Cascade Alliance

Technique Tuesday: Measuring What Matters

Climate researchers estimate that we have up to 10 years left to aggressively tackle climate change before it becomes irreversible. Interested in learning about your greenhouse gas footprint? With just few simple inputs, this calculator will convert gallons of gas, kilowatt hours of electricity, passenger vehicles and more into your carbon footprint.

This tool can be especially useful for thrift stores or other organizations that want to display the community impact they’ve had by keeping items out of the landfill. There is another calculator tool on the DEQ website that can calculate greenhouse gas emissions based on specific types of waste such as textbooks, vinyl flooring, phone books, and more that have been recycled.

Customers are more likely to be inspired to shop and donate more when they are able to see the impact their second hand shopping has on the environment.  Having these numbers on hand can also be useful if you’re appealing to your community for financial donations or applying for grants.

Our members over at the Scrap Exchange in Durham, NC, are already doing an excellent job tracking their positive impact!  They’ve diverted 266 tons of waste from the landfill since their inception.  This tonnage can be input in the WARM calculator as mentioned above, and converted into amount of GHG emissions that haven’t been emitted as a result of waste diversion.

This calculator is a great tool in measuring waste diversion and finding new ways to share impact with the community, donors, funders as well as shoppers.

We are excited to host a member from the DEQ at our upcoming Cascade Alliance Convening this April! Martin Brown will be sharing the environmental benefits of reuse, recycling and upcycling.