipwas “Stubborn Optimism” about the mindset needed to address climate change.
2. The Age of Nature, a PBS TV series, has examples from around the world of how restoring nature is slowing climate change ( “Changing” episode) and solving other challenges. This series is a beacon of hope and inspiration.
There are 3 shows in the series and they are also on Amazon Prime.
If you have PBS Passport here is the link: https://www.pbs.org/show/age-nature/
3. David Attenborough has spent 60 years travelling the world doing nature documentaries. In 2020, he did the TV show: A Life on this Planet. He calls it his witness statement at age 93 of how the world is failing and his vision of the the future: how if we act now, we can yet put it right.
This video includes a succinct history of life on the planet. It is available on Netflix.
If you are a Prairie beef eater, you may take objection to his suggestion to eat less meat. Pasture fed beef on the Prairies is actually restorative to the Prairie ecosystem, taking the place of bison which used to graze. I agree with Attenborough, though, that cutting forests to raise beef is harmful – I have seen that in Central America.
Ways to offset your carbon footprint/ participate in addressing climate change:
1. Buy carbon offset credits through Less Emissions at https://www.less.ca/en-ca/
2. Buy bio-diesel that goes into the Canadian diesel system: Bullfrog Power’s Green Fuel program: https://www.bullfrogpower.com/green-energy/green-fuel/
3. Buy green energy at www.bullfrogpower.com.
4. On the Countdown.ted.com web-site you can join the global movement. Then you will get emails with suggestions on how to implement the specific areas you want to address.
5. Political policy and business practices are also needed to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, so consider doing what you can to make changes in this realm. With all the upheaval in the world at this time, it is an ideal time to urge positive change in all ways.
For example, I am planning to lobby my concrete brick supplier to use a different kind of concrete that does not involve producing as much greenhouse gas. I am also asking them to consider using a type of concrete that is actually carbon negative.
As many of the speakers on the Countdown launch said – this is the greatest challenge of our time – let’s address it together.