We’re not perfect, but we do try to be good!
To begin with, the vast majority of Ornata's materials are sourced domestically to minimize our carbon shipping footprint, and care is taken to purchase components from ethical and ecologically-minded manufacturers.
You may have heard the expression Reuse, Recycle, Reduce. Ornata does all three on a regular basis.
However, even with being this conscientious, Ornata understands that every piece of jewelry we make has environmental consequences associated with its lifecycle that cannot be addressed entirely with our Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce strategy. We take responsibility for our impact from the raw materials that are delivered to our studio to the delivery of finished products to your doorstep.
To account for that, we adopted a program to offset our plastic and carbon impact on the planet. Here’s how we did it.
2800% PLASTIC OFFSET
Ornata has a truly minimal plastic usage— less than 2 kilograms per year! But, we also want to take into account the plastic that is used in packaging and shipping the materials that are sent to our studio, even though we are able to recycle a vast majority of them. So, we estimated the weight of the plastic packaging and shipping materials that arrive in our studio and conservatively calculated an annual "incoming" plastic footprint of an additional 4 kilograms. Not very much, as it turns out, which is awesome and probably because we do our best to minimize use (see the "Reduce" section above). To offset this plastic footprint, we have chosen the Plastic Neutrality program offered by the Plastic Bank.
The Plastic Bank promotes recycling in developing nations, which contribute disproportionately to the ocean plastic problem. Using a blockchain-based system allows local collectors to earn higher wages and provides access to fresh food, clean water, electricity, and school tuition. By creating value in plastic through Plastic Neutral contributions, the Plastic Bank incentivizes the recovery of plastic and creates a meaningful, dignified, and stable source of income for their collectors. In other words, the Plastic Bank creates great environmental impact in areas with high levels of poverty and plastic pollution by turning plastic waste into currency.
Ornata is happy to be an "Ocean Hero," with our Plastic Neutral contribution ensuring the recovery of 168 kilograms of plastic refuse, or 28 times that of our own plastic footprint. We hope that other businesses will choose to do the same!
600% CARBON OFFSET
In order to offset Ornata's carbon footprint, we first needed to calculate our carbon impact, which was a little bit trickier than it might seem at first. But, after a little legwork, it turned out to be fairly straightforward. First, we used a small business office operation carbon footprint calculator provided by Carbonfund.org. Next, we calculated our shipping carbon footprint by using the average number of shipments per year, the average miles traveled for each shipment, and the average weight of our shipments. Then we combined the office operations and shipping footprints to get a total impact estimate.
Joining the Carbonfree® Partner program at Carbonfund.org and earmarking our contribution for reforestation allowed us to offset our carbon footprint by 600%! One of the nicest aspects of joining the Carbonfree® Partner program is that the projects are third-party verified to meet the highest international standards for excellence, so we didn’t need to spend a lot of time researching individual programs.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Ornata is optimistic. We believe in our world and understand that its future depends on our actions-- both the big and the small. Consciously logging what we use and its effect on the earth heightens our awareness and naturally leads to positive changes in our behavior. It's our hope that detailing this simple plan for plastic and carbon offset will show other small businesses how easy, quick, and reasonable it is to make a difference.
In addition to offsetting our own plastic and carbon footprint, we're also committed to more hands-on environmental impact. Most of our profits go to supporting our ocean conservation social enterprise, Silver Spiral Seas, which we'll tell you more about later. We love our customers and want them to feel great about their purchases in every way-- including the favorable environmental impact!