Thursday, 18 February 2010 08:27

Green Joins Gold, Silver, and Bronze

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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.
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. NextivaHow 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'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, and "#1 VoIP Company" by You can learn more about Nextiva's announcement and their initiatives on this press release or at

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. b2In addition to working with 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 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

Winter Olympics' Sustainability Efforts: an Overview

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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.

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’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.
3 days til Valentine’s Day! All Green ThingsFor individuals who want to move towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, All Green Things provides practical products. In addition to the eco-friendly products they sell and reducing their carbon footprint in support of our carbon reduction projects, All Green Things has a great information center. It's a useful tool that can help you on the path to decreasing your carbon footprint. Their goal is to challenge their customers and supporters to embrace a green lifestyle, not only for yourself, but also for the environment. All Green Things has a goal to minimize its use of resources. They believe that consistent and deliberate action, however small, ultimately adds up to immense differences that reduce the negative effects on our environment. Also, currently All Green Things offers free shipping on orders of $75 or more; see their website for more details. Visit
Beatties Logo partner Beatties School Uniforms excels at more than making great school uniforms. They’re leading the industry in greening their uniforms and reducing waste. Beatties has introduced an organic cotton line, starting with a selection of their golf shirts. These are all shipped in specialized containers designed to break down faster, reducing landfill waste. Additionally, they’ve redesigned their packaging, reducing its size by 25% since 2007. As product packaging continues to fill our landfills, this is an important step to fighting our garbage problems. As aficionados know, landfills create significant quantities of the greenhouse gas methane, which is about 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in global warming. By cutting back on waste and investing in’s methane projects, Beatties School Uniforms is helping fight global warming as they dress North America’s students in high quality uniforms. Beatties is releasing their new line of 2010 uniforms now, check that out! Remember to cut back on your own carbon footprint!
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:42

Be My Valentine: Lather Skin Care

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4 days til Valentine's Day! This Valentine's Day, treat your skin right with Lather. Since their inception over ten years ago, they have strived to inspire a healthier, more radiant life. Lather takes a holistic approach to skin care and uses natural ingredients and essential oils. Also, Lather draws upon the benefits of aromatherapy. Their products not only care for the skin as well as the mind, but help educate the consumer. LatherAs their brand continues to grow, they take this vision to a higher level by seeking out opportunities to give back to the community, educate their customers, sustain the environment, and support endeavors that help others lead a more radiant life. That is just what they have done with, developing a unique promotion that helped reduce hundreds of metric tons of carbon dioxide! If you want to support a company that sources effective natural botanicals and never uses synthetic fragrances or colors, choose Lather. To learn more, please visit
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 14:07

Blizzards and Global Warming - A Meteorological View

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The Mid-Atlantic is yet again being blasted with snow. This current blizzard is going to add up to 16 inches to our standing snow pack of about 2-3 feet, likely making this the snowiest winter on record in the Washington, DC area (and Baltimore, and Wilmington.. you get the point). Federal government offices have been closed for several days. The mail is not going to be delivered. The bodega across the street is closed. And your devoted staff cannot make it into the office and need to work from home.

But there is a perception that is held by some that these extreme blizzards contradict evidence of global warming. While one cannot argue with anecdotal evidence it is inappropriate to try and explain global climate variations with weather events. The big difference is that weather is what happens now or this coming weekend, and climate is the long-term trends that take place over years and decades. With that said, there are experts out there that create a pretty sound logic for how global warming can actually make blizzards more common in winter. Dr. Jeff Masters with Weather Underground sums it up well:
...record-breaking snowstorms are not an indication that global warming is not occurring. In fact, we can expect there may be more heavy snowstorms in regions where it is cold enough to snow, due to the extra moisture global warming has added to the atmosphere--an extra 4% since 1970. Snow is not the same as cold, and we have to look at global temperatures, not snowfall, to evaluate whether global warming is occurring.
So there is actually a reasonable rationale for how global warming and blizzards can coexist. Please add your comment on this post.
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 19:18

Be My Valentine: Zarah Co.

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z25 days til Valentine's Day! Zarah Co. is a refreshingly creative jewelry and home decor company that cherishes art. They specialize in providing retailers high quality jewelry with an artistic background. They have four lines of jewelry that are dramatically different but all result from talent and unique styles from a select group of artists. Zarah Co. hasn't lost sight of its purpose - to delight you with adornments that are just plain fun to have! They pride themselves on quality design, production technique, and presentation. As a small business located in the rural town of Topanga, California, Zarah Co. provides jobs to their community and finds talented artists all across America to develop their beautiful designs. Their office is environmentally conscious and they use fluorescent lights and have an active recycling program. Zarah uses as little paper as possible and the paper they do use is either recycled or comes from sustainable sourcing. All of their jewelry cards are printed on recycled paper and their jewelry is made using recycled silver. They also offset all of their business emissions through's CarbonFree® Partner program! This Valentine's Day, show your special someone you care by choosing Zarah Co. Visit the retailers listed on the Zarah Co. website to find Zarah jewelry online.
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