news & media (1221)
Monday, 22 February 2010 10:41 Written by Paul Burman
Cycling is the world most energy efficient means of travel. If one compares units of energy to units of energy and mile for mile, estimates of of bike MPG are almost always equivalent to hundred(s) MPG - meaning that a bike can take you farther with fewer global warming causing carbon emissions (and other pollutants) - and that is a good thing. Biking also helps to promote good health which keeps society's costs of health care down. It reduces burden on over-crowded streets and public transportation. Helps to improve mental health. Improves safety of neighborhoods. And creates healthy and sustainable habits that can last a lifetime. But the biggest problem that cyclists face is safety. Let's face it, you are exposed to the elements on a bike - road conditions, weather, and crazy traffic patterns can all affect cyclist safety. For that reason, it is important for cities, municipalities, states and the federal government to prioritize development of cycling infrastructure that helps to improve cyclist safety and encourages participation in this sustainable means of transportation. A big step towards improving cyclist safety was taken as the US Department of Transportation awarded a $23 million grant to help complete part of the East Coast Greenway in the Phila., Pa. region. The East Coast Greenway is a developing bike trail system that spans 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. The grant will help to create or preserve about 1,000 jobs as it helps to make the region a more bicycle friendly area by building trails, bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure to encourage participation. Cycling in cities is normally the quickest way to travel and does amazing things to improve local air quality and minimize urban congestion. When complete, the East Coast Greenway will provide cyclists of all skill levels a safe way to see the east coast and navigate our nation's largest cities. While not all of us will be able to make it up and down the full 3,000 mile route, having such an accessible bike route near tens of millions of Americans will benefit us all.
Carbonfund.org partner, Telecom For Charity, will reduce your office’s carbon footprint for a week just for talking with them about your telecommunications needs. They provide services throughout the US and can help you with a wide range of telecom needs. Their business plan is simple: provide great telecommunications services and help your favorite charity at the same time. To date, they’ve donated almost $30,000 to charity. If you sign up, remember to let them know your favorite charity is Carbonfund.org, and they’ll donate 5% of your monthly bill to us! It’s a win-win; you’re getting great telecommunications service, lowering your monthly bills, and supporting Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Give them a call at (888) 775-4100 or visit: www.telecomforcharity.org.
Friday, 19 February 2010 12:48 Written by Emily Pugliese
Want environmentally friendly carpeting but don’t know where to look? Check out CarbonFree® Certified carpeting from Carbonfund.org partner Tandus. With an environmental commitment to LEAVE NO TRACE, Tandus has taken an innovative approach to reduce the carbon footprint of their products and their business. To receive Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Product Certification, the carbon footprints of the Tandus carpets were calculated though an intensive life-cycle assessment (LCA), the footprints were reduced where possible and the remainder was neutralized through support of our third-party validated Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Reforestation Project. Further, with their efforts to conserve energy and utilize renewable energy along with their use of recycled materials in their products, Tandus is demonstrating that carpeting can be beautiful, functional and have a smaller environmental impact. Tandus creates floorcovering solutions that enhance spaces for learning, working, healing, and living through inspired design, leading-edge technology, achievement toward sustainability, and a commitment to continued leadership. Tandus offers its customers single-source innovative product design and technology, comprehensive services, and environmental leadership. Based in Dalton, GA, Tandus can be found online at www.tandus.com.
Friday, 19 February 2010 11:40 Written by Amy Givler
International climate change negotiations received an unexpected blow when the UN's top climate change official, Yvo de Boer, announced he will step down from the post as of July 1. A Dutch national, de Boer was appointed as the Executive Secretary of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in September 2006. De Boer has been largely well regarded during his time in the position and is widely credited with raising the profile of climate negotiations and delivering a series of breakthroughs towards a deal. Though in recent months, the UNFCCC and their seminal reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have come under fire. While the science that underpins the IPCC studies remains strong, slight errors in the IPCC reports have raised the ire of global warming detractors. In a statement, de Boer announced he will take up a post as global adviser on climate and sustainability at consultancy giant KPMG, adding that it is the private sector that will ultimately deliver the deep cuts in carbon emissions that are required. “Copenhagen did not provide us with a clear agreement in legal terms, but the political commitment and sense of direction toward a low-emissions world are overwhelming. This calls for new partnerships with the business sector and I now have the chance to help make this happen,” said de Boer. His successor is expected to be named in the next few months.
Carbonfund.org has partnered with OpenPath Products to develop and launch a mobile version of our carbon calculators. Initially, Carbonfund.org's mobile carbon calculators work on the Symbian platform - the operating system for many new Nokia phones. The calculators will soon be available for public download on the phones. The calculators will allow users to reduce or offset their carbon footprint on the go by supporting Carbonfund.org third-party validated carbon reduction projects. The mobile carbon calculator was developed by OpenPath for the Symbian Foundation in response to a comment posted on the Symbian Ideas website - an interactive forum that enables users to ask questions and suggest ideas for the Symbian Platform. The mobile carbon calculator has been a featured demo app for the Symbian Foundation at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This mobile carbon calculator is helping to further Carbonfund.org's mission of carbon reductions, education and outreach. Carbonfund.org has also worked previously with developers on the Ecorio mobile carbon footprint application for the T-Mobile G1 phone.
