Earthwise Excavation...From the ground down.

Customarily business and corporate ideologies have viewed environmentalism as a threat to the bottom line. We regard the sustainability imperative as an opportunity to gain competitive advantage, reduce costs, increase employee and customer loyalty, and stimulate greater innovation while improving the health of both the planet and people.

Helpful Information:
Green power
Nimh power
FSC certification
The natural step
100 Nobel laureates
Sustainable living
Company policies
Carbon Neutrality

Earthwise Excavation
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Biodiesel is an domestically produced alternative fuel that can be made from any fat or vegetable oil. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine with few if any modifications and has achieved a full national standard. (ASTM D6751) Below is a table showing emission reductions based upon EPA analysis.

EPA analyses.
(20% Biodiesel)
Unburned Hydrocarbons
Carbon Monoxide
Particulate Matter

When you combine these emission benefits with reductions in other air toxins and potential cancer causing compounds, the 78% carbon dioxide reductions from the full life cycle analysis performed by the DOE, and the fact that biodiesel is already less than 15 parts per million sulfur fuel --biodiesel is a very positive step.

Currently in Washington State there are few retail outlets (locations can be found through our links page) with B100's average cost at $3.00 gallon, B20 average cost $2.40 gallon.
100% Biodiesel does at this time have a higher gel factor, meaning that temperatures near freezing will thicken the fuel possibly causing fuel filter problems.

Our biodiesel program has us using B20 during winter months, B50 during spring and fall, and B100 during summer months. We currently are Washington States largest consumer of Biodiesel using in excess of 30,000 gallons a year for both on and off road machinery.

Supporting cleaner air, your health, our farmers, and sustainability.
Earthwise Excavation
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Green power generally refers to electricity supplied in whole or part from renewable resources, such as wind and solar, geothermal, various forms of biomass, and landfill gas. By choosing to purchase a green power product, support is given to increased development of renewable energy sources, which can reduce the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Greater reliance on renewable energy sources also provides economic benefits and can improve our national security.

To this effect we have enrolled in Snohomish Counties Public Utility Districts Planet power program. Today 100% of our electricity now comes from the Stateline and Condon wind farms. There is an cost increase of $3.00 per 150kilo watt hour. We combined this program with an conservation plan consisting of switching to energy efficient lighting, employee awareness programs, and a review of energy uses.

The net result of these programs, even with the increase in power costs has seen our energy costs lower due to conservation. The key factor being healthy participation. So kudos to those of you who make the small changes that make a big difference.
Earthwise Excavation
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In the course of regular business we use batteries for flashlights, pagers, two way radios, laser leveling transit's and receivers. Over 400 plus batteries a year have been eliminated from the landfills due to our implementation of rechargeables. We use Top quality nickel metal hydride (Nimh) batteries which give extra life and are ecologically friendlier.

The Nimh batteries are designed for effective recycling and provide longer charge/ recharge cycles. They do not contain mercury, caduim, lead, sulferic acid or arsenic, all highly toxic materials. The initial cost of purchase is substantially higher but with over 100 plus charge cycles the savings are substantial. Let alone the savings in environmental degradation.

It is still difficult to find the high quality Nimh batteries due to the industries continued attempts at doing business as usual. Save yourself money and stop using highly toxic materials by switching over to Nimh rechageables. Please see our link page for sources.
Earthwise Excavation
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FSC Certification

Some areas of underground work use wood products for construction and design. The majority of our use stems from the construction of sandfilters where plywood and two by fours are used for initial support and protection of the sandfilter liner. In the normal course of business 2000 sheets of plywood and 5000 two by fours are used per year.

We have use Forest Stewardship Certified wood which comes from sustainabily harvested forests. The availability is still scarce meaning approximate 30% increase in costs. As demand increases so will availability lowering costs by 15%. This step protects forests and watersheds with increased buffer zones and decreased harvesting rates.

