New Carbonfree®Business Partner Maison Zahara is a lifestyle brand and online boutique offering ethically sourced products for the home and personal wear, made in non-mechanized ways using high quality local ingredients. The company’s work reflects its philosophy that aesthetic beauty and sustainability are not mutually exclusive; environmental mindfulness is truly luxurious. 

“Our future depends on community, preservation, protection of peoples, cultures and traditions,” explains Marisela Feldman, Founder and CEO of Maison Zahara.  “Maison Zahara is committed to providing conscious consumers with a sustainable alternative to ubiquitous mass production. Developing strong partnerships with organizations such as is less of a choice and more of a responsibility of any scalable business in today's world.” 

Maison Zahara’s business is structured to bridge the gap between social and environmental sustainability, as they are of equal importance, yet the former is often overlooked. Sourcing products directly from specific peoples and cultures with a mastery in their particular craft allows Maison Zahara the opportunity to add authenticity to its overall mission.  The careful curation of its artist/partner network is an important aspect of the company’s responsibility as a sustainable business.  Extending this environmental responsibility to carbon neutral operations further demonstrates Maison Zahara’s commitment to a philosophy and practice of environmental mindfulness and stewardship.

Dukes Coffee Roasters is a group of like-minded individuals who share a love and passion for great coffee while maintaining a focus on social and environmental responsibility.  Dukes is a proud member of 1% For the Planet, a not-for-profit network of businesses from around the world who have committed to creating a healthy planet. In the decade since ‘One Percent’ was founded, 1,400 member businesses have invested more than $100 million in environmental change. 

Through 1% For the Planet, Dukes has pledged 1% of annual sales to the preservation of the natural environment.  For the past two years, Dukes has chosen to support forest preservation and conservation projects through and to neutralize a portion of Dukes’ business operation emissions with their donation. 

For the folks at Dukes Coffee Roasters, coffee quality is more than just the flavour in the cup; environmental and social sustainability stand at the heart of everything the company does, dedicated to reducing any negative impact on the earth and supporting the communities that take part in their coffees’ production process.  All Dukes coffees are ethically traded and sourced from individual farms or small cooperatives. Each lot of coffee is traceable down to farm level, and there’s a preference placed on purchasing organically grown coffees when possible. 

The Dukes roasteries in Melbourne and Perth, Australia produce freshly roasted coffee each day.  Each lot is carefully selected and then profiled, tweaked and cupped rigorously before being made available to customers.  Dukes also serves the coffee it roasts in its own cafes and coffee bars. The Dukes team of baristas is also a vital part of the quality control process; they provide constant feedback to help tweak the coffee singles and blends. 

The Dukes Coffee Roasters’ approach to environmental responsibility within its own business is a great example of leveraging a commitment to the planet while reducing its own operational impact by supporting the protection and preservation of critical forestry around the world. is proud to partner with Dukes and with 1% For the Planet in these efforts.

The historic 1854 Twenty Mile House – a former stagecoach stop – is a stunning and secluded eco-estate on a 200-acre riverside property, surrounded by the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountains. For over 150 years, the Twenty Mile House charming guest house and private cabins have hosted eco-weddings and provided a haven for those looking for a truly relaxing getaway from their busy lives.  

For the past five years, Twenty Mile House also has participated in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, neutralizing almost 400,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions by supporting’s clean air technology, forest preservation and carbon emissions reduction projects.  To date, this sustainability program has reduced the same quantity of greenhouse gases as are sequestered by planting almost 4500 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for ten years.      

The Twenty Mile House Eco-Wedding packages include use of the spectacular grounds, featuring lush forest, beautiful gardens, serene creeks, flowing rivers and star-filled sky.  Dining options include organic and locally-sourced options, and the wedding staff helps couples create the destination wedding experience that best suits their dreams.  The Twenty Mile House offers an onsite Wedding Fair for couples who have booked their wedding date or are interested in learning more about the eco-wedding options.  For families and visitors, the list of activities in extensive, featuring local hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking and canoeing, fishing, golf and winter skiing.   

