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Unbroken Practice

1/26/2021

Over the past extraordinary year, we asked ourselves many questions. We wondered about our path and considered leaving the studio in service of something more urgently useful. As a recently certified Wilderness First Responder, James wondered if it was too late to go to medical school. Deep into books on regenerative agriculture, I (Chelsea) imagined kelp farming in the Salish Sea. 

Over dead tired kitchen conversations held in whispers as our girls slept, we kept coming back to the reasons we started this studio and what we are beginning to see come to fruition after twelve years of unbroken practice. 

We talked about the joy of working together in creative partnership. We talked about the vision of our new manufacturing shop and the experimental possibilities it will allow. We also talked about the values of social and environmental responsibility that fuel every aspect of our life together and how they shape the purpose of this business.

We recently reread our newsletter from the start of 2020. It was full of enthusiasm and optimism. Even though looking back twelve months feels like looking back on another lifetime, we were struck by the earnest goals we set for ourselves. We were kind of amazed that we actually pulled them off during the collective grief of this past year. 

One that we are super excited to share is our commitment to measure, reduce and offset our carbon footprint through Climate Neutral. This is something that we have had as a goal for years and one that will be with us now for the lifetime of our business.

In case it isn't already front of mind, scientific consensus, as well as the Paris Agreement, requires us to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This may sound like the distant future, but considering how little progress has been made, it is not. In order to reach it, we need to reduce global emissions by 45% by 2030.

Carbon emissions are a form of air pollution. They change the earth’s climate by trapping heat. For us, as a design studio and manufacturing shop, these emissions come from things like raw materials, packaging and shipping, as well as the energy we use to run our shop, commute to our studio and travel to trade shows. 

The climate crisis is the biggest challenge facing humanity and it isn’t just an environmental issue; it impacts human rights and social justice. As with most things, it will be unequal. It will affect the most vulnerable first and worst. Over the past thirty years, government action has been slow at best. We believe the business community - including tiny design studios like ours -  must take our own climate action and not wait for government guidance. 

The good news is that we have climate solutions, but they need funding to scale. Offsets help fund this important work. We think every individual and business should know their carbon footprint and should invest in reducing and offsetting.

We are evaluating our footprint from 2020 and are taking steps to reduce it now. The first big one is to switch to PSE’s Green Power Program. Our new studio and shop will be renewably powered by wind (58%), solar (36%), biogas (4%), geothermal (1%) and landfill gas (1%). Our vision for the future is to be able to make more than we take and contribute back to the grid. 

The second step we took is to become a Climate Neutral Committed Brand. This means that we are part of a 150+ and growing community of businesses that annually commit to measure, reduce and offset our entire carbon footprint through the purchase of third-party certified carbon offsets.  

If you are curious to learn more about your own footprint, you can calculate yours here. To offset your footprint, look for certified organizations to make sure you are funding reputable projects. 

As parents of preschoolers who will be in their 30’s by 2050, it is our work to remain hopeful and action-oriented even in the face of daunting challenges. We are using what we gleaned this past year to keep on our slow and steady path.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support our work for your patience, kindness and generosity.

 
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