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Daniel Poynter

Daniel Poynter

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  • Total Recruits
    92 collected! 184.0% of the goal
Recent Activity
  • published Thank you Dr. Anne Greist! in Blog 2021-09-30 13:44:01 -0400

    Dr. Greist Gives $10K Gift and $10K Loan

    Dr. Greist is co-founder and co-medical director of the Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center, Inc. She invested in CNI's mission by giving a $10,000 gift and by making a separate $10,000 zero interest loan in a marketing campaign.

    Read more
  • published Postcard Campaign in Blog 2021-09-30 13:42:34 -0400

    We Raised $19,500 to Double Our Community

    Our community just raised $19,500 in 0% interest loans! Here is how we'll invest that to double our community.

    Read more
  • published Become Carbon Neutral 2021-09-28 16:01:42 -0400

    Become Carbon Neutral

    You can finish measuring your carbon footprint in two ways:

    1. Measure it exactly with a free 15 minute phone call

    We've helped hundreds of people measure their footprint so far. Benefits:

    • Tailored to you with twenty data points (e.g. account for trees on your property)
    • Receive custom graph of your emissions
    • Answer your questions


    2. Measure it approximately online (coming soon)


    • Quick approximation with three data points
  • published Nurturing Community in Impactful 2021-09-28 15:50:25 -0400

    Nurturing Community

    We host virtual and in-person events throughout Indiana. See upcoming events on our Facebook page. Once you become carbon neutral, you'll get access to our private Slack channel, a chatroom with hundreds of participants.


    Indianapolis - Ice Cream Social

    The BRICS ice cream shop in Indianapolis is carbon neutral, and they offered free ice cream to anyone else who was carbon neutral too. About 50 carbon neutral members showed up and hung out for hours. Engineers. Scientists. Executives. Investors. All weaving together community and friendships. Who knows what climate solutions will grow from this soil?


    Indianapolis - Backyard Music Concert Series

    In the fall of 2021, we are sponsoring the Little Flower House Concert Series on the east side of Indianapolis. Every few weeks, 30-40 people gather in Kati Taylor's backyard to hear live music. At intermission she describes why she's carbon neutral and encourages attendees to become so too.


    Virtual - Fall 2021 Members Meeting

    Watch video here. Over 100 people RSVPd.


    Indianapolis - HopCat Brewery

    In the fall of 2021, about 10-15 of us gathered for an evening of drinks and conversation.


    Indianapolis - Rooftop Party

    Coming soon.



    Lafayette - People’s Brewing Company

    Coming soon.


  • published Nonpartisan Climate Advocacy in Impactful 2021-09-28 15:49:18 -0400

    Nonpartisan Climate Advocacy

    In 2020, we helped former State Senator Mark Stoops move bipartisan climate legislation forward in Indiana. It had full support on both sides of the aisle. Learn more here.

    In 2021, we've been participating in a working group -- led by the Indiana DNR and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, and we'll co-author a report for the state legislature.

  • published Local Carbon Projects in Impactful 2021-09-28 15:47:30 -0400

    Local Carbon Projects

    We are leading a collaborative working group -- including with a Fortune 500 company -- to create Indiana's first urban forest carbon project. Details to be announced soon.

  • published Carbon Markets in Impactful 2021-09-28 15:46:42 -0400

    Carbon Markets

  • published Effective 2021-09-28 15:43:16 -0400


    How can we measure our impact and become as effective as possible? One way is by benchmarking our performance against peers:


    All of these organizations sell carbon offsets. We sell them to households and businesses as a fundraiser.

    This is critical because Indiana is one of just ten states producing half of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Amazingly, if national climate philanthropy was distributed by population, Indiana would receive $25,000,000 annually for climate education and advocacy. Instead the state receives perhaps 5% of that support.

    Our mission is for Indiana to become carbon neutral as soon as possible. How are we working on this? By taking a holistic, systems approach -- growing community and incubating high impact climate projects like internship programs, advocacy, climate journalism.

