Our Positive Impact on Global Warming: Lunch by Lunch
As a socially responsible company, ECOlunchbox’s mission is to help people reduce their use and disposal of plastic food containers by providing non-toxic, plastic-free lunchboxes that are healthy for people and the planet.
Our impact is very important to us, so we measured it. But not alone, thankfully, with the help of a team of MBA students from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, we were recently able to quantify our positive impact on climate change using a nationally recognized waste reduction model.
We think you’ll be amazed to learn just how much of an impact one small green company can have on the environment. (Even we were surprised and delighted!)
How much waste?
The graduate students started their analysis by adding up the waste diverted through the use of just two of our lunchboxes. They entered the information into a carbon footprint tool developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The students’ analysis determined that without our ECOlunchboxes more than 8 million pounds of trash would be generated every year.
Crunching the numbers!
The next step was to convert the weight of the trash averted into a greenhouse gas equivalent. The students used an online Waste Reduction Model (WARM) calculator on the U.S. EPA’s Website to determine ECOlunchbox's annual greenhouse gas aversion in terms of metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent). To understand what it means in everyday terms to offset the equivalent of 2,297 MTCO2e, the next step was to convert this abstract number into concrete terms we can understand.
So what does it mean?
We used the U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator to put our positive impact on global warming in ways we can understand. Our impact is equivalent to offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions from 5,469,048 miles driven by passenger vehicles in one year. Want to think about our planet impact another way? The calculator also shows that annually we’re offsetting the CO2 emissions from 2.5 million pounds of coal burned, the carbon sequestered by 58,897 tree seedlings grown for 10 years (go trees go!), 316 homes’ electricity use for one year, or 5,342 barrels of oil consumed.
What’s your planet impact?
We all impact the planet in the decision we make day to day, from how many miles we drive, to how many lights we use. The impact you make by releasing CO2 is called your carbon footprint. If you’d like to calculate your own carbon footprint, try using a simple online tool that can estimate your carbon dioxide usage based on your income, family size and geographic location. For more in-depth analysis, the U.S. EPA offers another online carbon footprint analysis tool for individuals. To understand in everyday terms what the resulting carbon dioxide usage means, input your personal CO2 estimate into an equivalency calculator. Reducing waste at lunchtime (and beyond!) is one of many eco-friendly strategies that help reduce your environmental footprint. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of reducing trash at lunchtime, check out our Lunch Study.
Thanks you to our ECOlunchbox community for buying and using our products. Together we are making change at lunchtime!