Wednesday, 23 December 2009 15:29

Build-a-Bear Christmas Video

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Build-a-Bear, the chain of stores that allows children to custom build their own plush toys, has released a 'webisode' that features animated arctic animals fretting over the future of their icy home due to climate change. The future of the Arctic Ice caps is in question because of global warming induced temperature rise, and Santa and his friends are stressing out over what may happen to Christmas if their homeland is no more. Here is some dialog from the webisode:
Girl Elf: Santa, it’s gone! Papa Elf: It’s gone, It’s gone! Santa: What’s gone? Girl Elf: Tell ‘em, Dad! Papa Elf: The North Peak. Santa: A mountain? A mountain’s gone? How is that possible? Ella the polar bear: Santa, sir, that’s why I’m here. That’s why we’re here. The ice is melting! Santa: Yes, my dear, we know, the climate is changing. There’s bound to be a little melting. Ella: It’s worse than that, Santa, a lot worse! At the rate it’s melting, the North Pole will be gone by Christmas!” Santa: My, my…all of this gone by next Christmas? I don’t think so. Ella: No sir, not next Christmas, this Christmas! The day after tomorrow!
You may view the three videos by clicking here, here and here. What is your opinion? Will global warming force Santa to move? What about the millions of other potential climate refugees? Help protect Santa, the elves and the millions of potential climate refugees all over the world. Reduce what you can, and offset what you can't!
ShareASale is a unique CarbonFree® Partner and one of the leading affiliate ShareASalemarketing solutions available.  By connecting affiliates with the growing list of 2,500 merchants in the ShareASale network, they are providing award winning technology to both retailers and affiliates alike to drive sales and revenue.  ShareASale won ABestWeb's prestigious "Best Affiliate Network" award four years in a row and has garnered awards for "Best Affiliate Manager," "Best Service to the Industry," and "Best Affiliate Program." In addition to providing one of the most effective customer acquisition methods on the web, ShareASale is a strong supporter of Carbonfund.org.  Their donations are supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects that are fighting global warming today.  Their continued support is the equivalent to offsetting the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of over 480 homes, the carbon sequestered annually by over 790 acres of pine forest, or the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling over 1,200 tons of waste instead of sending it to a landfill.  ShareASale is making a real, measurable impact in the fight to stop climate change.  We encourage all individuals and businesses to take action today; offset your carbon footprint today!
Pronounced "too-ah," Tuwa.com strongly believes in social values and carries TuwAenvironmentally responsible products that enable people to live healthy, sustainable lives.  Through a partnership with Carbonfund.org, TuwA makes a donation to offset one pound of carbon dioxide for every TuwA point earned on their website!  Check out their TuwA Points program and get started. Also visit TuwA to browse their wide selection of furniture, bedroom and bath accessories, and fitness products. That's just a sampling of what they offer! While I don't have the yard for a green house, one of my favorite products (and clearly on my wish list) is a Green House Kit that would let me continue to grow some vegetables into the winter. Need something for an indoor space? I highly recommend an air purifier, especially one with a HEPA filter, if you live in an urban area that might have reduced air quality. No matter what you choose this holiday season, make sure your gifts enhance the lives of those you're giving to through improved health or environment.  To learn more, visit TuwA or their Green Library of comprehensive eco-friendly and healthy living tips.
Friday, 18 December 2009 17:45

