Ecotourism continues to grow in popularity as environmentally-conscious travelers seek out adventures to natural environments while minimizing the negative ecological impacts of their trips. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) has defined ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." New Carbonfund.org partner Quasar Expeditions offers eco-travel adventures through the unique ecosystems of Patagonia, while ensuring that all on-the-ground tour emissions are measured and mitigated through Carbonfund.org.
In order to uphold their commitment to environmentally sustainable tour operations, Quasar Expeditions chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to calculate the emissions generated by each tour vehicle then mitigate those emissions by supporting reforestation and bio-diversity preservation projects around the world.
“Our recent partnership with Carbonfund.org is a big step for Quasar Expeditions in making yet another positive contribution to conservation and sustainable tourism,” explains Fernando Diez, Director of Marketing and E-Commerce. “Although our adventures are methodically designed to leave very light footprints, we know that there is always some environmental impact, so we are now happy to be offsetting our carbon emissions through Carbonfund.org.”
When planning ecotourism excursions, it’s incumbent upon travelers to carefully review and seek out tour providers that are implementing sustainability practices to limit the environmental impact on the fragile habitats they visit. Eco-tour related emissions may be unavoidable, but measurement, reduction and neutralization of these emissions is a key component to maintaining responsible travel options while fighting the negative impacts of climate change.
As the environmentally-inspired movement towards banning or charging for paper and plastic shopping bags continues to spread, shoppers need convenient solutions for carrying their reusable bags with them wherever they go. During the holiday shopping frenzy, it’s even more important to remember to take along reusable shopping bags rather than wasting resources on paper or plastic store bags.
CarbonFree® Partner flip & tumble came up with a great solution -- a reusable bag that compacts into a stretchy pouch, cinching the full-sized shopping bag into a small ball in seconds. Shoppers can stash flip & tumble bags in their cars, briefcases and backpacks in order to have a reusable bag handy when needed.
Consideration of the environment is very important to the folks at flip & tumble, so neutralizing their annual business emissions was a logical step. "We partner with Carbonfund.org to continue to foster our initiative to be an environmentally conscious company," explains Anna Hebel, Product Manager at flip & tumble.
As a CarbonFree® Business Partner, flip & tumble is leading the reusable shopping bag industry as an environmentally responsible company. They’ve made the commitment to reduce carbon emissions where possible then mitigate their remaining carbon footprint by supporting Carbonfund.org’s emissions reduction projects. Do your part this holiday shopping season by bringing along reusable shopping bags and patronizing businesses that offer eco-responsible products and environmentally focused business operations.
The electronic delivery of software applications, rather than mailing physical DVDs and CDs for manual installation on computing networks and workstations, is an important component to reducing operational emissions. Recent studies have calculated that replacing traditional distribution of DVD/CD disk kit software with Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) can result in at least an 83% reduction in carbon emissions.
CarbonFree® Business Partner Kivuto Solutions offers green software distribution solutions through ESD, enabling users to download software and avoid the carbon emissions attributable to product packaging and shipping. Previously known as e-academy, Kivuto seeks to maximize software availability for organizations by reducing the total cost and environmental impact of software distribution.
But Kivuto decided it was important to do more and wanted to join the national movement of businesses and organizations that are leading the fight against global warming. Recognizing that its own operations still created a significant carbon footprint, Kivuto took the proactive step to calculate its annual operational emissions. Kivuto then chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to mitigate its emissions by supporting Reforestation and Forest Preservation projects that absorb carbon emissions now and for years to come.
Electronic software delivery may be part of a lower carbon world, but IT systems use a tremendous amount of electricity. Carbonfund.org encourages companies to follow examples set by business partners such as Kivuto to take the next step towards operational sustainability by supporting carbon sequestration projects, energy efficiency innovation and renewable energy source development.
The issue of climate change has re-entered the public’s conscious in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. In fact, there were accusations of a “climate silence” on the part of the presidential candidates until the megastorm hit the Northeast a week before this month’s election. Now both parties are talking about a potential carbon tax.
Last week a carbon tax was once again the topic of discussion at the American Enterprise Institute (a conservative think-tank) and the Brookings Institution (a more liberal think-tank) released a paper on it. The Congressional Budget Office also published a report on potential ways to make a carbon tax less of a burden on lower income people.
A carbon tax works by making those that use fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas pay more. When they are burned, fossil fuels contribute to global warming by producing carbon dioxide, which traps heat. Some experts estimate the price tag of a tax of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to add 1 or 2 percent to the price of gasoline and electric power. Other pundits view a carbon tax as a tax on economic growth.
Whether or not a carbon tax will have the political backing to make it through a divided Congress is questionable. However, environmental advocates are always interested when climate change is a hot topic. Extreme weather has been linked to climate change. So it’s important to warn people that if we continue on this unsustainable path of dumping 90 million tons of pollution into the atmosphere on a daily basis that the future will include more superstorms with increasingly devastating consequences.
According to the Carbon Disclosure Project, cloud computing can help companies realize $12.3 billion in energy savings and reduce carbon emissions by 85.7 million metric tons annually by the year 2020. This staggering carbon emissions reduction figure is equivalent to mitigating the emissions from almost 181 million barrels of oil each year.
These compelling statistics are creating a surge in cloud computing options and providers; the challenge is to find the right provider offering the breadth of computing services, systems security and deliver the flexibility required by each business.
Chicago-based Steadfast Networks offers an additional benefit to its customers by operating in a CarbonFree® environment. Steadfast Networks calculates the annual carbon emissions from all base operations and neutralizes those emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air technology projects. Steadfast Networks also provides a CarbonFree® option to all customers by calculating and mitigating specific operational emissions through Carbonfund.org for each customer’s dedicated or co-located server energy consumption.
"At Steadfast, we're always looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Carbonfund.org fit organically into our business model and so it was pretty much a “no brainer” for us," explains Karl Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Steadfast Networks.
Steadfast Networks specializes in highly flexible cloud computing, including options for dedicated servers or collocation services at their fully redundant data centers in Chicago and New York. The facilities used by Steadfast Networks are highly engineered to assure reliability and maximize energy efficiency, resulting in a significantly reduced carbon footprint. Their status as a CarbonFree® Business Partner sets Steadfast Networks above the competition for companies seeking the most environmentally responsible options for cloud computing solutions.
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.