What is a Carbon Footprint?

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Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds we produce as individuals, groups, etc., due to consumption of fossil fuels. The greater your carbon footprint is the more affect you have on our planet.

Carbon dioxide is released when we burn carbon based fuels such as:

  • Petrol and diesel- from our cars
  • Gas, oil and coal- from our homes and power plants
  • Jet fuel- from airplanes

How long is Carbon dioxides lifetime?

Carbon dioxide is not destroyed over time, instead it moves amount different parts of the ocean, atmosphere and land system. Some excess carbon dioxide will be absorbed by the ocean surface but some will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years because the process by which carbon is transferred to ocean sediments is very slow.

Watch this 2 minute video explaining carbon footprint.

Why is it important to be aware of your carbon footprint?

We all indirectly and directly impact our environment. A direct impact can be your day-to-day transportation and use of electricity in your home. While an indirect impact can be how far did the fruit you bought at the grocery store travel before it was consumed.

It’s great to know just how much a simple choice in your daily life can impact our planet. The more you know the more you can grow.

How can we reduce our personal carbon footprint?

  • Opt for riding your bike or walking when possible
  • Reduce the amount of trash you use
  • Recycle anything that can be recycled
  • Use renewable energy sources
  • Conserve electricity and heating
  • Use energy efficient appliances, Energy Star appliances
  • Conserve water; shorter showers!
  • Buy locally made products
  • Vacation closer to home
  • Proper insulation for your home
  • Plant trees!

Carbon Footprint Calculators

The Nature Conservancy’s -estimates how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases your choices create each year.

EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM)- helps solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas emissions reductions and energy savings from several different waste management practices.

EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator-This calculator may be useful in communicating your greenhouse gas reduction strategy, reduction targets, or other initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

My Footprint-estimates the amount of land and ocean area required to sustain your consumption patterns and absorb your wastes on an annual basis.

Paper Calculator- premier tool for measuring the environmental impacts of paper and discovering the best paper choices

 

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B Corp Best for the Environment List 2014

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All BCorps strive to be best for the world. They set the bar for businesses seeking to have a positive and environmental impact. We join our fellow BCorps in working to create a healthier planet, not just a profit, year round.

In honor of Earth Day, we wish to congratulate 84 of our fellow Certified BCorps for being the best of the best! The BCorp Best For the Environment Honorees have earned an environmental score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, community, and the environment. Check out the full list and meet some companies that inspire us!

Thank you for helping us succeed where it truly matters and please join us in congratulating this year’s Best for the Environment Honorees.

Want to join the movement? Visit bthechange.com for more details.

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An Appreciation Note to Earth, from Just Another Earthling

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Thank you Mother.

Plain and simple, if not for you, we could not breathe. We could not eat, and, we could not receive quench for our thirst. It all comes because you’ve been so resilient, and so forgiving. You’ve taken care of our needs for millions of years, never asking for anything in return.

When we needed warmth, you gave us wood to burn, then coal, then other fuels, as we’ve exploited each and all, never blinking an eye at the damage and hurt we’ve caused you. If we needed clothes, you’ve let the providers of wool, cotton, silk, flax, hemp — and even man-made fibers — till your grasslands, destroy your forests for grazing and agriculture, and poison your fertile soils so we could produce ever more, whether we needed more or not.

In the beginnings of our human existence here, you smiled on us as we took what we needed, saving the rest to again reproduce for us and for our children and their children. We danced in harmony and in rhythm with the pulse of your giving.

Somewhere along the way, we began caring only about ourselves, not mindful and not considering the needs of those who would come behind us. We fished not for our table, we fished to sell fish to others, so they could choose to not fish for themselves. We harvested not for our hearth, we harvested to mass produce goods for others, so they could choose not to gather or build for themselves. It became more about money. Then more money, until we only think of all that you provide to us, still, as a means for creating more money, and more material wealth.

I believe that you were created, you came into existence because there truly is a Divine Plan for all of us. My Creator, My One God, the God of you, and the God of All That Is, had a magnificent plan when all this was breath-ed into existence. The Breath of God brought you into existence so we could all know our abundance.

You have provided us all we need, and all we and future generations will ever need. You are our Garden, generously and selflessly providing the bounty that keeps us connected to you. Without that connection, we will not endure.

We must begin replenishing for you, and, for us and our children’s children, so that you may continue providing for us all that we need.

Thank you Mother Earth. Happy your day! Happy Earth Day.

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For Earth Day: 5 Tips To Green Up Your Office

Two weeks ago we did a blog post on how to green up your home and today I’m going to give you some tips on how to green up your personal office. A lot of the household green tips can transfer over to greening up your office as well.

One step at a time is always the best approach when changing what you typically purchase to something more environmentally friendly.

Usually purchasing greener products like ‘Energy Star’ products are a great way to save money and energy but if you’re not able to purchase new electronics, keeping your old ones is okay too.  All you have to do is change some small habits, like if you leave your computer on at night in your office then shut it down.

1.)    Power Strips

If possible buy a power strip, connect all your electronics in your office to the power strip and just switch it off when you are heading out for the day and switch it back on in the morning.

