Poopbags’ Offsets Its Carbon Pawprint

It all started with Arbor Day.

PoopBags thought it would be cool to offer you tree seeds. Collectively, you, your friends, your fellow PoopBaggers, and the PoopBags Gang would all venture out on Arbor Day and plant the sprouting trees around the country. Doesn’t that sound awesome? We ambitiously and enthusiastically test planted spruce seeds in a reclaimed pot from the dumpster and named the soon-to-be-sprouting spruce Bruce. Bruce the Spruce was not to be. We discovered that seeds are a fickle bunch.

Paul and Greer

Paul, Owner/President holding Poopbags’ Carbon Offset Certificate with UPS Driver, Greer

All fantastic ideas spawn stupendously fantastic (and manageable) ideas. The spawned idea was so symbolically obvious it smacked us in the face like a Mack truck: offset the PoopBags carbon footprint with a poop mitigation project! Working with NativeEnergy – which provides necessary financing to new construction renewable energy projects by offsetting carbon footprints – we calculated the PoopBags 2010 footprint and determined to offset it with the Northeast Farm Separation Project.

Our Project
This project is huge and includes three Northeast dairy farms: Twin Oaks, Country Ayre and Mercer Vu. Basically, the environmental concerns about manure runoff, greenhouse gas emissions, odor, and pathogens are putting pressure on all farmers to change their practices. Because spreading manure can sometimes pollute watersheds, farmers must often truck their manure long distances for field-spreading, which is costly and time-consuming. Not to mention quite stinky for the cars in the truck’s wake!

A technology that separates volatile solids from the manure can help address these issues. Instead of storing the raw manure in open lagoons, which results in significant methane emissions, the technology separates the solids from the slurry and composts them. This process prevents the anaerobic decomposition of manure solids that would normally produce methane emissions. In addition, it produces high-quality compost that can be sold or used as cow bedding.

Sustainable Development Benefits
- Separation: Will reduce approximately 6,120 metric tonnes per year of methane—a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2—by treating the manure from over 2,920 dairy animals.
- Recycled: Mechanically-separated manure solids can be recycled by the farms as cow bedding material. This will replace material that would have to be bought, reducing cost, the hauling of bedding material, and the production of organic wastes.
- Mitigate: By removing nutrients from the manure, the new systems will mitigate runoff damage to local watersheds, including the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the Mercer Vu and Twin Oak farms.

How You Are Involved

Yes; we manage PoopBags, but you are a part of our family and the collective. So, this is our footprint according to the NativeEnergy criteria.

emission

We do produce waste, but we recycle everything that was on the questionnaire. We also expected shipping to be high as it is the nature of the beast with our business.

At PoopBags, we try to order supplies and materials in larger quantities so we can reduce transportation costs, packaging, human costs, and more. For example, if we know we are going to use 1,000 shipping boxes this month, we stretch the budget to buy 2,000 so the amount of packaging, gasoline and shipping, and every other part of the process is cut in half.

Now, by all means, we do not want you to feel obligated to spend more money with us, but keep this in mind for your purchases with PoopBags, or any other product that you order and use on a regular basis. If you purchase more at one time, you will help save on transportation costs, packaging costs and more, plus you’ll save money on the price per bag basis as well. It’s a win for everyone, but most importantly for our Earth.

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