According to a study by the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, the issue of sustainability is increasingly important in the apparel industry. Environmentally-conscious fashion designers and retailers are moving away from the wasteful trend of “fast fashion” to focus on eco-fashion practices.
New CarbonFree® Shipping Partner Hearts believes that “conscious consumers create change,” and that sustainable fashion is not only environmentally friendly, but also a means of artistic and cultural expression. As Hearts launches its sustainable fashion online store, it has chosen to embed a carbon neutral shipping program as part of its environmentally-responsible commitment.
Through the CarbonFree Shipping Program, Hearts calculates the carbon footprint associated with the inbound and outbound product shipping and makes a corresponding donation to support Carbonfund.org’s projects that reduce carbon emissions, in order to lessen the impact of the carbon emissions created by any outbound shipping process. Hearts will be providing an immediate positive effect through investment back into reforestation projects, clean energy development and energy efficiency technologies.
“Hearts understands that environmental and economic sustainability is crucial with any e-commerce platform but especially in the world of fashion where it is our duty and responsibility to offset the carbon emissions when we can,” stated Michelle Petro, president. She added, “We are thrilled to partner with Carbonfund.org because they too are our environmental change makers.”
“Our CarbonFree Shipping Program offers a simple and affordable solution for responsible retailers such as Hearts to deliver their products worldwide in an environmentally sustainable way,” adds Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “The CarbonFree Shipping label will assure Hearts’ customers that they’re choosing to make purchases from a company that is committed to its mission of social consciousness.”
The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is allowing more heat to escape there, and the effects from climate change are dramatic. Over 60 years, mid-winter temperatures along the Antarctic Peninsula have risen 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature rise has impacted annual sea ice’s seasonal duration and offshore bulk by approximately 40 percent.
As you read this you may be asking yourself, “Okay so Antarctica is melting, but how does that impact me?” Well, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas. Since 1980, eight large ice shelves have broken off the Antarctic Peninsula. As the ice shelves separate from the mainland, they make it easier for glaciers to flow into the sea and melt. As they melt, the seas rise and we have more flooding along coastal areas. All coastal areas, not just on the U.S. coastline, are susceptible to the dangers of flooding. The Wilkins Ice Shelf, which is a floating ice sheet several hundred feet thick the size of the state of Connecticut, is currently hanging on to the Antarctic Peninsula by a thread.
And there’s more. Rapid warming is killing off a priceless resource that we’re just beginning to discover. Sponges, soft corals, starfish, and sea squirts can only live at constant low polar temperatures. These Antarctic seafloor invertebrates could offer cures to human diseases such as cancer, AIDS, cystic fibrosis, and infectious diseases. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have already found one such example. These researchers discovered that a small Antarctic sea squirt contains chemicals that kill melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The Antarctic Peninsula is probably not your backyard, but the losses it’s sustaining from climate change could affect you personally. Take action now. Perhaps start by lowering your carbon footprint. Global warming is having serious, life-threatening impacts and we have to do our parts now to turn the tide.
CarbonFree certification from NSF International and Carbonfund.org Foundation
demonstrate product is carbon-neutral
Sprint, LG Bring Users Carbon Neutral Cell Phone in Time for the Holidays
BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 12, 2012 — The Carbonfund.org Foundation applauded the announcement by LG Electronics USA and Sprint that the LG Mach smartphone with environmentally friendlier features will be available Nov. 11.
LG Mach, available from Sprint for $99 with a two-year contract, has earned the CarbonFree® label under the rigorous product certification program offered by the Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF International’s Sustainability division.
With the CarbonFree Certified Product program, LG has offset the carbon footprint of the manufacturing of the LG Mach at no extra cost to the customer through the use of third-party verified carbon reduction projects
“Being part of the CarbonFree Certified Product program helps demonstrate LG’s overarching commitment to the environment” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability.
“With its new CarbonFree certified mobile phone, LG is helping to fight climate change and continuing to provide consumers with cutting-edge products” stated Carbonfund.org president Eric Carlson.
The LG Mach is the latest carbon neutral product in a line of CarbonFree certified offerings. LG Electronics was the first in its industry to distribute home appliances, solar panels and other consumer electronics that were part of the CarbonFree Certified Product Program. These CarbonFreeCertified Products represent another step in LG's commitment to environmental sustainability and energy-efficient products and services, including a wide range of ENERGY STAR® -qualified appliances and electronics products.
