Why 250% Reclaimed Matters
At Impact Snacks, we reclaim more emissions than we produce. Can you guess how much more? If you glanced back at the title, you’re on the nose. It’s true- we reclaim 250% of the emissions we produce per bar. From production to shipment of one Impact Snacks bar, we emit just about 0.38 pounds of carbon—that we then overcompensate for by offsetting 1 pound. Before we talk about how we balance what we put out into the world, let’s talk about why this matters so much.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the primary component of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, escalate the effects of climate change. GHGs act as the earth’s sauna and insulate heat so it can’t escape: This is why the polar bears walk on thinner and thinner ice every year, oceans heat up faster than usual, and natural ecosystems diminish (due to loss of natural habitat and food sources).
Here is our not-so-secret formula for reclaiming our carbon emissions:
Renewable Energy Investments
Renewable energies play an essential role in decreasing carbon emissions. Green energies, like wind and solar, don’t emit any carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases. They naturally replenish without extracting a significant amount of finite resources from the earth’s surface. Thanks to our wonderful partners at Clearloop, we’re able to invest in these clean energies. With their help, we are able to measure and track the total amount of our emissions—then reclaim that amount by investing in renewable energy production (check out this awesome article the writers at Clearloop wrote, featuring us!).
▴ One wind turbine can power an average U.S. home for one month in 94 minutes (USGS, 2020)
Our current focus is on shifting the electricity grid in communities that haven’t yet made the transition toward renewable energies. The first project we’re working on is located in Jackson, Tennessee, where our goals include increasing jobs (renewable energy projects create five times more job opportunities than fossil fuels), cleaning the local electricity grid, and using this experience as a launchpad for future green projects. If you’re interested in tracking our progress, consider following our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Why is Investing in Renewable Energies Important? Well, the alternative (fossil fuels), makes up 81% of total GHG emissions. The burning of fossil fuels (to provide electricity, heat, and transportation) produces air pollution in the form of smog and acid rain, in addition to water pollution from oil spills that result from the extraction process. These toxic fuels are also a limited resource (not to mention, very ancient). It’s about time we move on and invest in cleaner energy.
Trees are a precious force against the overwhelming effects of climate change. Thanks to their special powers (photosynthesis), trees use energy from the sun to transform water and carbon dioxide into oxygen. They also act as a carbon vault by storing carbon as newly formed wood tissue. At Impact Snacks, we plant trees through our friends over at Tree Nation (they are great, go check ‘em out). Based on the tree species and location, we’re able to calculate the amount of CO2 we are offsetting. The tree species we’ve selected are the Rhizophora Mucronata, also known as Mangrove. They are being planted in Madagascar and these special trees have a lifetime CO2 offset of 20kg. More information on Tree Nation, Rhizophora Mucronata, and more can be found here. Thanks to you, we’ve already raised enough support to plant 53,300 trees!
▴ Rhizophora Mucronata, also known as Mangrove in Madagascar
Trees are a precious force against the overwhelming effects of climate change. They act as a carbon vault that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, by storing carbon as newly formed wood tissue. Trees also serve great ecological benefits as they provide habitats for 80% of the plants and animals that live on land. This is why the alarming rate of deforestation is unacceptable: Madagascar, for instance, has lost 90% of its native forest—intensely shrinking biodiversity—during the presence of humankind. At Impact Snacks, we value reforestation efforts. We’re currently studying the most effective way of planting trees, so make sure you stay tuned for what we’ve planned in the near future!
Sustainable Packaging and Shipping
Each stage in the lifecycle of plastics produces greenhouse gas emissions—from plastic refining, to managing, to disposal—often left as pollution within our oceans and landscapes. That’s why we reduce carbon emissions by excluding plastics completely from our packaging and shipping process (buy a bar and see, haha). Our delicious bars arrive with biodegradable packaging materials (wheat and potato starch packing peanuts that dissolve in water), and our snack bar wrappers are 100% biodegradable/plant-based. To top it off— our wrappers are also fashioned with plant-based (soy) ink that keeps harmful chemicals and dyes out of the environment.
▴ Impact Snacks home compostable superfoods bar
Why is Sustainable Packaging so Important? We take sustainability seriously. A study published by the Yale School of Environment shows that less than 10% of plastic waste was gathered for recycling in 2016. Oh, and it also mentions that the U.S. produces the most plastic waste in the world. This is why the solution starts with how companies sell and distribute their products—so, consider packaging careful the next time you make a purchase.
In 2018, the United States was responsible for emitting 6,677 million metric tons of CO2. That’s a lot— and we must change. If you’re new to the environmental movement, welcome! If you’re a seasoned member, you’re probably noticing how your efforts could be simplified if bigger companies had the same issues in mind. Let’s face it. Our individual carbon footprints are like ants scrambling under the heavy shoes of industrial pollution. Lots of ants add up (please do your part!) but a critical approach to reducing carbon emissions is to make sure corporations are doing their part too.
According to The Guardian, 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. Yup. Really puts accidentally slamming your fingers with a hammer while trying to upcycle a shelf into perspective. But that’s why we, here at Impact Snacks, strive to encourage other organizations to follow in our footsteps and reclaim more carbon than they produce. It’s great to be eco-minded and conscious of our decisions; and if other organizations behaved the same way, we could place more time and energy into other things (including filling that recently upcycled bookshelf with some good ol’ historical fiction).
Together, let’s pave the way for other organizations to transition toward sustainability. Have any questions? Reach out!
Article by Impact Snacks Contributor, Ava Tajally