Wednesday, 17 November 2010 15:54

30 Days of Free Eco-Friendly Holiday Gifts

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The green-inspired lifestyle site, World of Green, kicked off a special holiday promotion today. 30 Days of Free Eco-Friendly Gifts lets you enter to win prizes that include plantable wrapping paper, toys, organic cotton clothing and bamboo robes. The grand finale is Carbonfund.org making a winner's home carbon neutral for a year in support of innovative projects that are fighting climate change today. World of Green is bringing together the largest selection of green products, solutions and information. The website chooses to feature products with the highest standards, in terms that are easy to understand. To enter, visit the World of Green website here.
Consumer products company and Carbonfund.org events partner Unilever has unveiled its Sustainable Living Plan, which uses the company's global reach to double sales while also halving the water, waste and carbon impacts of its products over the next 10 years. To achieve these goals, Unilever took into account the life-cycle of their products, from the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing of products, transportation and storage, all the way to the waste produced by consumer use of these items. Unilever seeks to lead the consumer industry in reducing the environmental impact of their products and saving money in the process. Other goals for the Sustainable Living Plan include: • Sourcing 100 percent of agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2015, including 100% sustainable palm oil. Unilever buys three percent of the world's annual supply of palm oil. • Making drinking water safer in developing countries by extending sales of its Pureit home water purifier. • Improving standards of living by working with agencies such as Oxfam and the Rainforest Alliance to link 500,000 small-scale and related distributors to the Unilever supply chain. "Consumers want more," Unilever chief executive Paul Polman told the UK's Guardian newspaper. "They see food shortages, malnutrition and climate change, and governments are not addressing those problems. Companies that do this will get a competitive advantage. Those that do not will put themselves at risk."
The world seems to be run by people who have great ideas and the courage to follow through on them. That seems to be the case with Yahoo! Finance’s list of “How to be a Millionaire by Age 25.” Featured among the list are some familiar names – Mark Zuckerberg, the facebook founder whose life has recently been picked apart in The Social Network and Michael Dell – the man who helped make personal computers common in homes. Catherine Cook, founder of another hit social networking site and Carbonfund.org partner myyearbook.com, earned her first million by 18 by designing a hit website with over 20 million members. Catherine has brought people together to share pics, play games, chat, take quizzes, go on blind dates, and… donate to some great Causes. By interacting on myyearbook.com, members can earn “lunch money” which they can then use to offset carbon emissions in the atmosphere by supporting Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated renewable energy projects. Catherine says if you’ve got a great idea to make a million, “Stop just thinking about it, and make it happen.” She also has advice for young people: "When you're young is the best time to start your own business, as you do not have the responsibilities you will have when you're older. The worst that can happen if you fail now is that you have firsthand experience to make your next venture a success." Once you get there, remember to follow Catherine's lead by helping the planet too!
Did you know that the Combined Federal Campaign is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign? CFC has more than 200 campaigns around the country and internationally to help raise millions of dollars each year for charity. Federal employees can support Carbonfund.org's efforts to fight climate change by donating to CFC#62681. You'll be supporting Carbonfund.org's innovative projects that are reducing carbon emissions in the U.S. and around the world. The projects are third-party validated, and Carbonfund.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 2010 marks the second year that we have been a part of this important campaign. If you care about climate and our environment but aren't a federal employee, you can make a tax-deductible donation anytime directly at our website: www.carbonfund.org. Please share this blog post with others you know! Thank you for your support.
Trade shows continue to thrive for their ability to bring people together and make valuable connections.  Long a primary driver of business travel, some shows in the world can account for a sizable amount of carbon emissions.  So when a company steps up to reduce their trade show participation's environmental footprint, it’s a big deal.  And Kimberly-Clark has just raised the bar in their industry. As part of its Reduce Today, Respect Tomorrow global sustainability program, Kimberly-Clark has taken a holistic approach to improving its trade show performance.  Working with Expotechnik, a leading global exhibit house, they improved their exhibit’s performance in its use, packaging, weight, transportation, life cycle, recyclability and the incorporation of A/V technology that reduces costly graphic production and printed materials. On top of that, Kimberly-Clark has calculated and offset its carbon footprint for attending the upcoming Greenbuild and ISSA trade shows.  Further, visitors to Kimberly-Clark’s booth will be given the opportunity to offset their emissions from attending the show as well in support of Carbonfund.org's third-party validated carbon reduction projects.
Starting today the Carbonfund.org CarbonFree® Certified Motorola CITRUS™ smartphone is available in stores and online. Priced at $49.99 (after $100 mail-in rebate) Motorola CITRUS is an affordable, entry-level smartphone with a compact design that is also good to the earth. CarbonFree® Certified means that Motorola has offset the carbon dioxide required to manufacture, distribute and operate the phone during its lifetime through investments in third-party validated renewable energy sources and reforestation. Also, the CITRUS phone housing is made from 25 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, the packaging is made from 80 percent post-consumer recycled paper and the user manual is made using 100 percent recycled paper and soy-based ink. Verizon Wireless customers who purchase Motorola CITRUS will receive the mail-in rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted. Users can subscribe to a Verizon Wireless nationwide plan (beginning at $39.99 monthly access) and a data package (beginning at $15 monthly access for 150 MB). Customers can track their data usage by downloading the My Verizon app available in Android Market or by logging on to their My Verizon account online at www.verizonwireless.com/myverizon. For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:04

Green Contractors Stand Out in Industry

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Construction was one of the hardest hit industries during the economic recession the last few years, but the pinch was significantly less for green contractors. In fact, four out of the five top-ranked green contractors actually saw an 11.3% increase in business. Between 2008 and 2009, Engineering News-Record's Top 400 Contractors saw revenue drop by 14.1% and the Top 100 Green Contractors, firms that bring in the largest revenues from LEED and other certified projects, fared about the same. But looking at the top 10 of those green contractors, their business only saw a dip of 2.8%. These numbers seem to indicate that when money is tight, consumers feel it makes more sense to stretch your dollar with a top firm that specializes in LEED certified projects, which saves money on a continuous basis in the future via energy savings and water efficiency. LEED certified buildings also stand out for their CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resource and sensitivity to their impacts. Learn more about ways to save money while reducing your environmental impact at Carbonfund.org's Save Energy, Reduce Carbon Emissions page.
If your home improvement goals include a new roof, more efficient heating system or better insulation, you have until December 31st to make use of Uncle Sam's help. The federal energy-efficiency tax credits for these types of projects could run out at the end of the year. It might be a squeeze to get it done but with upwards of $1,500 available, it's worth a try.
Tax Credit: 30% of cost up to $1,500
  • Biomass stoves
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Insulation
  • Roofs
  • Water heaters
  • Windows and doors
For more extensive projects that involve reworking the way your home consumes energy, tax credits are available until the end of 2016. If you're looking to get off the grid by implementing renewable energy systems like solar, Uncle Sam can rebate up to 30 percent of the total cost. Tax Credit: 30% of cost with no upper limit
  • Geothermal heat pump
  • Small wind turbine
  • Solar energy systems
The best part about this deal is that energy-efficient projects continue to save you money long after the tax rebate comes in. The average U.S. household spends $1,400 each year on their energy bills, according to ENERGY STAR.  By choosing energy-efficient products, each household could cut this by 30 percent, saving more than $400 each year.