Twenty Mile House marries back-to-nature experiences with environmental responsibility, and congratulates the staff on their fifth year as a Carbonfree® Business Partner.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 17:39

UUA GA Building a Better Way to Equality and Sustainability

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The Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual General Assembly meeting strives to address, confirm and take action on the social, economic and environmental issues that matter most to its engaged membership.  June’s GA meeting in Portland, Oregon certainly accomplished this – on the second day of GA, the US Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage was announced, and the GA schedule for the day turned to celebration of this ground-breaking event. 

The Portland GA also affirmed the membership’s support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, following the massacre at the bible study group at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  General Assembly members passed an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) on the final afternoon of GA, urging congregants to “join the fight for racial justice against the harsh racist practices to which many black people are exposed.” 

This year’s GA also reached a milestone in the event’s environmental commitments by achieving 100% carbon offsetting of the carbon emissions produced by the five-day event.  Each year since 2006, GA attendees have been given the option to make a donation to offset their per-person portion of the event’s overall carbon emissions associated with attendee travel, venue and hotel room energy consumption, local transportation, meals, waste management and shipping.  

In recent years, GA attendee donations offset about half of the event’s total overall carbon emissions, but this year, UUA decided to make a commitment to offset the entire event’s carbon emissions.  Working with long-time partners sustainable events planner MeetGreen and Foundation, UUA’s team calculated the GA event’s total greenhouse gases then budgeted the donation required to offset the entire 2925.4 metric tonnes – about 6.5 million pounds – of carbon emissions. used UUA’s carbon offset donation to purchase and permanently retire the total corresponding carbon credits in the US-based Truck Stop Electrification project in order to fully offset UUA GA event emissions.  This innovative project provides long-haul truckers with an electricity-powered device to run their cab’s heating, cooling and electronics, thus allowing the driver to turn off the engine and avoid idling on diesel fuel during rest and sleep hours, saving millions of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, improving resting conditions for drivers and air quality while lowering noise levels at truck stops with these installations. 

The UUA continues to lead in bulding a better way for its members and their communities, and achieving this important goal of 100% carbon offsets for its General Assembly event marks another milestone in the UUA’s commitments to sustainability. is honored to partner with UUA and MeetGreen in this important initiative.

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 11:09

Opinions About Sustainability Count at Counting Opinions

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Toronto-based Counting Opinions takes seriously its responsibilities to its customers and to its own operational sustainability.  Since 2011, the company has participated in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, neutralizing over 470,000 pounds of greenhouse gases by supporting clean air technology and carbon emissions reduction projects around the world.  These emissions reductions have the same environmental impact as avoiding the use of over 24,000 gallons of gasoline.    

“We live in an ever-increasingly complex, global macrocosm. Evidence clearly indicates that humanity is negatively impacting global climate,” states Frank Biss, VP Sales and Operations at Counting Opinions.  “As such, each and every one of us has a responsibility to minimize our negative impacts and find ways to more effectively co-exist with nature. The consequences of not doing so are catastrophic. in our view exemplifies these most urgent efforts.”

Counting Opinions provides organizations in the libraries community with innovative, comprehensive, cost-effective ways to capture, manage and measure performance data, including open-ended customer feedback, qualitative and quantitative data, trends, benchmarks, outcomes and peer comparisons.  Its applications work across all browsers and platforms; are fully hosted in a secure professionally managed IT facility; and require minimal or no customer IT involvement.

Counting Opinions is a true "virtual" company - all staff members work from their respective homes, thus eliminating the carbon dioxide produced and time consumed by daily trips to and from the office.  The staff utilizes only electronic communications, minimizing the need for printed documents and conduct sales and support calls by either telephone or electronically, thereby minimizing the company’s "travel footprint."  Each year, Counting Opinions makes a donation to to neutralize remaining operational emissions that it cannot eliminate.  In our opinion, these actions count, and Counting Opinions is leading the performance data and customer feedback technology field with its continued commitment to sustainability.


For pet owners in the Durham, N.C. area, there’s a great new alternative to pet care.  Paws On Durham is a full-service professional pet sitting company, partnering with pet owners to emulate the care and love they give to their pets and providing a stress-free pet sitting experience.  In addition, Paws On Durham cares about its local community and the broader environment we all enjoy. 