The forest and harvesting operations are independently certified through the FSC. Please use our link page for further information.
Earthwise Excavation
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As a guide for our environment work we have adopted the following four system conditions for a sustainable society.

In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing....

......concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth's crust

......concentrations of substances produced by society; or

...... degradation by physical means

And in that society....

human needs are met worldwide.

Now that's a beautiful picture.

The Natural Step is one of the worlds leading consultancies in sustainable development.
Dr Brian Natrass and Mary Altomare

The beginning of this path have seen us implement the following programs

1989 Workplace recycle program Cardboard, Glass, Metal

1991 EPA Waste oil heater

1992 Switch to low sulfur diesel fuels (20,000+gal yr)

1993 Change to 4-day work week

1994 Stop work oil leak program. Work is stopped until the leak is contained and fixed

1995 Onboard spill kits and training

1996 6500 sq ft concrete shop pad with 450gal oil water separator,
Petition regulatory agency for local gravel product approval (saves trucking industry wide)

1997 Equipment Purchase Policy change, Begin Ecological grant program,
minimum 9% of net to ecological conservation. Preference given to repair, rebuilding and
refurbishing with 30% extra cost allowance

1998 Job grouping and No excessive idle policies, (5min diesel, 1min gas)

1998 Begin yearly sponsorship of conservation and ecological radio messages broadcast on KNWX 770 AM Business radio Seattle (30, 30 second spots during drive time spread through out the year)

1999 1750 gal 4 chamber oil water separator, Haz-Mat supervisor, permanent containment booms
Employee parking area changed from gravel to wood chips, preference given for recycled concrete gravel

2000 Rechargeable nickel metal hydride battery program (save 300+ bat.yr), Honda Insight gas/electric hybrid

2001 Drainage system incorporating remaining 18,000 sq ft yard space into Oil/water separator,
2500 sq ft yard designated Native Growth Area, begin soil rebuilding

2002 Begin purchasing "Green" power from State line wind farm, Petition regulatory agency for digital controller
acceptance, no mercury floats (eliminate 2000+ mercury floats yr) Begin Biodiesel program

At Earthwise Excavation we are committed to doing business in a different way. We have provided superior excavation services to the Puget Sound region while at the same time promoted social and environmental causes. We feel strongly that businesses must take the lead by "inventing a future" that gives our children a chance to enjoy a healthy environment. Our activism around this philosophy has taken many forms including campaigns to reduce global warming, promote conservation and support organic farming. All these efforts have been bolstered by our own commitments to reduce energy use, waste and emissions. We have discovered what may have been known - that it feels good to do good, and that doing good work enhances our company's success.

In October of 1998, we launched our first regional conservation campaign using radio spots with conservation messages to inspire people to join the ranks of real life "Do-ers". This is our way of encouraging people to be involved in causes that will help make the world a better place by taking simple actions that can add up to real social and environmental change. We hope our activism campaign will inspire you to take actions toward a healthier planet and a better world. Let us hear from you!

Buying in bulk quantities, supporting environment business, speaking out for sustainability have always been in the forefront. Upcoming areas of improvement we have set our sights on are: Bio-Diesel, Plant based lubricants, and an 3 KW Solar array. While a majority of the development we see and work with does in no way meet the definition of sustainable development, we do see a growing percentage that does. As always we are prepared to offer our clients consultation regarding options and benefits.

It may seem odd the combination, excavation and sustainability, but this is the front line of development It is rewarding to know how many places we have been able to save simply due to the fact that we offer an alternative to the standard "clear and haul" mindset. We are hoping to raise the awareness of sustainable business practices so we ask that whether you use our services or not, please ask others about their programs and procedures

Thank you

Earthwise Excavation
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January 12th, 2002

A Warning from 100 Nobel Prize Winners

The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the world's dispossessed. Of these poor and disenfranchised, the majority live a marginal existence in equatorial climates. Global warming, not of their making but originating with the wealthy few, will affect their fragile ecology's most. Their situation will be desperate and manifestly unjust.
It cannot be expected, therefore, that in all cases they will be content to await the beneficence of the rich. If then we permit the devastating power of modern weaponry to spread through this combustible human landscape, we invite a conflagration that can engulf both rich and poor. The only hope for the future lies in cooperative international action, legitimized by democracy.