    We're not aware of any organization working in this context or with this approach. Still, it's informative to compare our finances against two other non-profits that sell carbon offsets.

    Data below come from IRS Form 990s on the Pro Publica website.



    Cool Effect



    Legal status:







    Greenbrae, CA



    Sells carbon offsets to individuals and businesses.



    Cool Effect leveraged $34,000,000 in seed philanthropy over five years to achieve $6,000,000 in carbon offset sales in 2019. This initial boost of philanthropy got their flywheel running.




    Carbon Fund



    Legal status:







    East Aurora, NY



    Sells carbon offsets to individuals and businesses.

    Develops forest carbon offset projects (e.g. in Brazil).

    Runs environmental summer camp for children.



    Carbon Fund leveraged $11,700,000 in philanthropy over five years to achieve $1,500,000 in carbon offset sales. They've been around since 2003, so this is not an apples to apples comparison with Cool Effect.




    Carbon Neutral Indiana



    Legal status:

    Fiscally sponsored by Indiana Forest Alliance, a 501c3






    Indianapolis, IN



    Sells carbon offsets to individuals and businesses.

    Grows community.

    Incubates other high impact climate projects like internship programs, advocacy, climate journalism.



    We've not been around for long, so the graph below shows five quarters from April 2020 - June 2021. We've leveraged just $21,000 in philanthropy to enable $100,000 in annual carbon offset sales. This shows that we used a tiny amount of philanthropy to enable even more philanthropy from the community.


  • published Impactful 2021-09-28 15:42:32 -0400


    Donella Meadows was an ecologist and systems theorist. She studied complex systems like fish populations, and her classic essay informs our approach -- Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System.

    Meadows described how to change any system. It could be the human body, a family, a corporation, etc. First, in our case, imagine a giant lever we can use to shift Indiana. We've simplified her model to include four leverage points:

    We help households and businesses become carbon neutral, but this is part of a larger, holistic, systems approach. We're engaging each of these leverage points to help Indiana become carbon neutral as soon as possible.




    This describes anything that's easily measurable. When anyone tries to change a system they usually think of parameters first. Examples include metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

    Carbon Markets

    There are countless ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- switching to electric vehicles, insulating homes, installing solar panels, etc. Which solutions offer the lowest cost per ton reduction? And how can we channel money to projects that actually, verifiably reduce emissions? We can commoditize carbon and let the market offer the lowest cost, highest quality negative ton.

    Learn more about our effectiveness with carbon markets.


    Local Carbon Projects

    How can we leverage carbon markets to finance emissions reductions projects in Indiana? Working on it!

    Learn more about our effectiveness with local carbon projects.




    This describes how information flows in a system. What information is publicly available? What's not? Who knows? While not the most powerful leverage point, dollar for dollar it's one of the most cost effective ways to change a system. Examples include the Freedom of Information Act, lists of things like the top universities, standardized reporting requirements, etc.

    Local Climate Journalism

    Indiana has about six millions residents, and yet we only have 3-5 journalists covering the environment. What if we 10X'd that number? Wouldn't that transform Indiana? Working on it! ;)

    Learn more about our effectiveness with local climate journalism.




    This describes the rules of the system. This includes influencing legislation, and it's where most climate organizations focus. It's a powerful leverage point, but it's not the only one.

    Nonpartisan Climate Advocacy

    We participate in the legislative process at the the city and state level.

    Learn more about our effectiveness with nonpartisan climate advocacy.




    This describes the operating system or philosophy of a system. An example is a factory that produces widgets. It functions in one way during peacetime, but during wartime -- when our lives depends on defeating the enemy -- it functions a very different way.

    Leadership Development

    Occasionally we offer leadership opportunities for young people. For example, in 2020 we hosted 15 college students in a summer leadership program. Many said the experience was more valuable than their average college class.

    Learn more about our effectiveness with leadership development.