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About LG Electronics USA: LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a $49 billion global force and technology leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative mobile phones, home entertainment products, home appliances, and air conditioning systems and energy solutions, all under LG’s “Life’s Good” marketing theme. LG Electronics is a 2012 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year. For more information, please visit www.lg.com.
About Carbonfund.org Foundation: Carbonfund.org is a leading nonprofit climate solutions organization, making it easy and affordable for individuals, businesses and organizations to reduce their climate impact and hasten our transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbonfund.org supports innovative renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry projects globally that reduce carbon emissions and help people. Carbonfund.org has worked with over 2,000 corporate and nonprofit partners. More at www.carbonfund.org.
About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). NSF Sustainability (inserted hyperlink) draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. Product assessments include testing and certification for sustainable products such as green chemicals and building products. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF also develops sustainability standards for products such as carpet, flooring, and other commercial building materials.
Social and charitable giving has become a standard practice among most successful businesses today, with a growing trend towards charitable contribution programs that distinguish a business and its service offering within its industry.
Carbonfund.org business partner Nice Touch Communications (NTC), based in New York City, was an early leader in charitable giving programs with its Telecom for Charity initiative. NTC is a sales and consulting firm that has been providing voice and data solutions for over 15 years, and they launched Telecom for Charity in 2008. NTC works with businesses, non-profits, charities and other organizations to provide top tier telecom services while also donating 5% of each customer’s monthly telecom bill to their selected charity through the Telecom for Charity program.
Telecom for Charity (T4C) provides its business customers with the opportunity to support Carbonfund.org right from their monthly telecom bill. As a result, NTC clients and their employees are contributing back to society simply by going about their daily business of making phone calls and using the Internet. Every time a phone call is made, or a webpage is visited, Telecom for Charity customers are adding to their monthly support donations to Carbonfund.org. But the donations do not increase monthly costs; the donations come directly from Telecom for Charity and NTC, made on behalf of each business customer. To date, Telecom for Charity has donated almost $2600 to Carbonfund.org.
"We wholeheartedly believe in what Carbonfund.org is doing; and feel our program can be a great way to generate support with minimal effort for a long time to come," says Jay Frank, Program Director for Telecom for Charity.
For prospective customers and any CarbonFree® Business Partner interested in telecom services, Telecom for Charity offers its “Every Day is Earth Day” promotion. T4C will make a donation to mitigate 2.5 metric tonnes of carbon emissions to Carbonfund.org, supporting carbon reduction and clean air project innovation, with no obligation to the prospective customer, just for talking to T4C about their telecommunications environment and telecom needs.
Online shopping has exploded in recent years and has rapidly become the norm in many countries. According to a recent report by U.K.-based Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), global business-to-consumer e-commerce sales will pass the $1.25 trillion mark by 2013, up 30% over total 2011 online retail shopping sales.
While studies have shown that online shopping may reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 35 percent compared to traditional retail shopping, many forward-thinking online retailers recognize that “green shoppers” expect even more in environmental sustainability.
New CarbonFree® Business Partner Tradewinds Imports, offering modern bathroom vanities and contemporary bathroom furnishings only through its online store, made the decision to neutralize its annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s global forestry projects. In addition, many of their vanities and bathroom furnishings are made from 100% reclaimed, recycled or sustainably forested hardwoods. Most of their vanities are hand-hewn, rather than machine-made, reducing carbon emissions during the manufacturing process.
“The global environment and the health of our forests is of the utmost importance to Tradewinds Imports, and we are immensely proud to announce our work with Carbonfund.org to help offset carbon emissions and repopulate the trees of our earth,” states Todd Harmon, CEO of Tradewinds Imports. “Carbonfund.org is a fantastic organization and we are very excited to aid them in their carbon reduction efforts. Being good custodians of our forests is vital to our lives as well as our business, so we are delighted to help Carbonfund.org meet their reforestation and avoided de-forestation goals.”
Carbonfund.org’s online retail business partners help to set the bar higher for reducing carbon emissions related to the shopping experience, and Tradewinds Imports joins its sister online stores Bath Gems and Patio Productions as CarbonFree® Business Leaders.
Climate change is causing sea levels to rise, and this week’s super storm Sandy gave us a preview of the devastation that this kind of flooding can cause. In fact, five years ago, a study named, “Nation Under Siege” constructed a series of 3-D maps using federal science agency and the United Nations' climate panel data that demonstrated what areas of the Atlantic coastline will look like as sea levels continue to rise. The maps from 2007 are eerily similar to the destruction we saw from super storm Sandy. The main difference being that the flooding from Sandy is beginning to recede and the rising waters from global warming are permanent.