It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek shelter behind walls. Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world.

These twin goals will constitute vital components of stability as we move toward the wider degree of social justice that alone give hope of peace.
Some of the needed legal instruments are already at hand, such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Convention on Climate Change, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As concerned citizens, we urge all governments to commit to these goals that constitute steps on the way to replacement of war by law.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate, economics, 2001
Herbert Kroemer, Nobel laureate, physics, 2000
Guenter Blobel, Nobel laureate, physiology/medicine, 1999
Horst L. Stormer, Nobel laureate, physics, 1998
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel laureate, physics, 1997
Peter C. Doherty, Nobel laureate, physiology/medicine, 1996
Paul J. Crutzen, Nobel laureate, chemistry, 1995
Bertram N. Brockhouse, Nobel laureate, physics, 1994
Joseph H. Taylor, Nobel laureate, physics, 1993
Edmond H. Fischer, Nobel laureate, physiology/medicine, 1992
Richard R. Ernst, Nobel laureate, chemistry, 1991
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Nobel laureate, peace, 1990
His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Nobel laureate, peace, 1989
Robert Huber, Nobel laureate, chemistry, 1988
Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel laureate, peace, 1987
Dudley R. Herschbach, Nobel laureate, chemistry, 1986
Klaus von Klitzing, Nobel laureate, physics, 1985

And 85 other Nobel prize winners including recipients from every year between 1972 and 2001. The statement was issued at the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium on the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prize, in Oslo,Norway.

Earthwise Excavation
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Living Sustainably

1. Use less fossil fuel. Walk, bike, combine trips, use mass transit or carpool whenever possible.

2. Eat less meat. Meat based diets contribute disproportionately to global and local environment problems as well as your health

3. Fix your car leaks. More oil ends up in our waterways each year from urban runoff than from tanker spills.

4. Use nontoxic Use phosphate free detergents. Change to biodegradable products. Avoid highly processed foods.

5. Let there be light Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, turn out lights, turn down the heat

6. Say no to disposable containers Use permanent drink cups, bring your own bags, take Tupperware out to eat with you.

7. Live the 4 R's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink

8. Register to vote One vote really does make a difference

9. Be green. Buy green. Question your consumption. Choose products with less packaging from environmental responsible business.

10. Vote with your dollar All the factories, refineries, and industrial plants are ultimately producing things for our consumption.

11. Conserve all resources

12. Free your mind Life is simple. Live that way

13. Get the big picture Step way back and take a look

Earthwise Excavation
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Each day before start up of Vehicle the daily safety and maintenance check will be performed as outlined in the Maintenance category

Engine warm up and cooling periods

1. Millions of gallons of excess fuel and unnecessary pollution is caused each year due to excessive idling. The following policies take into account current scientific understandings regarding warm up times.

2. Warm weather 45 degrees or above Gas engines 1 minute warm up,
1 minute cool down from full load (>80%) 0 minute cool down otherwise. Diesel Engines 5 minutes warm up,1 minute cool down from >40% load

Shut down triggers
Gas engines Idling to be longer than 2 minutes
. Diesel Engines Idling to be longer than 5 minutes

Cold weather Below 45 degrees, Gas engines.
2 minute warm up, 1 minute cool down from full load >80%, O minute cool down otherwise

Expenses generated through engine wear, pollution, and fuel consumption due to excessive idle policies far outweigh extra maintenance costs for starter systems.

Earthwise Excavation
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Carbon Neutrality

Through investing in reforestation and other types of projects that absorb CO2, we're offsetting our contribution to global warming due to energy used at the Earthwise Excavation. What follows is a guide written in collaboration with Stonyfield farms("yogurt with a mission") for other businesses and individuals interested in decreasing their impact on climate change.

