Green Dream Farm in Enosburg Falls, Vt., expects to lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 12,900 metric tons over the next 10 years and save $30,000 annually as the result of a partnership with ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s and NativeEnergy, a carbon offset and project development company.
The partnership has helped provide the farm with new equipment that separates manure solids and composts it into sanitary bedding material for livestock. The project will produce enough bedding both for Green Dream Farm and for several neighboring farms.
The cows on Green Dream Farm produce 3.4 million gallons of effluent per year. The manure separation process removes 50 percent of the manure solids and reduces the total waste volume by 20 percent. With fewer solids there is a decrease in anaerobic decomposition and a reduction in the production of methane emissions.
Net farm savings are projected to be $30,000 a year, which includes savings from sawdust bedding plus revenue from bedding sales to other farms.
The project is financed in part by Green Dream Farm owner Chris Wagner and in part by Ben & Jerry’s through an offset purchase from NativeEnergy. The farm’s 360 cows supply Ben & Jerry’s through the local St. Alban’s Cooperative Creamery.
NativeEnergy’s Help Build program provides upfront funding for the separator, composter and related system equipment in exchange for the environmental attributes in the form of certified carbon offsets. The carbon finance mechanism enables the Green Dream Farm to reduce the output of greenhouse gas and water pollutants they would not otherwise have the means to do.
Last year, Recyclebank announced it had lowered its carbon emissions by 27 percent, from 830 tons in 2011 to 602 tons in 2012, with the help of NativeEnergy.
In addition, last year Ben & Jerry’s, together with over 30 other companies, signed a statement urging federal policymakers to take action on climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency and limiting carbon emissions.
Photo Credit: Cows via Shutterstock