There’s no denying that sea levels are rising. Since 1900, the world’s oceans rose an average of seven inches, according to data from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Those of us that live on the East Coast are seeing higher than average sea level rise. According to a report by the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force, sea levels along New York's coast range between 9 and 11 inches over the last 100 years.
Super storm Sandy painfully demonstrated that coastal cities are woefully unprepared for flooding and other dangers from extreme weather, which is increasing due to climate change. According to Katharine Hayhoe, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas Tech University, there are three reasons why climate change made Sandy that much worse. The first is already higher sea levels made the storm surge more severe. The second is higher sea surface temperatures from global warming provided more energy for the super storm. The third is Sandy may turned towards the coast because of a record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this year.
Preparing at-risk communities for coming floods and coastal erosion includes determining the best way to heighten sea walls or whether to construct surge barriers to protect flood-prone areas. These preparations require study and then construction costs in the billions. However, the latest estimates from IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, calculate that super storm Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damages and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business. It sounds like the time is now to make those investments before further extreme weather from global warming costs more in the long run. We can couple those investments with our own efforts to lower our carbon footprints, which contributes to slowing down climate change.
The “Leave No Trace Behind” ethic is supported by the four major US federal land management agencies and by most eco-travel organizations trying to uphold high standards of environmentally-responsible tour operations. These principles can be followed in eco-tourism planning and observed onsite during tours, but eco-travel operations still generate other sources of harmful environmental emissions through transportation and onsite energy consumption during tour operations.
Carbonfund.org works with several eco-tour operators who take their environmental commitment beyond the tenets of “Leave No Trace Behind” by measuring, reducing where possible and mitigating all carbon emissions from their operations, and CarbonFree® partner Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures is a great example.
Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures maintains carbon neutral operations for the transportation and energy consumption they cannot eliminate by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air and carbon reduction projects around the world.
"It's so important to do what we can to leave the smallest impact possible here on planet earth. This is why we partner with the Carbonfund.org," states Taylor Phillips, Owner and Lead Guide for Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures.
Eco Tour Adventures was created with the idea of helping people connect with and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world through wildlife observation and natural history interpretation. Their premise is that their tour guests develop a stronger bond with the natural world and will make more environmentally sound choices in their daily lives. TripAdvisor recently named Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures as one of ten great wildlife tours. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Eco Tour Adventures in their carbon emissions mitigation efforts, helping their organization serve as a positive role model for its tour guests and for other eco-tourism businesses.
It was a sad day in 2010 when Congress failed to pass cap-and-trade legislation. However, a study by Dallas Burtraw, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, released this month says that the failure had the unexpected consequence of helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions. There are two reasons why U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be lower by 2020: regulatory measures and market changes.
This is not to say that there is no need for cap-and-trade or a carbon tax. On the contrary, they are still necessary to achieve long-term cuts in emissions and to help establish worldwide support on the issue of climate change. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) was an energy bill that would cap the amount of carbon dioxide power plants and manufacturers could emit, and set up a system to trade for carbon offsets.
When ACES failed in the Senate after receiving approval in the House of Representatives, a series of piecemeal measures were put into place. This hodgepodge of regulatory measures put the U.S. on track to meet a pledge set by President Obama of cutting climate change emissions by 17 percent by the end of this decade. The first of which this blog already covered is Groundbreaking Fuel Economy Standards. President Obama pushed for higher vehicle fuel efficiency standards with automakers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when ACES died in the Senate. Also, the president is pressing for higher emission standards on coal-fired power plants.
Further regulatory measures in the wake of national cap-and-trade’s demise include California and some Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states establishing their own cap-and-trade programs, and 29 states setting clean-energy requirements for utilities.
Market changes putting the U.S. on the path to lower carbon emissions by 2020 have been covered by this blog also. Low natural gas prices have been shifting the market away from dirtier coal as power plants' fuel of choice.
If ACES, also called the Waxman-Markey Bill, had passed the law would have barred the EPA from issuing carbon standards for power plants, refineries or factories. Furthermore, it may have very well headed off establishing the higher vehicle fuel efficiency standards. Lastly, under a national cap-and-trade program, any regional or state efforts would be offset by increased emissions elsewhere.
So the planet still needs further, faster and more wide ranging cuts in fossil-fuel use, but the U.S. is on the right path to curbing carbon emissions with the help of some regulatory measures and market changes.