    Climate Psychology

    Many people suffer from fear about climate. A recent study published in Nature showed 75% of young people said the "future is frightening" due to climate change and 39% said they were "hesitant to have children" due to climate change. More generally, from 2007 to 2017, suicide rates about girls aged 10 - 14 years old increased 13% per year.

    Becoming carbon neutral is one way to regain a sense of control, feel progress, and renew realistic hope about the future. Our psychological impact might be more important than our carbon impact.

    Learn more about our effectiveness with climate psychology.


    Nurturing Community

    Because we're a local organization, we can host events like ice cream socials and rooftop parties.

    Learn more about our effectiveness with nurturing community.

  • published Meet our Members in About 2021-09-28 15:30:14 -0400

    Meet our Members

    We help households and businesses become carbon neutral. Explore a comprehensive list of both:

    1. Carbon Neutral Households


    2. Carbon Neutral Businesses

  • published Mailings 2021-09-16 14:55:07 -0400


    Did you get one of our mailings?

    This page explains how we try to practice what we preach, even with our mailings.

    That is, we make them not only environmentally neutral but environmentally positive. Learn how below:

    Table of Contents

    100% Recycled Paper

    First, we selected Vistaprint. 95% of the paper they print on (by spend) has FSC certification -- the highest standard of responsible forestry. It's also recognized by the Rainforest Alliance:

    "The Rainforest Alliance is a network of farmers, foresters, communities, scientists, governments, environmentalists, and businesses dedicated to conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

    They are an international non-profit organization working to build strong forests, healthy landscapes and thriving communities through creative, pragmatic collaboration.

    The advice of Rainforest Alliance has been invaluable to us in developing and growing our responsible forestry program."

    But we went a step further...

    We selected 100% post-consumer recycled paper stock. This is paper that's already been used at least once and recycled into new paper.

    This recycled paper cost us 44% more than the alternative paper.

    Ten Trees Planted for Each Used

    But we went a step further...

    Technically, we're not using trees because the paper is 100% recycled. But still. We calculated how many trees were used originally.

    According to this article in the Sierra Club's magazine, it takes about eight trees to produce 1,000 - 2,000 pounds of paper. That means one tree creates on average 187.5 pounds, or 85,048 grams, of paper.

    One postcard weighs 6 grams, so a tree can create about 14,174 post cards. In order to "plant ten trees for each used" we need to plant a tree for -- let's round up -- every 1,500 postcards.

    The USDA Forest Service will plant a conifer seedling for $1.

    Because we plan to mail 55,000 postcards, this means we need to pay to plant 37 trees.

    Carbon Neutral Mailing

    And we went a step further yet...!

    How much carbon is emitted by mail? PitneyBowes sponsored an excellent literature review:

    "Based on these data, we found that the distribution of letter mail by the Posts generates, on average, about 20 grams of CO2 per letter delivered. In addition, a survey of more than a dozen studies shows that the indicative range of CO2 emissions associated with the upstream mail piece creation process is about 0.9 – 1.3 grams of CO2 per gram of paper."

    So for a postcard weighing 6 grams, we can assume it creates 7.8 grams CO2 to create it (1.3 grams of CO2 * 6 grams of paper) and 20 grams to deliver it. The total per postcard is 27.8 grams. Let's roundup and say 30 grams CO2 per postcard.

    Context is everything. The average American produces 15-20 tons per year. "The US paper industry accounts for about 2% of US CO2 emissions, and direct mail is estimated to account for 0.18% of US emissions... Each time a dishwasher is used, 1.04 kg CO2 are generated... [which is equivalent to about 30 pieces of mail].

    Because we plan to mail 55,000 postcards, this means we need to offset 1650 kg CO2e, or 1.65 metric tonnes.

    Funding Model

    It costs about $9,500 to mail 55,000 postcards. This money was provided as a 0% interest loan from 34 different people on the Kiva platform. Kiva enables anyone to make 0% interest loans to mission drive entrepreneurs around the world.

