Orcas Food Co-op is taking another leap toward being a model sustainable enterprise by bringing our operations closer to being carbon neutral. Through an innovative program called Co+op Forest we will now be able to offset 100% of our carbon emissions generated from waste disposal, electricity use, propane and business travel. Not only that, but we are offering our members the opportunity to offset your own household or business carbon emissions through the same program.
In 2017 we began tracking a wide variety of sustainability metrics through the National Co+op Grocers Co+efficient Program. Through Co+efficient we have measured energy use and savings in areas such as electricity, amount of food and other waste diverted from the landfill, recycling and more. For our efforts, Orcas Food Co-op was awarded the Co+efficient Sustainability Star Award by National Co+op Grocers in 2018. As part of the Co+efficient program, our carbon footprint is measured in the form metric tons of CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent), which we will now be offsetting annually through participation in Co+op Forest!
Established in 2012, the Co+op Forest is a carbon offset program empowering fair trade farmer cooperatives that are pursuing reforestation, agroforestry and rainforest conservation in the Peruvian Amazon. Since its inception, Co+op Forest has helped plant almost 2 million trees in the Amazon.
The idea behind this unique carbon offset program is simple: Orcas Food Co-op (along with other NCG member co-ops) calculates our annual carbon emissions (from business travel, utilities, etc.), then funds the planting and protection of a corresponding number of trees to absorb (offset) that carbon. When trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas—from the atmosphere, it effectively slows the rate of climate change. All projects in Co+op Forest are third-party verified by the United Nations’ REDD program to ensure their integrity and effectiveness.
Now You Can Purchase Co+op Forest Carbon Offsets for Yourself, Your Business, or as a Gift!
You are already contributing to Co+op Forest simply by investing your food dollars at the Co-op but what’s even more exciting is that we have created a way for Co-op Members, including you, to offset your own emissions through Co+op Forest too! In fact, you can purchase offsets for yourself, your business, or to give as a gift.
With the holiday season upon us, consider purchasing a carbon offset for your loved ones as holiday gifts! It’s a long-lasting and meaningful gift that helps the environment. We will send the recipient a certificate describing the wonderful gift you purchased for them, or we can provide you with the certificate to give to the recipient another way.
The trees purchased for your offsets will be planted in a parcel along with those purchased by Orcas Food Co-op and other Co-op members and the parcel will be documented with an official certificate and GPS coordinates, so we can track the forest was have funded together over time!
How to Purchase Carbon Offsets
Please use the form below to enroll in Co+op Forest and provide details on what emissions you would like to offset. You may submit the form multiple times in order to place more than one order (i.e. if giving offsets as a gift, or if purchasing offsets for both yourself and your business).
There are several tools available for measuring your carbon footprint. We recommend calculating your carbon footprint using this calculator provided by the EPA
You can estimate your total 2020 emissions by calculating from December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020.
PLEASE NOTE: Purchases are not tax-deductible. Purchases of offsets with Co+op Forest are considered by the IRS to be purchases of goods (trees) and services (land management).
On behalf of our co-op community, Pur Projet, the ACOPAGRO farmer cooperative and all the creatures that call Co+op Forest home, we thank you!