With all the primetime excitement of the 2010 Olympics it is easy to forget that this year’s Winter Games are trying also to be more focused on eco-friendliness and sustainability. The Vancouver Games began in some sense in the shadow of their 2008 summer counterpart which left high praise for Beijing’s city-wide clean up and integration of long-term sustainable transportation. It is apparent that Vancouver's Olympic Organizing Committee has followed through on the majority of its sustainability plans thus far. By using pre-existing facilities and channeling clean-energy production Vancouver is well on its way to reducing over 110,000 metric tons of direct carbon emissions. Concerns arose with last minute snow relocation to barren slopes, but VANOC insists that it will boost the carbon footprint by less than one percent. Even the medals themselves are more environmentally friendly. In an Olympic first, the medals will contain gold, silver and copper recovered from end-of-life electronics otherwise destined for the landfill. The Games' green performance will also be reviewed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in an Environmental Assessment Report which will be published later in 2010.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 20:37 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
Nextiva, a CarbonFree® Partner, announced it experienced record growth in 2009 - over 400% in new business customers. Nextiva offers cost-effective VoIP, internet fax and web conferencing solutions; their products help transform the way small businesses communicate by making communications affordable. How affordable you ask? A virtual PBX service that enables a business to have a toll-free number, auto-attendant, and voicemail options currently starts at $8.95/month. Says president and CEO Tracy Conrad, "Nextiva is committed to delivering the highest quality business communications products at the best value in the industry." Also, Nextiva is reducing its impact on the environment, having joined Carbonfund.org's partnership program and supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Other awards Nextiva has won have included "Product of the Year" from Internet Telephony magazine, "Best Business VoIP Provider" from WhichVoIP.com, and "#1 VoIP Company" by CompareVoIP.com. You can learn more about Nextiva's announcement and their initiatives on this press release or at www.nextiva.com.
Saturday, 13 February 2010 21:25 Written by Emily Pugliese
Happy Valentine's Day!!Think fast, Valentine’s Day is almost here, or here if you're reading Sunday! If you’re going for the ‘wow’ factor this year try visiting the website of CarbonFree® Partner Brilliance. From sparkling diamond pendants to gorgeous engagement rings, Brilliance has a large selection of fine diamond jewelry and certified diamonds. In addition to working with Carbonfund.org to reduce their carbon footprint, Brilliance also plants a tree for every order as a way to give back and replenish what has been taken from the earth in the minerals and metals used to make their jewelry. Further, Brilliance representatives are committed to ensuring that you feel completely satisfied and secure with your loose diamond, engagement ring, or fine jewelry purchase. Brilliance offers a 30-day money back guarantee, free express shipping, and a gemological appraisal with every purchase. For more information, you can visit www.brilliance.com. Chances are a gift from Brilliance would be sure to please. I don’t know about your significant other, but diamonds truly are this girl’s best friend! Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones.
Saturday, 13 February 2010 09:47 Written by Amy Givler
Behind the scenes at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) has worked on establishing and integrating 12 key sustainability efforts in the Winter Games. Along with raising awareness and encouraging carbon reductions from participants and viewers alike, they are the first Olympic Games to take an integrated approach to reducing and reporting their carbon footprint. VANOC has also incorporated LEED standards in venue design and construction, and focused on energy savings in transportation, food services, and waste management. VANOC has also managed to reduce its carbon footprint through supporting projects in Vancouver’s province, British Columbia. The 2010 Carbon Legacy Portfolio will source and support carbon offsets from BC-based clean technologies. These include biomass gasification systems for renewable heat and power production and high-efficiency commercial building heating systems. Additionally, the Organizing Committee launched the 2010 Sustainability Stars program. The program recognizes projects by Games partners and sponsors that demonstrate positive and measurable social, economic and environmental impacts. You can visit this site to learn more about VANOC's efforts.
Friday, 12 February 2010 20:27 Written by Greg Taylor
2 Days til Valentine's Day!CarbonFree® Partner Barbara Thomas Wines has been providing America’s Pacific Northwest with some of the best locally grown wine around. More than that, they do it with the environment in mind. As a member of Oregon’s Carbon Neutral Challenge, Barbara Thomas Wines has completely offset its carbon footprint by investing in Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated reforestation projects. These projects plant native species in biodiverse regions. By planting trees now, we are taking immediate action to fight climate change. Jacki Bessler and Chuck Perasso have been growing their wines since 2005. Because of their commitment to the environment and their land, they have named Barbara Thomas Wines after their two children: Barbara and Thomas. As they say, “Our family believes that we are stewards, not owners, of our farm. It is our hope and our vision to protect and sustain this small patch of earth for many generations to come.” Keep an eye out for Barbara Thomas Wines in a local shop near you.