Friday, February 1, 2008

it ain't easy being green

It's simple: develop a plan to be more green as a company and as a person, and then stick to it. Here's a bit more on the policies I have instituted at Alara to fulfill my "green plan."

Alara is 100% carbon neutral

If just one person or one other company reads this section, thinks about it, and then acts on it, this space will be well-used…

Have you heard of the concept of purchasing carbon offsets? If you have, you will be pleased to know that Alara purchases carbon offsets for all the energy the two stores and the design studio uses, plus for all the travel all Alara employees make to and from work on a daily basis, as well as business travel to points beyond.

Have no idea what we’re writing about? Well, since Alara can’t put solar panels or windmills on the rooftops of its three buildings, we’re doing the next best thing. We calculate what Alara’s “carbon footprint” is for the use of all the electricity and gas we use for the running of the business and for the travel of our employees. We then purchase “offsets” that results in solar and wind power being developed off-site.

You can do this to! You can do it as an individual or as a business-owner, or you can certainly encourage your employer to follow suit. Instead of giving “favors” to your wedding guests, consider having each guest’s placesetting decorated with a card that informs them that they are a guest at a “Green Wedding.” That’s right—you purchased carbon offsets to account for all the car and air travel of your guests, so that your elaborate event wasn’t thrown at the expense of the planet. Throw a couple web addresses on the card…and if even one person follows suit…well, you get the idea.

Here are a few websites to check out for the purchase of carbon offsets. But please beware! As counter-intuitive as it sounds, “tree-planting” is not considered to be a true offset, which is why those offsets cost less. Do your research, and don’t consider this an endorsement of any particular organization.

Climate Care
Carbon Fund
Native Energy

Alara uses 100% recycled precious metal

Alara uses 100% recycled precious metal to create our collections. To begin, we have in-house refining capabilities, so any scrap precious metal you bring in may be used to create a new piece.

We also take scrap precious metal in trade towards pieces that have been already created, as well as purchase scrap precious metal outright. All that metal is refined and re-used in Alara designs.

And, since we use far more precious metal than we take in, we only purchase the difference from sources that separate their recycled scrap and earmark it. Wanna help? Bring your broken, unworn, unliked precious metal jewelry to us. We’ll purchase it from you at the best rate in town and you can be part of the solution.

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