Paws On Durham Pet Sitting is committed to reducing the company’s carbon footprint by being aware of how our actions impact the environment,” explains Anthony L. Garza, Paws On Durham Owner/Top Dog.  “We partnered with to purchase offsets to ensure we can make up for the carbon emissions we cannot reduce.  Our goal is for our staff and clients to be socially responsible and aware of our actions and how we can continue to improve our planet.” 

The company’s commitment to the environment is simple: they do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.  Whenever possible, Paws On Durham staff walks or bikes to their clients’ home; however, the majority of the business requires driving cars.  To combat their carbon output, Paws On Durham made the decision to join the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program to purchase carbon offsets on behalf of all of their employees. 

In addition to purchasing offsets, the company uses additional efforts to control its carbon footprint including:

  • assigning pet sitters according to proximity of clients to reduce travel time;
  • using online reservation and profile systems to reduce paper waste;
  • using Energy Star low energy consumption office machinery, natural light and CDL bulbs in corporate and home offices to reduce energy consumption; and
  • developing plans for customers to become involved in reducing their footprint as well!

Whether their client is at work, on the town, or on vacation, Paws On Durham provides them peace of mind, knowing their pets are receiving excellent care.  All Paws On Durham pet sitters are hired as regular employees, receive extensive training, and are bonded and insured.  In addition, Paws on Durham is managing its carbon footprint responsibly and sustainably, in partnership with   

Tampa, FL – The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) recently announced the selection of Kessler Consulting, Inc. (KCI) to develop a Zero Waste Principles and Practices course and certification program for North America. 

KCI, best known for their innovative approaches to solving complex solid waste management issues for governments, businesses, and industry has assembled a team of zero waste professionals that include Richard Gertman, Laurie Batchelder Adams, Matthew Cotton, and Cascadia Consulting.

David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO, said “Kessler Consulting is an industry thought leader that brings a wealth of professional commitment and experience with zero waste and waste diversion to this project.  We are looking forward to providing a course and certification program that sets the standard for zero waste and moves the private and public sector forward in implementing zero waste practices across North America.” 

For 27 years, KCI has served more than 200 government and numerous business and private clients with their expertise in solid waste management options and innovative, state-of-the-art collection, processing, and disposal solutions.  Mitch Kessler, President of KCI, announced “KCI is honored and excited to have been selected as the team that will forge the future training and certification for solid waste professionals across North America.” 

Since 2010, Kessler Consulting has partnered with to calculate and neutralize the estimated carbon emissions associated with its annual business operations.  This important sustainability program further demonstrates the firm’s commitment to environmental responsibility, and commends Kessler Consulting for its sustainability leadership.

It takes continuous effort to manage and reduce carbon emissions associated with running a business.  Long-term Carbonfree® Business Partner Mountain Rose Herbs takes this commitment to operational sustainability very seriously and has made great progress to “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” year over year.  

Mountain Rose Herbs offers high quality organic bulk herbs, gourmet spices, loose leaf teas, essential oils, herbal extracts, and natural body care ingredients, including certified organic, fair trade, ethically wild harvested, and Kosher certified botanical products, through its online store.  The company’s primary facility was constructed with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and relies heavily on natural lighting. Energy demand was further reduced by making a complete lighting upgrade to energy-efficient bulbs in principal facilities and installing Energy-Star rated heating and cooling systems. 

In addition, Mountain Rose Herbs upgraded all computers to those with Gold Star ratings for energy conservation, minimal shipment packaging, and elimination of environmentally harmful materials, as well as more energy-efficient flat screen monitors. The company converted all electrical usage to a local Green Power program to ensure that a significant portion of electricity comes from wind and solar sources. 

Even with all of these efforts, management at Mountain Rose Herbs recognizes that the company still produces carbon emissions. Since 2008, they’ve worked with to measure and offset these unavoidable emissions by supporting clean energy and carbon reduction projects such as a wind farm in India, a methane collection plant in New York, and’s forest conservation work in Brazil.  To date, the company has neutralized over 4 million pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 400 passenger cars off the road for a year! applauds Mountain Rose Herbs for its long-term and continuous commitment to sustainability and is honored to partner with the company to help achieve its goals. 

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