Metro Business Systems, a CarbonFree® Partner since 2008, has started an innovative new program to help keep old computer equipment in use and out of landfills. Primarily an IT hardware and services supplier, they are assisting some of the world’s largest financial institutions in recycling a substantial amount of their computer equipment. Instead of the used equipment ending up in a landfill, Metro Business Systems is working to “refresh” the old equipment so that it can be donated to local charities. With help from some local students and their own donated technical services, Metro Business Systems is wiping the confidential data off the hard drives, fix non-working components, and reinstall operating systems so that the computers are once again operational. Metro Business Systems is a supplier of computer electronics equipment and was created in 1986. They specialize in delivering a comprehensive suite of computer hardware, networking, integration, configuration and inventory management resources with unparalleled attention to customer satisfaction. Metro Business Systems is committed to environmental awareness and education. Through their partnership with us they are offsetting their corporate business and shipping emissions. They have partnered with organizations such as Carbonfund.org to better understand how they can be a more environmentally responsible company. For more information, please visit www.metropc.com.
craftsmanThe Craftsman Bed and Breakfast is a great model of our "Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can" motto here at Carbonfund.org.  This bed and breakfast located in Pacific City, Oregon is housed in one of the area's oldest buildings which was restored into the beautiful home you see today. They are located about an hour and a half southwest of Portland on the beautiful Oregon coast. Before offsetting their carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org, The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast reduced their climate impact as much as possible.  From using reusable canvas bags for shopping, composting organic food waste, using rain barrels for landscape watering needs, to double-paned energy efficient windows installed in the B&B. To learn more about their environmental initiatives or to book a visit, please visit The Craftsman.
Monday, 22 June 2009 09:39

Rebounces: Bringing Back the Bounce

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tennisIn 2008, three friends partnered to form Rebounces. Using a proprietary and first-of-its kind technology, Rebounces recharges flat tennis balls – those that have lost their bounce – and provides them in bulk to teaching professionals at discount. What this means is tremendous savings for professional, avid and weekend tennis players, along with trainers and institutions. It also means that more flat tennis balls are kept out of landfills, where more than 310+ million balls (US alone) end up annually. Rebounces is revolutionizing the tennis industry by looking at how it must evolve to keep up with environmental concerns and the overall need for change. Rebounces' mission is to support the sustainable growth of the game of tennis by providing alternative ways to recycle tennis balls, and ultimately provide children with more access to the game. Rebounces doesn't stop with the tennis industry. When balls are too worn out for the court and can no longer be "Rebounced," the company makes them available for some unique non-tennis and recycling uses. Its motto, Replay, Reuse and Recycle tells a story that is in need of being heard: 1) Replay= Give tennis balls extended life —bring just-out-of-the-can bounce back; 2) Reuse = Non-traditional uses for tennis balls to extend their life and reduce landfill waste; and 3) Recycle = Establish partnerships in a variety of industries to determine smart uses for worn tennis balls. As a partner since 2008, Rebounces is a company who is truly working to reduce what they can and offset what they can’t. They have partnered with us to offset their business office emissions as well as all carbon emissions from Rebounces related shipments. To learn more please visit www.rebounces.com.
Sustainability has become of growing interest in the wine industry with wineries focusing on producing lower-impact, high quality wines. Importers and distributors are starting to react by offering a larger selection of these eco-friendly wines and taking responsibility for the environmental impact of their business practices. The Artisan Collection was a bit ahead of the curve. artisan1An importer of a carefully selected portfolio of high quality wines from Spain, Portugal and Argentina, they have been a partner since 2007 and are offsetting the carbon emissions associated with their business practices by supporting Carbonfund.org's third-party verified carbon-reducing renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. The Artisan Collection makes a significant effort to reduce what they can by increasing energy efficiency, recycling and preserving natural resources. They also encourage their suppliers to operate in a more sustainable manner by using lighter wine bottles and recycled packaging. Founded in 2003, today the company sells its wines in more than 30 States. To learn more visit their site http://theartisancollection.us.
Friday, 19 June 2009 11:53

Carbon Offset Standard VCS Being Updated

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Is it real, and who says so? Real carbon offsets are third-party verified and meet the highest internationally recognized standards. An uncertified project provides no assurances that it is actually doing what you are paying it to do - making the investment inherently risky. One of the leading carbon offset standards is the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). A wide variety of project types, including reforestation, are verified to this standard because it is an internationally recognized label of quality. Recently it was announced that this standard is getting updated. According to BusinessGreen.com, "Under the new requirements, emission-reduction projects wishing to carry the popular Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) label will have to adhere to more detailed and stringent requirements governing how they achieve third-party verification for their projects... while all VCS-approved projects already require third-party approval from two separate verification bodies, previous guidance on how this should be achieved was open to some interpretation." Carbonfund.org supports projects that are third-party verified to the highest standards, including North America's first project to meet both the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards with Gold Distinction and the VCS.
Teas Etc recently received the Best New Product Packaging Award of the 2009 World Tea Expo for its “Get Real, Get Loose” product. The creative, eco-friendly packaging is fun, hip and colorful, giving serious quality loose leaf tea an approachable attitude. The packaging includes pre and post consumer recycled tin, all natural, non-bleached, compostable filters, post consumer paper, water based inks and environmentally friendly varnish and adhesive. Teas Etc is committed to recycling, conserving energy and offsetting their environmental impact. They support the efforts of their local recycling program, utilize recycled paper goods, biodegradable packing peanuts and chemical-free cleaning products. Teas Etc is committed to offsetting their own carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org by supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. They hope to generate greater awareness by offering customers the option of offsetting the carbon emissions created by shipping their orders. As an online retailer and wholesaler of premium loose leaf teas, herbs and Rooibos, the company is USDA certified to package and distribute organic products and has a complete line of 100% organic teas. In addition to their tea line the company manufactures a complete line of tea accessories including glassware, unique tea travel mugs, the Tea Temp thermometer, premium tea samplers and flowering tea sets. To learn more please visit www.teasetc.com.
Friday, 19 June 2009 08:42

