Calling all college students: school will begin soon and there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the carbon footprint of your dorm room.
  1. Make someone else’s garbage your treasure. Browse Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for futons, desks, chairs, etc. instead of spending a fortune buying new furniture.
  2. Sharing is caring. Do you and your roommate really need separate mini-refrigerators and TVs?
  3. Think organic. Consider 100 percent organic cotton or bamboo linens and bedding.
  4. Take charge. Use power strips to easily manage your appliances and unplug whatever you aren’t currently using.
  5. Turn off the lights and all appliances when you’re not in the room. Encourage dorm-mates to do so in lounges or other dorm common areas too.
  6. Choose energy-efficient products such as CFL/fluorescent lightbulbs and Energy Star rated appliances.
  7. Invest in a reusable water bottle. It will cost less than $15, and some cafes give a discount when you use a reusable bottle for drinks.
After you have mastered your dorm room, encourage your university to go carbon neutral. Carbonfund.org partners with a number of colleges and universities to reduce their carbon footprint and support third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dell is offering up to $400 in savings on its line of Studio laptops and desktops just in time for the new school year.

Head over to Coupon Craze to browse great deals from big name retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

Skoobit offers college students the option of renting, rather than purchasing textbooks. For as little as $10.99 a month, students can rent a textbook that would cost many times that amount to purchase. And for a limited time, Skoobit is offering a free trial period.

BookRenter.com also offers the option for students to rent books. As an added incentive, Book Renter provides free shipping both ways. Every month, Book Renter gives away two $250 scholarships; click here to learn how to score one.

Staples is the place to go for your back-to-school supply needs. Click here to check out this week's hot deals.

At any given time, half of the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people suffering from water-related illnesses. The average American uses about 100 gallons of water per day, according to NIKA, while those living in poverty use less than 5 gallons per day. NIKA also mentions that an investment worth $9 billion would achieve universal access to clean water and sanitation. That’s less than what Europe collectively spends on ice cream every year—shocking, right? Through the sale of its premium water product, NIKA hopes to bring a voice to the world’s poor who suffer without the basic right to clean water and simple sanitation. By donating 100% of profits to support clean water projects in impoverished countries, NIKA will provide the basic tools and critical assistance to help thousands of families improve their lives in a meaningful way and end the cycle of poverty. NIKA’s ethical consciousness does not stop at the community level. NIKA is certified CarbonFree® by Carbonfund.org and as a part of certification, the company supports the third-party validated Return to Forest reforestation project in Nicaragua.
Thursday, 19 August 2010 17:20

Fight Vampire Energy and Save Money with EcoStrip

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Efficiency evangelists have long complained about "vampire" energy loss, the wasted electricity from keeping electronics constantly plugged in. By some accounts, this can cost hundreds of dollars a year in extra electricity costs and create unnecessary carbon emissions. New innovations in power strip technology are letting consumers easily curtail their vampire loss.

