How - and why - we're offsetting our shipping emissions
Flying is the most carbon intensive mode of transport we use today
Although air travel may only account for a small proportion of total CO2 emissions globally - currently between 2% and 2.5% by most estimates - that share is growing quickly.
And the damage done by high altitude emissions - the release of greenhouse gases directly into the upper atmosphere - is known to be far more severe kilo-by-kilo than the release of the same gases at ground level.
Climate activists have highlighted the travel and tourism industries in campaigns encouraging people to consider their personal travel habits and their associated impacts on the environment, and water-cooler discussions on the topics of staycations, eco-tourism and carbon offsetting have become de rigueur.
It's understandable that when the environmental impact of flying is discussed, the focus often falls on tourism. It has been widely publicised that the tourism industry accounts for a grossly disproportionate share of carbon emissions. Yet we tend to make the debate a complicated one.
Because when it comes to considering our own individual carbon footprints, it's no surprise that holidays tend to fall into the category of luxuries-we'd-rather-not-have-to-compromise-thanks.
But what about the other, non-human stuff that we shuttle around the globe daily? Looking at the wider picture in terms of the aviation industry's impact, we're also air freighting all kinds of materials and equipment, foodstuffs and consumer goods about, all of which, of course, has an associated carbon footprint.
So what about online retail?
When you order an item from an online retailer based overseas, the likelihood is that the item will be sent to you by a private air freight courier service, or, as with your ColieCo Lingerie orders, by airmail. Either way, it is going to fly.
But there is some good news when it comes to the relative environmental impact of airmail, in particular, when compared with the impact of flying human beings around.
Firstly, it's a lot easier to ship inanimate and unfussy packages than it is holidaymaking families. Your new togs won't demand a trolley service, they don't need to use the toilet facilities, and they aren't dragging kilos and kilos of electronics, toiletries and golf clubs with them.
A pretty average 0.5kg package would weigh much less than one percent of the average air traveler, and that's before considering the weight of their seat and their share of the various other conveniences that air travelers require.
And your package is easier to stack.
Secondly, airmail is usually transported in the cargo holds of scheduled commercial airliners; in other words, it is flying on planes that would be traveling regardless.
Although the likes of FedEx, DHL and UPS have their own fleets of cargo planes, USPS and other public providers of airmail services around the globe work primarily with passenger airlines, which sell their leftover cargo space to companies requiring air freight services.
And this vastly reduces the marginal carbon cost of your airmail package.
But of course there is still a cost. And this is why at ColieCo Lingerie we're working with Carbonfund.org to ensure that we offset 100% of the emissions related to the shipping of our customers' orders.
What exactly is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is a way for individuals and companies to invest in environmental projects that actively reduce atmospheric CO2 (or help curb CO2 emissions) in order to balance the emissions associated with their activities.
Although we can - and should - all be working to minimise our carbon footprints directly (and you can find out more about what ColieCo is doing on that here), we can also ensure that our controlled impacts on the environment are counteracted by positive measures designed to improve the health of the planet.
Why we chose Carbonfund.org
Since 2003, the Carbonfund.org Foundation has been providing carbon offsetting and greenhouse gas reduction options for individuals and organizations.
Carbonfund.org works with a variety of well-established, third-party validated and verified renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects around the globe that directly reduce CO2 emissions to help combat the threat of climate change.
We like Carbonfund.org because beyond their longevity and reputation, the transparency around and the scrutiny of the projects they fund delivers the certainty we need to be able to promise our customers that the emissions related to the shipping of their orders are certifiably 100% offset.
To find out more about Carbonfund.org and the projects they are helping ColieCo customers fund, visit and explore the reforestation/forest preservation carbon offset projects section of their website.
We'll continue to work to find new ways to improve our efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint at ColieCo, and we'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this. As always, you can catch up with us on social media to join the discussion.
Thanks for reading, and to all of our customers, once again, for your belief in and support for what we're trying to achieve - you're all wonderful!