2.)    Recycle

Buy a small recycling bin, if you don’t already have one, for your personal office and recycle everything that can be recycled!

3.)    Paperless

In certain jobs I’s simply impossible to go completely paperless, especially if your job requires you to constantly print things out. What you can do is switch out what you typically purchase and buy post-consumer recycled paper, its way better for the environment!

Also opt for printing on both the front and back or using the non-printed side for notes, etc.

4.)    Remanufactured Ink and Toner Cartridges

If you are in charge of purchasing office supplies, consider buying remanufactured ink and toner cartridges.  All newly manufactured toner and ink cartridges require about 1 pint of oil for production, estimated that 900 million ink cartridges and 500 million toner cartridges are made each year, that’s a lot of oil!

Don’t forget to recycle your ink and toner cartridges! Dolphin Blue offers free pre-paid shipping labels for empty Inkjet & Toner Cartridges. We do not accept toner tubes or toner bottles.

5.)    Plants!

Literally green up your office by putting plants on your desk or some place near you where you can see it. They can improve your air quality and increase your work productivity.

Check out this list of great indoor plants, although majority of them are rather big, you can probably find a smaller version of the plant at your local nursery.

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Dolphin Blue’s 20th Anniversary

Dolphin Blue’s 20th Year in Providing ONLY the Most Environmentally Responsible Products for Business, Home, Garden, Pets and Kids

Around two weeks have passed since Dolphin Blue was recognized as a B Corp “Best for the World” company. It is such an amazing honor for me to know that we are among the best of the best of small companies, in the entire world, that are “being the change that we seek in our world“.

I think fondly of my dream of 22 years ago, having a business that could make a difference in our world, and would make a difference in the livability of Mother Earth for future generations.

I sit here quietly, in my tiny house of 200 square feet, made of recovered wood from tear down Victorian homes of yesteryear, church pew countertops, Victorian stained-glass door and beautiful art-glass windows, 130 year old recovered cypress floor planks, and milk paint bead-board cathedral ceiling, thinking of the fact that it has been so easy to live on the offerings of Mother Earth. She has given to me, and to all whom I know, and, all of mankind and fellow-creaturekind for all of her existence, without a whimper, with only love, asking us softly, to listen to her and all her creatures, great and small. That does include us.

What began for me as an attempt to recycle my way, and human society’s way, out of the mess we’ve been creating, back in 1992, has become not just a small and very successful business, it has also become for me, a calling to serve our Great Mother Planet, all her occupants, and all occupants, of all species, to come. By serving that which has served me and my ancestors, for so many millions of years, I better serve my Higher Source.

Life is precious, opening for me so many opportunities to live a rich and fulfilling existence, filled with Joy and Abundance, and bringing my Spirit into Connection with all that makes up this amazing place we call our home, Earth.

As Dolphin Blue opened its door for doing business on April 9, 1994, I had magnificent thoughts of creating a billion-dollar enterprise. Little did I know at that time, that my objective would be achieved many times over, measured however, in wisdom and grace, not in greenbacks. In October of 2013, I was granted a second chance at life, hanging on to each breath, as I prepared for leaving this all behind. My God smiled on me that uncertain day, and said, “Live, and live with Joy, live with Abandon, live with Love.”

As each new day emerges, I relish the opportunity before me to be human, be connected to all around me, to love all around me that brings life, and to take my human-ness into everything I do, every decision I make.

As part of my recent two-and-a-half year healing journey, I have been presented with more challenges than I thought humanly possible, and, with relative ease, looking back, handled them all. With my loving and self-less wife at my side, and numerous friends and adopted family, I very capably and easily handled every challenge presented me.

 Fiercely dedicated and exceptionally-competent staff at Dolphin Blue, including Mike, Robin, Lupe, Tatiana, Christina, Ryan, Alexandra, Haley and Alison, kept things thriving while I’ve been immersed in my healing journey. Thank you DB family.

Now, I’m back. My tiny house has been my healing sanctuary, and continues to deliver energy, grace and a connection to All That Is.

Margaret is my beautiful wife. She kept me alive, literally. She and I are beginning to dance our way through life. Funny how some of us forgot to have fun, as we got too serious about everything. It is time for all of us to just dance with life, and dance with each other.

Dolphin Blue has been my passion, and to a fault, my only passion. It is now a passion, among many passions. It is my passion to complete our 7 KW solar panel array on our newly remodeled and deeply green home in the next two months, and it is my passion to soon be driving an all electric Tesla vehicle, plugging into our solar grid each night, recharging from our Universe’s source of power.

When I began Dolphin Blue twenty years ago, we offered only Office Supplies. Today, we are the single largest provider of Printed Envelopes, made of post-consumer recycled paper (made from old paper that has been re-pulped, not from tree fiber) and printed with soybean-based inks. I know of no company in existence that provides more environmentally responsible printed envelopes, to anyone on this planet, than does Dolphin Blue to our United States federal government. Thank you Dolphin Blue’s federal agency customers.