    Thank you to the investors from the CNI community:

    And thank you to the investors from the larger Kiva community:

    • Tamar, a nurse in Seattle
    • Richard, a Professor in Canada
    • Jill, a veterinarian in Wisconsin
    • Aluna, a counselor in Florida
    • Kari, a nurse in Missouri
    • Trent in Washington DC
    • William in New York
    • Diane
    • Jordan
    • Jessica
    • Nisha
    • Martin
    • Alexander
    • Olena
    • Jon
    • A few anonymous people

    Created by Alli Williams

  • published CNI Members Meeting in Blog 2021-09-10 15:54:26 -0400

    CNI Members Meeting

    CNI hosted meetings for members the week of 8/30/21. We had over 100 RSVPs(!!!). This video is an edited version of the 8/31/21 presentation.

    During all of the meetings, we broke into groups for small group discussion. Some audience feedback is in this video. To see all feedback from all 17 groups of members see links below video.

    Response from all 17 groups to these prompts:

  • published CNI Get Together in Blog 2021-09-09 16:08:51 -0400

    CNI Get Together

    What are two things that make Carbon Neutral Indiana unique? The personal touch and local community.

    We help people and businesses measure their carbon footprints over the phone -- not with an automated online calculator. We're not aware of any other organization that does this.

    And most organizations that sell carbon offsets are for-profit. That's great, but one reason we formed as a non-profit is to intentionally nurture local community -- in person gatherings like potlucks, sponsoring local climate journalism and backyard concerts, etc.

    This week, some carbon neutral households got together to enjoy each others company -- and beer. 🙂

  • published Case Study - David Harting and family in Households 2021-09-06 12:05:13 -0400

    David Harting & Family - We're Carbon Neutral!

    "Before my carbon inventory, I felt a lot of existential dread about the climate crisis.

    I was definitely looking forward to my meeting with CNI though. I was excited to see if I could do something practical and useful to help.

    After the call -- and after everything CNI walked me through -- some things that I thought were impossible are actually achievable. I’m surprised how much more optimistic I was after the meeting.

    I tend to be pessimistic about the climate crisis because it’s a systems problem. I thought individual action simply didn’t add up, but the way CNI framed it showed me that individual action does add up. It can lead to systems change.

    I think most households could afford to be carbon neutral, and that some grassroots momentum will go a long way. And I think others should be carbon neutral because I truly believe we’re in a climate emergency, and our government is not interested - currently - in taking emergency action. So even though it’s largely a systems problem, best solved with policy, individuals have to step up and lead. Then hopefully the government will follow."

    Do you want your household to be carbon neutral?

    Measure your household's carbon footprint

  • published Case Study - Sam & Shannon Bloomquist in Households 2021-08-29 14:17:28 -0400

    Sam & Shannon Bloomquist & family - We're Carbon Neutral!

    Sam and Shannon Bloomquist live in Indianapolis. Shannon is a "librarian, writer/editor, floundering guitarist, breakfast addict," and Sam is a, "mobile software developer, dog owner, hiker, adventure racer, enemy of bureaucracy."

    Learn more at their personal website.


    Do you want your household to be carbon neutral?

    Measure your household's carbon footprint


  • We fund climate journalism!! 🤔 🔍 🧠 📰

    We are sponsoring local climate journalism at Purdue University, thanks to David and Katie Harting. If successful, this pilot can be expanded enormously. Watch trailer:

    Learn more here. Watch in-depth interviews, ready the backstory, and see articles published so far.

  • published Input Fort Wayne in More Press 2021-08-25 19:29:53 -0400

    Input Fort Wayne

  • published All IN in More Press 2021-08-25 19:29:31 -0400

    All IN

  • published NPR in More Press 2021-08-25 19:29:01 -0400


    "One organization, Carbon Neutral Indiana, is serving as a bridge between businesses located in Indiana that want to go carbon neutral... and Indiana communities..."

    Full episode: NPR - 1A