Global Warming - the facts

More than 1,500 of the world's most distinguished senior scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in science, agree that human activities that emit carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and other heat-trapping or "greenhouse" gases into the atmosphere are indeed warming the earth. There is broad agreement in the scientific community that continued global warming will have these devastating results:

-raised sea levels, resulting in the permanent flooding of coastlines and other low-lying areas, including up to 1/3 of Florida;

-increased likelihood of more intense rainfall, floods, droughts, heat waves and tropical diseases (last summer over 400 people died in the Midwest from extended heat waves, and the first known case of malaria was discovered in North America and scientists expect such occurrences to be more frequent);

- exacerbated food shortages and a threat to water supply, stable soil and growing conditions, indeed the end of agriculture in much of the world as some of our "breadbasket regions" become decertified;

- accelerated species extinction--at current rates, one third of all species may be lost by the end of the next century.

Reversing Global Warming - the good news

The good news is that climate change due to human activities can be reversed. By decreasing our use of fossil fuels and absorbing or sequestering greenhouse gases (through reforestation, for example), we can offset our CO2 emissions to reach carbon "neutrality". Because CO2 circulates around the globe almost evenly, the CO2 released from our business activities here in Snohomish can in a very real sense be offset by a renewable energy or forestry project anywhere in the world.

Industry's Competitive Advantage - the solution

Implementing efficiency practices that reduce or even eliminate CO2 emissions are logical extensions of a Total Quality approach to operating efficiently and profitably. While some of the investments required to reduce CO2 emissions may not yield first quarter returns, it is rare that an energy efficiency investment takes more than 2-3 years to break even. Paybacks can be measured in total energy savings, increased consumer loyalty and other competitive advantages. For example, cosmetic giant Cosmair, a subsidiary of L'Oreal, has reduced energy use, saving over $1.5 million and preventing more than 20,000 tons of emissions from being released into the atmosphere. Taken seriously by American industry, the U.S. can effectively reduce current levels of greenhouse gases ahead of the timetable being proposed by other nations, and gain the competitive advantage needed to lead industry into the new millennium with advanced technologies. These returns would benefit individual business, our global environment and our children's future.

Get started today, and learn that it pays to be green!

This Carbon Solution has been designed to help businesses reduce energy use and lessen their impact on global warming, this issue is one in which EVERYONE can play a role. At home, in your job, through your purchases -- you can use your individual actions to begin to "put a lid" on global warming. As you read the action steps that follow, think about the businesses you support or patronize. Pass along a copy to them -- the more firms that participate is a classic "win-win" for us all.

STEP I. Measure Your Energy

If you can't measure your CO2 emissions, you can't manage them. Emissions can be calculated from your energy bills -- whether it be electricity, oil, propane, natural gas or transportation fuels. At Earthwise Excavation, we noted the amount of gas and electricity used from our utility bills and then used the conversion tables provided by the EPA's Climate Wise program (see below) to calculate our manufacturing emissions. You too can calculate your emissions with these conversion tables.


Climate Wise, a voluntary program of the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created to encourage businesses to take comprehensive, cost-effective industrial energy efficiency and pollution prevention actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Contact Climate Wise at 800-459-wise or

For businesses, the Global Cooling Action Center of Trees for the Future will calculate your CO2 emissions and the number of trees needed to offset those emissions.
Trees for the Future, 11306 Estonia Dr., PO Box 1786, Silver Spring, MD 20915, 301-929-0238 or 800-643-0001 web:

Enviro Account Software produces a computer software package called Earthware: Personal Environmental Impact Assessment Software, that will help you conduct a detailed personal energy audit of your home or business. Contact Enviro at: or fax: 916-756-9156.

