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Member Since: July 17, 2013

Country: United States

Why the rain and what happened to the Boulderites.

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A look at the carbon footprint of the ProMini 5V

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  • These questions are a bit difficult to answer in terms of shipments. To make this only for 700 boards is difficult as well. Our shipments come in the thousands typically. Each component on this board also goes toward the assembly of many different boards as well as individual sales. So essentially for 700 PCBs and 700 of each component that makes up the Pro Mini 5V, it would only take up the space of a single standard size box. The weight would be about 1-2 lbs tops.

    A single shipment of each of the components far exceed the amount necessary for the assembly of the Pro Mini. That would mean approx. 11 boxes that weigh variously depending on the quantity ordered. I understand this is vague, but there is really no way to track these parts specifically for the Pro Mini without a good amount of assumptions. The above (a single box) would be the overall weight and shipment size that would come out of those thousands of components ordered if we counted it out.

  • Good questions. This is going to take me some time and a chat with a couple different people, but expect a reply from me soon. Thanks!

  • Hey, man, that's the plan! We like local. It will either go to a local organization or go toward something we actually do ourselves (e.g. planting trees).

  • Fail. It's fixed.

  • Good reminder! You'll see that info in the next blog post!

  • Our new building will actually exceed LEED certification requirements. Boulder County requires all new buildings to go through the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and it is something that SparkFun wanted to go through anyway. So we could technically be LEED certifiable, but the knowledge that we are going through international codes with a greater standard is humbling :) Anyway, the IgCC requires that at least 25% of all light is natural lighting and a lot of people like to have plants here. As for the dogs, our dog tribunal will have to figure that one out!

  • See below:

  • Absolutely! My next blog post in a couple weeks will go over this. At our new building, solar panels will fill the roof (192 of them!), giving us quite a bit of our current power consumption. Also, we will have meters for essentially every department on their energy and water consumption in which we can further inquire to reduce our consumption. There is a lot more to the new building that will help with this, in which I will probably write about it when our new home is built.

    Our currently building is over 20 years old and in need of some serious remodeling. Since we rent this building and will be leaving it soon, we decided to invest most of our time for this in particular to the new building. We do a lot here at SparkFun in terms of sustainability and we want all of you to know that. There will be more blog posts soon as well as a mention on the About Us page. Thanks for the comment!

  • Yes, we would assume that more than just our products were on the plane. A lot of our products come from Future Electronics, based out of Memphis, TN. Therefore, we could safely assume that other products on that plane go to Future Electronics and, most likely, somewhere else.

    Since we were focused on our product and not everything else on the plane, we did not look too closely at whatever else there would be. All these products come from different countries and likely come in different shipments. So, our product is sharing a carbon footprint with anything else coming on that shipment. Furthermore, all of the Pro Mini product is not coming to Boulder at the same time. If all of the parts were coming at the same time, the carbon footprint would be much smaller, but unfortunately that is not the case. It would be hard to get all these parts in one shipment due to the fact that we sell the parts individually as well as a part of other boards.

    An assumption could be made based on sharing carbon. We would assume that our box(es) is some fraction of the carbon it takes to get from one location to another. We did not go this route because we don't know how many boxes are on that plane. making it really hard to calculate. Therefore, we assumed that only our box is on that plane (although we know that is not true). Another reason we did this was to assume a sort of maximum amount of carbon emissions. Calculating individually yields a much higher number, which helps us to offset other methods of transportation that these components take to get to Boulder (e.g. shipping trucks from distribution centers). Thanks for the questions!

  • Haha that is a fact. See above for some clarification.

    For each individual board, it's approximately .026 metric tonnes of CO2. That number would be increased depending on where the board is shipped and how it gets there (via plane and/or truck) after leaving SparkFun's building.

    We currently are not adding a carbon tax to any of the items sold. It has been discussed and we decided; rather than our customers paying for our carbon emissions, SparkFun would donate to an organization instead.

    Thanks for the questions!