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, "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." 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 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
Friday, 19 June 2009 08:42

The Return to Forest Project of Nicaragua

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rtf In 2007, 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 You can learn more about the project by visiting our projects page at
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'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., 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, 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 The full report and executive summary are available for free from Ecosystem Marketplace ( and New Carbon Finance (

Monarch Beverages recently celebrated their year anniversary of the CarbonFree® Certification of their energy drinks. The Monarch Acute Fruit™, CoMotion™, NTrinsic™ and NTrinsic™ Sugar-free drinks received the certification in spring of 2008. certified the four energy drinks CarbonFree after a rigorous life cycle assessment (LCA). Carbon emissions associated with the energy drinks were calculated at each step based on the ingredients used in manufacturing, the ink and materials used for packaging, and the fossil fuel burned during shipping.


The carbon footprint was reduced where possible and the remaining emissions were offset through investments in carbon offset projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation.

In the past year Monarch Beverages has also added three more beverages to the CarbonFree lineup, Acute Fruit strawberry, tangerine and kiwi. looks forward to many more fruitful years of partnership with Monarch Beverages. To learn more about Monarch please visit

Tuesday, 16 June 2009 11:25

Be Glamorous and Green: BAMBOO Designworks

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I love to wear jewelry but I am also aware that the mining and manufacturing of materials to make the jewelry can be very harmful to our planet. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for jewelers that use vintage or recycled materials in their work. I was thrilled to find out that one of our CarbonFree® Partners, BAMBOO Designworks, has sustainability in mind throughout their business operations. BAMBOO Designworks strives to create sustainable products featuring bamboo. Their line of BAMBOO Jewelry uses glass fired onto recycled silver to create colorful cloisonne earrings, pins, and necklaces featuring nature designs (often of endangered wildlife) that they package in bamboo gift boxes. They even have a line of BAMBOO Bookmarks featuring laser engraved bookmarks made of bamboo, info cards printed recycled paper, and bioplastic packaging. In addition to their eco-friendly jewelry, BAMBOO Designworks uses a website hosting company that uses 100% renewable energy, they work in an energy efficient building which they plan to convert to solar power in the near future and their next company vehicle will be a hybrid Aptera which is designed to get over 300 mpg! Not to mention that they have been working with us to offset their use of non-renewable energy since 2007. To see their beautiful jewelry and learn more about their green initiatives visit their website: