🔗 Our Stoplight Impact
Back when offices were a thing, we switched our energy supplier to a renewable option. We have flexible remote working policies to cut down on unnecessary commuting. Beyond that, whatever we do, we will always impact the environment due to the very nature of being a technology company that requires data centers and electricity.
However, one of our most significant areas of impact involves a program called Ecologi. Back in 2019, we set up an Ecologi account to balance out our own carbon footprint. We recognize that giving back and being mindful are core tenets of our belief system here at Stoplight, and partnering with Ecologi with one of the ways we could practice mindfulness of our impact on the world. Ecologi is a subscription platform that individuals, families, and businesses can use to scale climate action around the world. Since collaborating with Ecologi, the Stoplight community has planted 8,770 trees and had a carbon reduction of 1,254.12T.
Trust is always a tricky topic, do we think those trees are actually being planted? Well, Ecologi’s UK partner is Protect Earth, and it’s actually run by me (Phil Sturgeon). When I am not working at Stoplight as a developer, I’m out planting trees every weekend, taking photos of them, and putting them into Airtable with a fancy iOS app my team put together. That Airtable data is then surfaced in their own API, which Ecologi uses to import all the information about the trees.
🔗 Why Did We Pick Trees as Our Impact Cause?
Trees sequester carbon over time, which reduces the amount of CO2 in the air, but equally importantly, they also provide much-needed habitats for wildlife. Increasing woodland and allowing large areas to rewild slows down biodiversity loss, giving all sorts of mushrooms, critters, and insects (especially bees) a home.
Tree planting alone however, will never fix the climate crisis, so by working with a program like Ecologi, it also supports carbon reduction projects. Whether that is supporting methane digesters to clear wastewater and provide power in Thailand, providing fuel-efficient cookstoves to reduce deforestation for firewood in Honduras, or setting up wind energy in India, these Gold Standard projects are quite literally making the world a better place by reducing emissions at the source.
🔗 So, Where do APIs Fit in With All This?
Ecologi lets individuals and companies fund these projects through an API so that they can automate all sorts of excellent workflows. Want to plant some trees every time a customer signs up to your mailing list? Fire of a POST request. Want to offset a tonne of CO2 emissions every time a user buys something? Fire a POST request! If you’d like to know more about that API, I’ll let you in in a little secret. Their Impact API just happens to have some excellent API documentation, and guess where it’s hosted? That’s right, on Stoplight.
The “Climate Action as a Service” approach provided by Ecologi solves the problem of not knowing which reforestation and carbon reduction projects to pick or how to pay them. Most climate action charities do not have an API you can integrate with, so it then becomes an extra manual job for somebody at the office. All the more reason for encouraging the use of APIs in the nonprofit space!
🔗 The Main Takeaway: APIs Are Great Tools for Creating Endless Good
APIs have made all this integration simple, making it easy for society to participate in programs like Ecologi and other relevant nonprofits that are making a difference in our world. APIs break down barriers and obstacles, making it as streamlined as possible to give back. I’m wishing you all a happy Earth day and would love to share some other climate as a service APIs, listed in this Clean Tech article I wrote.
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Happy Earth Day!