In the last three years, we’ve expanded our product offering beyond business products. We now offer products for the Home, such as Cleaning Products, Garden Supplies, Kitchen and Tableware, Pet Beds and Toys, School Supplies, and Children’s Toys

All are made from recycled material, organic ingredients, environmentally responsible materials and processes, renewable energy, are non-toxic and BPA-free, and are guaranteed to your satisfaction.

All work better than their toxic and polluting counterparts, and ALL are made in the USA. I love knowing we provide only products that lessen the burden on our planet, and reduce, sometimes dramatically, humanity’s carbon footprint on Mother Earth, giving her a little breathing room while we figure it all out (what being human is supposed to look like).

It is my sincerest desire that all who read this know that life is Good, that we, as Human Beings are all Good, and that we can all make a difference. We All go to Heaven. We are in Heaven. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love. Thank you for your love.

We are all in this together, let’s make the best of it, for now, and for our children’s future. Earth Day is coming fast, April 22. Let’s honor the Great Mother who provides us all from our earthly garden, and honor our children by leaving them a future abundant with all that we’ve enjoyed.

Thank you Mom. Thank you All.

Tom Kemper
Founder, President & CEO
Dolphin Blue, Inc.
Dolphinblue.com

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For Earth Day: 15 EASY household changes that do make a REAL difference

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Want to help save the environment, but don’t know where to start? What better place than in your home! You think one person can’t make a difference? Wrong! If one person recycles just one aluminum can, that one can saves enough energy to run your television for three hours, so now imagine if instead of one person we all recycled? A few changes can go a long way. Here are 15 easy household changes that can and will make a difference for our environment.

1.) Say no to plastic bags

Ditch plastic bags and opt for reusable bags when grocery shopping. Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide and 10% of those plastic bags usually end up in the ocean. If you can’t part ways with your plastic grocery bags then recycle!

2.) Unplug all appliances when not in use

Unplug all items that have a light on even when you have turned the item off, not only will you save energy but you’ll save money too.

Don’t forget to search online for “vampire appliance’s” to know which of your appliances suck up energy while you’re away or asleep.

3.) Buy local groceries when possible

In case you didn’t know, majority of the food in grocery stores come from faraway places, some travel up to 1,500 miles! Transporting these products sold in grocery stores burn up a lot of fossil fuels which then result to pollution.

So buy locally! Not only are you helping your local farmers but you are also getting the freshest food possible.

4.) Look for products that contain post-consumer material

What is a Post-consumer recycled product? It is a product made of materials such as paper or glass that were recycled after being used and where kept out of landfills.

Look for items that have high post-consumer material in them, the bigger the number the better it is for the environment. Nowadays you can buy from post-consumer toys to post-consumer toilet paper.

5.) Change your light bulbs to energy efficient.

Replace your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, they convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat. Compact fluorescent bulbs consume about 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

6.) Turn off the lights when not in use.

Save yourself some money and just turn off the lights. During the day just open up the curtains and let that good old sunshine illuminate your home.

7.) Recycle everything you can

The typical categories of things you can recycle are; Metals, Paper, Cardboard, Glass, Plastics, Batteries, Bulbs and Electronics. It is best to check with your city for certain items you are not sure about. Styrofoam can be recycled but you must check if your city is currently accepting Styrofoam and if not go online and find a place that you can drop it off or send it to for recycling. You can also go to Earth911 to find locations that can take specific electronics, metals, batteries, etc.

Here is a list of things you can recycle

8.) Use Eco-friendly cleaners (save the water from toxic chemicals)

When we use harsh chemicals to clean up our homes we don’t realize we are polluting our soil and water, which can harm many animals and plants, we are also risking our own health by bringing in some pretty nasty toxic chemicals into our homes. Choose green, biodegradable, non-toxic cleaners or make up your own vinegar, water and baking soda formula.

9.) Cut up plastic soda can rings before throwing them out

It might seem tedious but cutting up those plastic soda can rings helps prevent any animals from getting stuck in them.

10.) Turn your computer / laptops off at night

Even in sleep mode your computer is still sucking up energy. Save all your material and turn off that computer!

11.) Hang dry your clothes (makes your clothes last longer as well)

Dryers consume more than 6% of your total household electricity usage, which can add up to $100 every year! Each dryer emits an excess of one ton of carbon dioxide per year!

So hang out your clothes to dry, it’s better for your clothes, cheaper for you and better for the environment.

12.) Lose the plastic bottle – use reusable water bottles instead.

Buy reusable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles. Last year, Americans used about 50 billion water bottles but only recycled about 23%, which means 38 billion water bottles are thrown away and end up in landfills each year.

13.) Adjust your thermostat by one degree (in summer & in winter)

By keeping your thermostat 68 degrees or below during the winter and 78 degrees during the warm summer you’ll save energy and money. For every degree below 68 degrees and above 78 degrees you are saving 3%-5% off your energy bill!

14.) Pay bills online

Save paper and time by paying your bills online. A lot of companies encourage their customers to go paperless and pay online by making it fast and easy on their websites.

15.) End bank statements

An environmentally friendly alternative is to opt for online bank statements. A lot of banks usually suggest you go paperless when you first start an account but if you decide not to in the beginning they also inform you, if you change your mind in the future, how to change the settings online so you can solely receive your statements online.

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