On Sustainability

Green Partnerships & Certifications

 Sustainability at Work, PDX GOLD carbonfund.org


Sustainability at Work

The city of Portland, Oregon offers three levels of Sustainability at Work certification to recognize a business's positive impact on the environment and our community. In order to qualify for each level, a business must be able to show that a certain number number of green actions have been taken.

Certification Levels Sustainability at Work PDX

Actions are divided up into six categories:

Sustainability Actions

  • Reduce/Reuse/Recycle: things like paperless alternatives and composting food scraps
  • Water: things like equipping sinks with low-flow faucets
  • Energy: weather-sealing doors, LED lighting, green power, carbon offsets
  • Transportation: biking/carpooling/using public transport, providing filtered tap water rather than using a water delivery service or single use plastic bottles
  • Community Engagement: things like donations to the local community and working with the disability community
  • Employee Engagement: things like having a purchasing policy in place to guide green decision making


Three reasons to look for businesses with a Sustainability at Work certification

  1. By supporting businesses who share your commitment to the environment, you help make sustainable solutions more viable and available.
  2. You minimize your own impact on the environment.
  3. You help promote healthy, inclusive workplaces.


We were certified with over 45 actions and were awarded Gold status. Check out our listing on the Portland City website!


Sustainability at Work Cognitive Surplus Listing

Green Power, Giving Back

A portion of each order placed on our website goes toward reforestation and renewable energy initiatives. 

Solar Panels

How We Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

We are wholly committed to Carbonfund's mission of "reduce what you can, offset what you can't." The ice caps aren't kind of melting; climate change is real, and we absolutely stand behind taking immediate action. We know that even our small company leaves a footprint for which we are responsible.

To start, we swapped all the light bulbs in our studio and warehouse for LEDs, most of our company bikes to work or takes public transport, and where that isn't an option, we carpool. The roof is covered in solar panels that power our space – the batteries are right next to our door and we can hear them whirring all day long – but we still work with Carbonfund to offset our energy usage as an extra measure.

Using their online calculators, we estimated the impact of our energy use, paper use, shipping to us, shipping to you, company travel, plus employee commuting - and for each year we offset 100% of our calculated carbon footprint, plus an additional 10 tonnes just to be sure.

Fun Fact: Our average shipment travels 1000 miles and we offset every mile of shipping for each and every shipment we make.

Carbonfund.org 2018 offsets Cognitive Surplus

Learn about reducing your own carbon footprint!

Greener Products

We strive to make eco-friendly choices as we develop new products. This is an ongoing challenge because the greener choice is often vastly more expensive, and it's a balancing act to make sustainable choices without creating things no one can afford. Here are some of the things we've done so far.
  • For our notebooks, we are constantly looking for the greenest paper option. Luckily, we've got a great partnership with our manufacturer, and through this we were able to secure a high-quality, 100% recycled paper. 
    Inner Pages - Recycled Paper
  • In order to be protected on shelves and in shipping, our art prints, screen printed notebooks, and greeting cards all need to be packed in transparent sleeves. Usually these sleeves are clear plastic that ends up piling up in landfills, and we really didn't like that option. After a good bit of searching, we found a compostable plastic option made from plants! Instead of sitting around forever and ever, the sleeves we use compost in 15 weeks at a commercial composting facility. 
  • Our greeting cards and envelopes are 100% recycled paper. It makes our costs a bit higher, but we don't pass those costs on to our customers, we just consider it the cost of doing responsible business.
    Greeting Cards - FSC Recycled
  • Our tote bags are manufactured using 100% recycled cotton canvas. Recycled cotton comes from the scrap material that would normally be discarded, but instead is carded and spun into new threads that can then become our totes!
    Tote Bag Detail - Recycled Cotton
  • We offer organic options on all our baby bodysuits and most of our adult tops. The price tag is a little higher, but the impact on the environment is a lot gentler. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides or other toxic chemicals that run off into the water supply and disrupt the local ecosystem. It takes about 1/3 lb of pesticides to grow enough cotton for one conventional cotton t-shirt! All of our clothing is printed here in Oregon using eco-friendly water-based inks.
    Organic Baby Bodysuits
  • All our gift wrap options are 100% compostable, and the paper bags we use to wrap our notebooks are recycled paper that is screen printed by hand in Oregon.
    Gift Wrap

Eco-Friendly Shipping Materials

We spend a lot of time figuring out ways to minimize the impact of our shipping materials. In addition to reusing as many of the cartons and padding materials we receive as possible, (and of course recycling what we can't reuse), we make sure to purchase recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials everywhere we can.
  • Our paper mailers are 100% recycled, 97% PCW chipboard, 100% recyclable and biodegradable.
  • The plastic poly-mailers we use are made from 100% recycled post consumer & post industrial material that is 100% recyclable. 
  • We use recyclable paper tape, recycled paper void fill and biodegradable packing peanuts.
  • We pack our glassware in recyclable paper boxes with corrugated cardboard padding.

We buy a lot of our shipping supplies from the cool people at EcoEnclose. Check 'em out! They do good things for the earth!

Minority Woman Owned Business
Small Business
Sustainable Practices
Inspired by Science
Inclusive Workplace