Finally, a number of professional environmental auditing firms can help businesses measure emissions and other wastes, as well as establish an environmental management plan to help reduce or eliminate such inefficiencies. We can recommend two firms, although many more are available:

GreenAudit, 1220 Broadway, Suite #703, New York, NY 10001, (212) 971-0808
Gil Friend & Associates Strategic Sustainability, 48 Shattuck Square #103, Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-849-2341 web:

STEP II. Reduce Energy Use

Once you've measured your energy usage and CO2 output, you can set realistic goals for implementing efficiency or reduction measures. At Earthwise Excavation, we reduced the amount of energy used by 18% through a variety of activities including lighting retrofits, engine idle policies, employee informational programs and other processes. We also have diverted more than 70% of our "waste" from the landfill through recycling and reuse. These energy savings realize Earthwise Excavation thousands of dollars savings annually.


For the latest information on energy efficiency, check-out the Rocky Mountain Institute's (RMI) web page at RMI is one of the world's leading think tanks on energy efficiency. They now offer energy efficiency services to businesses through their "Corporate Sustainability Practice" program.

Climate Wise is a wonderful resource for Industry efficiency tips. Contact Climate Wise at 800-459-wise or
At home, we can all use less energy with the tips found in the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, put out by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) at 202-429-0063.

STEP III. Offsetting Your Carbon Emissions
For growing companies like Earthwise who produce more product and thus use more energy each year, the goal of a NET reduction in emissions is especially challenging. We continue to look at not only our waste stream but dematerialization as well (e.g. reducing the amount of materials used). Sourcing materials from the waste stream is effective as well, such as using recycled plastics. Offsetting CO2 emissions is an excellent way to supplement your energy reduction efforts to ensure that your business or home eliminates or net reduces your contribution to global warming. Carbon dioxide offset projects are a way in which we can "neutralize" business or home emissions by investing in CO2 emission reduction projects elsewhere in the U.S. or around the world. Earthwise Excavation is beginning a partnership with Trexler and Associates, Inc. (TAA), to offset 100% of the CO2 produced from our business activities through a reforestation effort in Oregon. Typically the offset investment can pay for itself by the proceeds from energy savings measures in Step II above. In other words, you can have dramatically reduce your contribution to global warming, while reaping greater profits


Trexler and Associates, Inc. is a specialized climate change mitigation firm, providing a wide range of policy and technology services to clients. Through it's Carbon Neutral Portfolio, TAA is organized to quickly evaluate and define your offset needs and options. They can recommend an offset portfolio mix that suits your business's objectives while credibly offsetting your greenhouse gas emissions. Contact them at:Trexler Associates, Inc., 1131 S.E. River Forest Road, Portland, Oregon 97267, 503-786-0559 or

American Forests can help you with a variety of offsetting projects by clicking on their web site at under "What Corporations Can Do." American Forests, PO Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013, 202-955-4500 or 1-800-358-5748

STEP IV. Report Your Results

In their recent study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund, the Mellman Group, a Washington, DC-based research institute found that more than 2/3 of all Americans see global warming as a serious threat. By reporting your results, you are informing the public that your business is taking action to reduce global climate change! In addition to inspiring hope in a world that can always use more, your business will likely benefit from these efforts in several ways:

Employee loyalty and lower turnover have a bottom line benefit. Employees feel good about working for a company that demonstrates its commitment to the environment.
Environmental stewardship is a way of adding value to your product or service for your customer. Many studies have demonstrated that a large percentage of consumers if given a choice would prefer to buy from an environmentally responsible company.
Enhance your stock value. Numerous studies suggest that attention to environmental performance can positively affect stock value. With a growing number of stock purchase decisions based on environmental screens, a company committed to proactive environmental practices has a competitive advantage. The value of returns through building market share, employee loyalty, and improved stock performance translates to a healthier bottom line.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Reversing Global Warming is Simply "Good Business"
At Earthwise Excavation, one of our goals is to help spread our vision for a healthier environment to our consumers, our suppliers, even our competitors. By sharing the results of our efforts to reduce global warming, we hope to inspire more businesses and individuals to take similar actions.