Copenhagen Update: Deal Sealed, but More to be Done

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"This is going to be hard. This is hard within countries, it is going to be even harder between countries." - President Obama
President Obama spoke today before leaving the Copenhagen climate conference to announce that a deal has been brokered. What the deal actually means or will accomplish is still a little unclear, but the fact that leaders from countries all over the world are still talking is a good sign. The deal provides a means to monitor and verify emissions cuts by developing countries but has less ambitious climate targets than some governments had initially sought, reports the Washington Post. Moreover, industrialized and developing nations agreed to list their national actions and commitments in their fight against climate change, while vowing to take action to prevent the Earth's temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius. They also agreed to provide information on the implementation of their actions, which would be subject to international review and analysis. The deal that was reached at the zero hour of the conference included the heads of state of the United States, China, India and South Africa - some of the world's largest emitters. Though a binding agreement was not reached at Copenhagen, the door to future success is not closed yet. As the US inches closer to domestic climate legislation, our role in international negotiations may grow. What the Copenhagen conference may have proven is that the world needs more political leadership by governments on global warming to result in an international treaty. With every nation afraid to take steps out of fear of falling behind, it will take countries to stand up and say enough is enough and let actions finally match the rhetoric. Follow Carbonfund.org's blog and Carbonfundorg on Twitter for updates.
Anvil-westwoodlogCarbonfund.org partner Anvil Knitwear have joined forces with renowned fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to launch a limited edition T-shirt to support the efforts of rainforest nations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to stop deforestation. Deforestation is responsible for over 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world's cars and trucks combined. The Coalition for Rainforest Nations wants slow the rate of deforestation by initiating a mechanism known as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). Through REDD+, the United Nations will issue carbon credits for each hectare of living rainforest giving landowners a financial incentive to keep their land forested instead of logging it. Anvil Knitwear, Inc, a leading manufacturer of socially and environmentally responsible apparel and accessories, provided eco-friendly T-shirts from its AnvilSustainable™ collection. Each shirt is made with a blend of recycled polyester, derived from approximately three recycled plastic bottles and transitional cotton that comes from farms that are converting to organic farming methods, a three-year process required for receiving organic certification. Anvil Knitwear is also supporting rainforest protection through their partnership with Carbonfund.org.  Earlier this year the AnvilRecyled™ tees received our CarbonFree® Product Certification. To meet rigorous standards of the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program, Anvil assessed the carbon footprint of the recycled tee throughout its lifecycle, from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing and transportation to screen printing, consumer use and disposal. Anvil made the tee carbon neutral by reducing emissions during the production process and by supporting the Return to Forest reforestation project in Nicaragua.   To learn more about all of Anvil’s impressive sustainability efforts, please visit www.anvilknitwearcsr.com.
Friday, 18 December 2009 15:05

Copenhagen Update: The Waiting Game

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obama_spkgcopenhagen

I have spent my career thus far fighting global warming. From standing up to big coal in Virginia to helping businesses and individuals fight global warming now with Carbonfund.org - all I have thought about for years has been global warming. The UN COP15 climate meetings in Copenhagen should have ended by now, and probably should have ended in the failure to produce a global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But, as the New York Times has put it, our world leaders are heading into overtime to try and strike a last minute deal. Nobody wants to leave Copenhagen without a deal - that just looks bad for all parties involved. And as Eric Carlson, Carbonfund.org's President and Copenhagen attendee stated, "It is normal for these types of negotiations to be tension filled and prolonged." But I am sitting here in agony (metaphorically speaking), waiting for what could amount to either be one of the most important announcements of my lifetime or another huge let down. Climate stability is too important for our world leaders to leave Copenhagen empty handed. I am anxiously awaiting a statement of victory - a deal has been reach and emissions will be reduced. Follow Carbonfund.org on Facebook and Twitter for updates and news from Copenhagen!
Thursday, 17 December 2009 17:39

Eco-Beautiful Weddings Resource for Couples

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Eco Beautiful WeddingsKatie Martin, who also owns Elegance & Simplicity and is currently writing two books, has started Eco-Beautiful Weddings to be a valuable resource for creating an eco-couture wedding. A goal of Eco-Beautiful Weddings is to inspire engaged couples to find their shades of green regardless of their budget.  Inside the premiere issue they showcase both luxury and DIY Real Weddings.  They have scoured the world for the best of the best in Eco Chic bridal fashion and wedding style.  The Eco-Beautiful Weddings couple is tech savvy, stylish, and concerned and open to new ideas.  They want to be open to new ideas and on the cutting edge when it comes to their big day. Eco-Beautiful Weddings is not only a movement, it's a lifestyle.  They hope to be an agent of change in the wedding industry, aspiring engaged couples everywhere to make a commitment to protecting our planet one decision at a time.  Learn more at Eco-Beautiful Weddings.
Thursday, 17 December 2009 17:01

Copenhagen Update: Is 2 Degrees Possible?