The Return to Forest Project of Nicaragua

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rtf In 2007, Carbonfund.org and Paso Pacifico began working together to develop the Return to Forest Project. This ongoing reforestation effort is located in the Rivas and Granada Provinces of southwestern Nicaragua and covers nearly 1,000 acres. In addition to sequestering nearly 170,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the Project also helps restore critical habitat corridors for wildlife, such as the Yellow-Naped Parrot and Central American Spider Monkey. Furthermore, the Return to Forest was awarded the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Standards' Gold Rating due to its incorporation of sustainable, local jobs and educational opportunities. Regarding educational opportunities, the Return to Forest Project was recently visited by students and professors from the International Course in Protected Areas Management. This course, which was organized by Conservation International and CATIE of Costa Rica sought to give protected area managers the practical tools for restoring and protecting tropical ecosystems. The course included case studies and visits to National Parks and Private Reserves across Costa Rica and Nicaragua. At the Return to Forest Project, students learned methods for planting and managing a diversity of native trees. They also learned how carbon offset projects can support landowners in the creation of new protected areas or private reserves. This Project is supported by donors to Carbonfund.org. You can learn more about the project by visiting our projects page at www.carbonfund.org/projects.
Thursday, 18 June 2009 17:38

Soylar for Candles Made with Sun Energy

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Soylar Candles is an online marketplace offering eco-friendly soy candles and gifts made in a solar powered home. Every candle is housed in reused and reclaimed jars that have been collected from local families and day-cares and then cleaned with non-toxic cleaners. All of their product packaging is plant-based, biodegradable and renewable. Soylar uses 100% sugar cane box containers and natural plant cellophane rolls, bags and tape. For all of the emissions that they can not reduce, Soylar Candles has joined our partner program to offset their shipping and other carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to these amazing sustainability and offset programs, Soylar Candles is a 1% For the Planet member and donates 1% of its annual profits to environmental programs. Being a family-run business, Soylar is run from the home of Irene Guoz who has installed a 3.3 kw solar system for her house. Irene also does tours through her home to teach people about the benefits of solar power and sustainability. Just this past May, her home was featured in the 2nd annual Long Beach Sustainability and Solar Conference & Tour. To learn more about Soylar Candles and to browse their amazing selection of candles, gift baskets, and reusable bags, please visit their website.
streamlineCarbonFree® Partner Streamline Logistics is offsetting its corporate carbon footprint; now they're going a step further. They have launched a new program offering their customers the option of donating a small amount to offset the emissions associated with their shipment. For a few pennies on the dollar, shipments traveling halfway across the world can have all of their CO2 offset through Carbonfund.org's third-party verified carbon offset projects. For their corporate footprint, Streamline Logistics chose to support our reforestation projects, which are the only carbon offset projects to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Streamline Logistics is an international trading company specializing in import/export support, warehousing, international trading consulting, and wholesale goods. Their main goal is to support their customers so that they worry about their business, not their shipping needs. To support this CarbonFree® Partner or learn more about their environmental initiatives, please visit Streamline Logistics.
Despite the global recession, the voluntary carbon markets grew by 87% from 2007 to 2008 according to the recently released, “Fortifying the Foundation: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2009,” a joint report by Ecosystem Marketplace and New Carbon Finance. Carbonfund.org, in conjunction with 182 organizations from 28 countries, provided information to the annual survey. Some key findings include: * 123.4 million metric tonnes of carbon offsets were transacted in 2008; 56% of which were transacted through the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) * As of 2008, the voluntary carbon market – in terms of volume - is still less than 3% compared to the regulated/compliance market * The three largest project types transacted over-the-counter in 2008 were: Hydroelectric (32%); Landfill (16%) and Wind Energy (15%) * Asia (45%) and United States (28%) were the most popular locations of voluntary offset projects throughout 2008 * Third party verification and certification has always been a cornerstone of Carbonfund.org, and the voluntary market became more open and transparent as no less than 95% of all carbon offsets transacted in 2008 were verified by third parties * With 17 identified certification standards, the over-the-counter voluntary carbon market saw a consolidation of standards among the top four: Voluntary Carbon Standard (48%), The Gold Standard (12%), Climate Action Reserve (10%), and the American Carbon Registry (9%) * Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations remain the two driving forces for buyers within the over-the-counter voluntary market For more information, please contact Carbonfund.org. The full report and executive summary are available for free from Ecosystem Marketplace (http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/) and New Carbon Finance (http://www.newcarbonfinance.com/).