Table Of Contents

Your landscape isn’t carbon balanced, you say?

May 23, 2023

So your landscape isn’t carbon balanced? It isn’t even balancing out in the next 10 years? All I can say is, Welcome to the party! Please have a seat at the table. We are all equals here. I hear so many quiet concerns from designers afraid of exposing themselves as Carbon illiterate by presenting the […]

Informed Decision Making, not Guilt

May 16, 2023

Discussing the carbon impacts of a project can be difficult. Our current unspoken assumption is that we need to “do” less. Leading to a conflict between what we want and what we “should ” do. Feelings of guilt can quickly enter. This should not be leveraged. It should be redirected through an educational moment with […]

Don’t Worry, Direct Air Capture has Us Covered?

March 30, 2023

I often hear the complexity of the bind we are in winnowed down to one overly simplistic solution. We have spent the entire industrial revolution creating this situation and we have many interdependent knots to untangle and restring into eco-literate systems. We often look for one thing to save us. Electric cars, a gathering of […]

Should We Claim Existing Carbon Assets as Our Own?

March 23, 2023

What is the moral and practical stance on claiming existing sequestration assets when developing a new project? This is a hotly debated topic of discussion in Elder Creek’s Carbon Lab. We will start by saying the carbon purists on our team hold a hard “NO” on claiming any existing assets as we must make landscapes’ […]

Should a Small Firm Buy This?

March 16, 2023

How Do I Convince a Skeptical Principal this is a Good Investment? I have been getting emails asking how to help sell this software to principals or how to justify it as a solopreneur with low volume. We are in a time of great change throughout the world and there is only so much change […]

Let’s be Honest, Less Bad is not all that Inspiring

March 9, 2023

Let’s be honest, doing less bad is not very exciting. We are DESIGNERS! Inherently optimistic, forward thinking (and probably a little bit high maintenance and needing new things to keep us interested:). For some of  us, hardscapes, and especially concrete, are our guilty pleasure and make our designs super stylish. For others, they are a […]

Unit Costs of Carbon- Why Our Choices Matter

March 1, 2023

Carbon Cheat Sheet At Sandbox we know that details matter.  And that you know your project constraints and opportunities better than anyone. That is why we have developed such an incredibly detailed tool (Bond) to analyze the complete carbon cycle. Below are just a few of the carbon impacts of our decisions. Rick Taylor Founder […]

The Founder’s Story

February 26, 2023

I’ve spent the last 25 years in various forms of the landscape professions, many of them in my own businesses. I started as a maintenance gardener and worked my way up to running my own 15-person design, build, and maintain landscape firm in the heart of Wine Country, Sonoma County, California. I then transitioned to running a […]

Where Are You on the Spectrum of Concern for the Climate

February 20, 2023

While I don’t spend much time discussing whether climate change is real, I do spend a lot of time in discussions with varying viewpoints about how severe the crisis is, how urgent and bold our actions need to be, and being honest about what we really know. Many of us  seem to have forgotten how to […]

Progress not Perfection

February 15, 2023

As you dive into the work of integrating a healthy carbon cycle into your designs, you will soon discover the imbalance between the speed of carbon emissions and the speed of carbon sequestration. We emit so much faster than we can sequester!  For any of you who have counted calories, you know it is much […]

Carbon versus CO2

June 29, 2021

What is the difference between Carbon and CO2 when reducing carbon footprints?A simple primer on Carbon and CO2. This is often a point of confusion when reading about climate change. The Bond app is measuring Carbon Dioxide. It is typical for Carbon and CO2 to be used interchangeably in daily conversation. Carbon is often used […]

Calculator Integration

June 23, 2021

Minimal keyword integration: Calculator integration into your workflows How do I integrate the Bond app into my company?! Recently, a design-build firm sent in their question to us, and we thought some of you might be thinking about this as well. “..we are already pretty busy. How can I most efficiently insert this into my workflow? […]

Sequestration Simplified

June 9, 2021

The photosynthetic liquid carbon cycle At its simplest, plants take in CO2 from the atmosphere, convert it into sugars used to build plant tissue, and the rest( 40% or so) is pumped into the ground through the root system, which drives soil biology. Factors Many factors can drive how much, how fast, and for how […]

F*@k 2-cycle. Get off the juice already!

June 2, 2021

Good for humans and the economy or good for the planet.  This is a false binary. We cannot build systems that are considered suitable for humanity and the economy if they do not consider the planet we inhabit.  Colonizing Mars is great and all, but…… Let’s break down 2-cycle for a minute. Edmonds performed a […]

Our brains do not know how to deal with climate change; A call for visionaries and leaders

May 26, 2021

The scientific stance that climate change is real is not truly debated. It is not actually a partisan issue at its core.  It is not at odds with any religion. It is not incomprehensible. It is a big problem to solve, and the solutions to allow us to live a lifestyle that resembles what we […]

Municipal Carbon Asset Management in the 21st century

May 19, 2021

21st-century cities are stepping up to address climate change with Climate Action Plans and other like-minded mandates intended to take responsibility for carbon and prepare the developing carbon market. Without reliable metrics and tools, there will be no way to translate these plans into the fundamental changes we need to see.  To formulate an actionable […]

Carbon Literate Design in Practice: The Cavanaugh Center Study

May 18, 2021

Our good friends at Daily Acts overhauled a public landscape with excellent results. We have attached the full report here, along with a brief synopsis. This project is a small city landscape that was primarily lawn.  Daily acts designed and installed a multi-storied, perennial, polyculture food and habitat system with astounding results. While the Daily […]

It’s a cycle, not a dumpster; The carbon emission and sequestration relationship

May 13, 2021

Natural and human-centered activities emit carbon dioxide. Plant material takes in some carbon dioxide and converts it to sugars. Most of those sugars are used to build plant tissue, and the rest are pumped into the soil to be used by soil microorganisms. While emission reduction is critical and all that most professions can do, […]

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