We provide extraordinary care for fine
garments & household textiles
According to climate scientists, we're spewing more
carbon dioxide, a heat trapping gas, into the atmosphere than all
the forests and oceans can possibly absorb. This is why carbon
dioxide is considered one of the primary contributors to global
warming. And why we're hearing so much these days about "carbon
footprint", "carbon offsets" and "carbon neutrality."
Of course, it was only a matter of time before "green" cleaners
(both actual and, yes, imaginary) started claiming that they were
"carbon neutral" and featuring promotional tag lines such as
"the only drycleaner in the Southwest to become
carbon neutral" and "our delivery vehicles are carbon
The process of becoming carbon neutral sounds quite complicated
and expensive. Actually it's quite simple and, for most cleaners,
involves no more than a couple of minutes and a couple of hundred
To become carbon neutral a cleaner first calculates their carbon
footprint, i.e., how much carbon dioxide their operations emit into
the atmosphere (carbon dioxide emissions are typically calculated
in metric tons per year). Next, they take actions to remove an
equal amount of emissions from the environment, essentially
creating a neutral or zero impact.
To help you calculate your personal or business carbon
footprint, a number of reputable websites (such as CarbonFund,
BeGreenNow, Terrapass, CarbonNeutral and SterlingPlanet) offer online carbon
calculators. Plug in a few variables and the calculator determines
your "carbon footprint".
At this point, a cleaner can neutralize their emissions by (1)
adopting energy conservation practices and/or (2) cancelling out
the remaining emissions by purchasing carbon offsets from a
non-profit or for profit company. These companies acquire the
carbon offsets by "investing" in carbon dioxide reduction projects
such as renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, etc.)
and reforestation projects.
So how much are these carbon neutral credits costing these
I went to ecoaidnow.com and plugged a few variables into
their online calculator: a business (such as a drycleaner)
occupying 2,500 square foot of retail space and operating 2 midsize
delivery vans each doing 15,000 miles per year.
The final cost? About $350.00 per year (34.35 metric tons of CO2
at $10 per ton).
Truth is, these "carbon neutral cleaners" are purchasing a
barrel full of marketing hoopla for a pittance. And, in the
process, giving themselves carte blanche to pollute as much as they
want, pay someone else to offset their emissions, make outrageous
claims about their "carbon neutrality", and feel good at the end of
Clearly, these cleaners are hoping that their customers and
As usual the thing that's all the rage - green cleaning - is
being oversold and underscrutinized. That's why it's important to
look beyond the slogans and the claims. Being an environmentally
conscious consumer means doing your homework.
In many cases, you'll find that
the emperor has no clothes.
How can I help you?
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