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Today, the US pledged to support a fund of up to $100 Billion annually to help developing nations adapt to and mitigate climate change. This staggering financial figure has been a major stumbling block for the negotiations so far, and the US committment (as well as that from other governments, such as the European Union and Japan) should show the world that the developed nations are willing to bend to get a deal done. But on the same day that progress was made, some stunning news was leaked, and then confirmed. Efforts of the Copenhagen climate meeting, if implemented, would lead to an increase in temperatures of 3 degrees C, not 2 degrees C as initially anticipated. According to a posting in the News section of the COP15 website, this could cause:
...a warming of three or four degrees Celsius will result in tens to hundreds of millions more people being flooded each year due to rising sea levels. "There will be serious risks and increasing pressures for coastal protection in Southeast Asia (Bangladesh and Vietnam), small islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and large coastal cities, such as Tokyo, New York, Cairo and London,"
Does this mean that the yet to be agreed upon targets are too weak? Probably. But should we throw the baby out with the bath water? Absolutely not. We have done nothing for too long, and as the whole world knows the time for action is now. I think that all of us that understand the sciene want ambitious action now and a zero carbon world in the near future. But that was never really in the cards. One of the best outcomes of Copenhagen may be that for the first time ever, the entire world may finally be able to agree on something having to do with carbon emissions. Whether that is codifying the rules for forest protection or coming to an accord on real emissions reductions targets - the agreement is what matters. Targets can be strenghtened and improved. But if the fear of doing too little leads us to doing nothing, then this conference will be viewed as a failure by many. (Image Courtesy of the AP)
RTFimgThe Return to Forest Project and Tengchong Conservation Carbon Project were honored at an event Wednesday concurrent with the UN Copenhagen climate conference. The What is Missing? Foundation recognized the two reforestation projects among projects helping to restore or provide habitats and protecting biodiversity. The foundation is named after Vietnam Veterans Memorial architect Maya Lin’s last memorial, a multi-sited artwork being built to draw attention to the loss of habitats and biodiversity. The event, the Support REDD+ Gala in Copenhagen at the COP15 conference, was hosted by The Coalition for Rainforest Nations and the governments of Gabon, Guyana and Papua New Guinea. Return to Forest and Tengchong are in southwestern Nicaragua and southwestern China, respectively. In addition to their ecological benefits, the projects benefit local communities by providing, for example, tree planting or other economic opportunities. Also, the reforestation projects will each sequester about 170,000 metric tons of CO2 in their lifetime. Please donate now to support these important projects that are fighting global warming today! Learn more about What is Missing? and Maya Lin at www.carbonfund.org/unchopatree.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 12:24

Copenhagen Update: From Green to REDD

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“We do not have another year to deliberate, nature does not negotiate.” -Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
The pessimism in Copenhagen is growing as rifts between nations solidify. As the world watches and thousands continue to protest demanding action, the prospect of a binding treaty diminishes, seemingly by the minute. Rich nations want poorer nations to commit to verifiable and enforceable emissions reductions - a clause that developing nations are reluctant to agree to and is a provision that has not been included in other climate negotiation such as Kyoto and Bali. Developing nations may be more likely to act if the developed nations such as the United States, the world's leader in per capita carbon emissions, committed to binding emissions reductions targets first. But the US as of now refuses to commit to an international treaty until a bill is passed in Congress. Though I am remiss to trivialize the fate of our climate to this, it appears as though we are in the midst of a great global stare down. But there is hope of real progress coming out of Copenhagen in relation to how the world deals with biological carbon sequestration and trees. Deforestation currently accounts for over 20% of global carbon emissions. Preserving and managing forests can help to significantly cut carbon emissions and potentially help buy the world some time as we figure out how to actually reduce emissions from their dirty sources. A report from the New York Times states:
A final draft of the agreement for the compensation program, called Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD, is to be given on Wednesday to ministers of the nearly 200 countries represented here to hammer out a framework for a global climate treaty. Negotiators and other participants said that though some details remained to be worked out, all major points of disagreement — how to address the rights of indigenous people living on forest land and what is defined as forest, for example — had been resolved through compromise.
Though we all want comprehensive and binding agreements to come out of Copenhagen, that may not be in the cards this year. But through the proper management of our forests we can reduce emissions now as well as preserve biodiversity, improve local environments and support local communities. Laying the groundwork for the reductions of more than 20% of global emissions would be no small accomplishment - lets hope that, at a minimum that victory will be the legacy of Copenhagen. Want to support forest based projects that are reducing emissions today? Click here for more info.