By Reed Shapiro
What a difference two months make. The ignorance with which I went into my first Green Festival Expo in Los Angeles in September had been shed, and further work has been done between Carbon Credit Capital and the Green Festivals to improve upon our showing and execution of how we approach offsetting each event.
The biggest difference this time around was the routine with which I exhibited and attended the festival. In LA I focused painstakingly on getting individuals to offset their attendance footprints, and while there were hundreds of people who did their part and offset their minuscule portion of the show’s footprint, we fell well short of our goal to get the entire show down to carbon neutral. Secondly, I spent about every waking moment of the festival planted in my booth, as opposed to walking the halls and getting better acquainted with other exhibitors. We were able to take away a few key partnerships from Los Angeles with Jilcat Industrial Marketing Company, who has a pretty groundbreaking line of fuel additive products that considerably reduce wear and tear of mechanical equipment (think factory machines, car engines) as well as increases efficiency and reduces the emission of particulate pollutants, and we are slowly but surely gearing up for a collaborative effort with the Growing Club.
For Jilcat, we have set up a referral program where clients they sell their products to can turn to CCC to help them develop and generate emissions reductions projects from using Jilcats additives, while similarly, we will direct our clients and partners, where applicable to Jilcat’s superior products. The Growing Club is a small but particularly effective operation for regenerating deadened soils and turning them into lush environments in which individuals can create landscapes that provide nourishment, healthy habitats for plants and animals alike, and which are also extremely good at sequestering carbon.
Thus, after this not-particularly-fantastic task of sitting and waiting in Los Angeles, I decided it was time to go out and get after closing more business and partnerships with fellow exhibitors in San Fran, rather than sit at my booth and have 45 minute long conversations a few times a day only to get a, “Ah, cool, thanks.” Because of this pivot there was a concurrent trade off with the LA show – more offsets, but less leads – I finished the SF show with considerably less offsets sold, but with over 50 real connections with industry professionals, individuals, business owners, and fantastic brands. It’s great to know we have something to offer to such a wealthy diversity of business models, and stories, and products. Not 3 weeks out from the festival, we are already working on solidifying the next round of clients and partnerships.
Additionally, CCC and the Green Festivals made good on our commitment to making our work more visible, accessible and enticing by creating packages for individuals and attendees to offset their attendance on Carbon Credit Capital’s online credit store, which was linked to from GFE’s compliance email that went to all exhibitors. There were even a few of these packages purchased by individuals post festival – getting us one step closer to complete online integration. It now seems that come the first shows in 2017, we will combine these packages and Green Festival’s current mention of our efforts, with a closer iteration, if not a true integration of our carbon insetting program.
The last update – literally it was the last day of the Festival: I was given a speaking slot on Sunday morning to discuss, it seems, really whatever I pleased, but due to the fact that I was there on business and supposed to be representing our brand, I figured I would talk about carbon credits. It occurred to me after LA that a lot of people really didn’t have a good understanding of just how your carbon footprint breaks down as an individual, and how your individual footprint plays a part in the 35 billion tonnes of CO2e we emit as a planet every year. I did this specifically, because when I was trying to get individuals to pay $0.05 (might not be an easy amount to come up with – I personally don’t like nickels – but five cents, that’s it) I would often get, “Oh I’m already carbon neutral – I’m vegan!” or, “I don’t have a car, so no carbon footprint really for me to do anything about, thanks though!” Now I don’t know if these people just didn’t care at all and didn’t want to talk to me, and were ‘pulling my leg,’ or if they really thought that because they didn’t eat meat, they were some sort of climate anomaly who had somehow purged themselves of all environmental impact, so I decided to speak on that. I really learned a lot myself about the carbon intensity of various diets, habits of consumption, modes of transport, and forms of energy. Turns out if you’re a vegan who walks everywhere, and has solar panels on your roof, and have the waste footprint equivalent to someone in sub-Saharan Africa, then you still have a carbon footprint of about 3.75 metric tonnes (over 8,000 lbs of gas think about how light-weight gas is, and how much you have to put out in order to create that much in weight – that you’re emitting every year) per year, which is only slightly less than the global average. The bottom line of the presentation was that even if the entire world is basically as green as you can get, we only reduce our footprint by 15 or so percent, and that there is a real need for offsets and the work that we do in the meantime.
We will not be in Portland physically next week, but we will be there digitally, so if you’re reading this, and you’re going to Portland, even though it’s a free show – offset your footprint and help make it carbon neutral, because regardless of what you pay, or don’t pay, to get in, the footprint remains unless we do something about it!