EcoStrip, a pioneering company committed to conserve energy, has designed a power strip that turns off periphery devices–like your speakers, monitor, DVD player, sound system, etc.–when you turn off your primary electronic equipment such as your computer or television. This way, every time you turn off your computer or tv, you’re saving a lot more electricity than that. This power strip can save you over a hundred dollars a year–not bad. As a service to our partners, blog readers and social media followers, Carbonfund.org has negotiated a discount on EcoStrips purchased online–an extra 30% off when you enter the coupon code carbonfund AND EcoStrip makes a donation to Carbonfund.org for every product sold, helping us pursue our work in fighting global warming. So take this step to make your home or office more energy-efficient, an investment that will likely pay itself back in less than a year's time.
Living in the twenty-first century demands that all of us take a proactive role in shaping our financial future. One of the ways in which many Americans build wealth and meet their financial goals is through investing in the stock market. With the plethora of investing options to choose from, many of us wonder which investment tools and vehicles suit our economic needs but also reflect our personal value system. I spent a considerable amount of time asking myself the following question: What are my core values and how do I align them with my investing goals? After contemplating for a long period of time, I realized that I wanted to invest in revolutionary, cutting-edge ideas that had the power to change and enhance the quality of life for society. I grew up in a household that emphasized energy conservation and limited dependency on technology. Therefore I needed my financial goals to reflect my environmentally-conscious values. Through research, I discovered a variety of companies that develop sophisticated technology that would address our energy needs and combat global warming. One of the companies that I chose to focus on was Global Green Solutions. Global Green Solutions specializes in developing and implementing eco-friendly energy technology that takes biomass waste and converts it into renewable energy. Currently, Global Green Solutions main project, Green Stream Technology, will use farm animal manure, energy crops, and forest waste to produce industrial steam and electrical power. If implemented, Green Steam Technology will result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, decrease in fuel costs, increased access to electrical power, and the proper handling and removal of biomass waste material. The company plans to license its technology to various partners once the Green Steam Technology project reaches the implementation stage and is ready to be introduced to the market. As of July 19, 2010, Global Green Solutions finished its demonstration unit at Aera Energy in California. The completion of the demonstration unit serves as an important milestone in the development of the ground-breaking project. My decision to become a social investor by investing in Global Green Solutions stemmed from my belief in the importance of preserving our world. Investing in Green Technology has allowed me to take an active stance in creating financial security while supporting companies that demonstrate social and environmental awareness. As we move ahead in the twenty-first century, our global community continues to create technologically advanced solutions that create comfort and efficiency in our lives. We need energy solutions that will allow us to live in balance with the earth while sustaining our growing quality of life. Companies such as Global Green Solutions reflect the growing demand for environmentally-friendly industrial technology. Even though investing in new endeavors means taking on considerable risk, investing in ideas that hold the power to serve the common good and produce economic gain and success for others will benefit society in the long-term.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 14:58

Obama Expects 800,000 Clean Energy Jobs by 2012

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Speaking at a Milwaukee-area battery plant, President Obama says he expects the administration's clean energy policies will generate 800,000 jobs by 2012. "That's not just creating work in the short term. That's going to help lay the foundation for lasting economic growth," he said at ZBB Energy Corp. this week in Menomonee Falls, Wis. The company's batteries and fuel cells are used in renewable energy products. Obama noted that the U.S. manufacturing workforce has shrunk by a third and that the recession was the worst since the Great Depression. Among the policies Obama cited are investing in clean energy projects and tax policies that encourage companies to keep and create jobs in the U.S. You can listen to the president's speech in this White House video:
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 12:10

5 Ways to Make Your Vacation Better for the Planet

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Global Basecamps, a Carbonfund.org partner, has dedicated itself to providing travelers with fun, diverse and sustainable vacations. Travelers can set up a basecamp in one location and explore different places in a short period of time. Global Basecamps has identified ways to help reduce a trip’s impact on the environment.
  1. Plant a Tree When You Travel – Planting a tree is a way to fight climate change (about 20% of global warming is due to deforestation), restore habitat and preserve biodiversity. Global Basecamps plants a tree in Nepal for every vacation they book.
  2. Offset Your Trip’s Carbon Footprint - Flying, driving, lodging, eating and everything you do on your trip has an impact on climate change. The only way to neutralize that impact on climate (short of not traveling) is to offset your footprint by supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Calculate and offset your trip here.
  3. Support Local Charities at Your Destination – Global Basecamps is a strong supporter of Pack for a Purpose. You can choose a local charity at your destination and help their mission by donating some of your money or items such as pencils, medical supplies or soccer balls.
  4. Basecamp – Get a true flavor of the locations you visit by basecamping. Choose a central base and explore many places in a short trip. This can cut your carbon footprint and provide a great experience at the same time.
  5. Commit to Live Sustainably When You Get Home – Take the lessons of your trip home with you. Volunteer when you get back. You can also offset your vehicle and home carbon emissions to reduce your overall footprint.
For more information on how Global Basecamps makes sustainability central to their mission, click here.
Monday, 16 August 2010 16:01

Mussel Up: Climate Change Threatens Seafood

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Summer 2010 has been one for the record books, with record-setting temperatures, a brutal heat wave in Russia and deadly flooding in Pakistan. Not only is climate change wreaking havoc on the weather, according to a University of South Carolina study, it could affect dinner plates soon as well. Researchers at the university concluded that higher air and water temperatures along the East Coast are shrinking the range of blue mussels. In the past, mussels lived as far south as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; now, the southernmost area that mussels can be found is Lewes, Delaware. Sierra Jones, a Ph.D. student at the University of South Carolina, explains the concern of the findings, saying, “These mussels are a very important part of the food chain, help clean the water, and are farmed commercially. If temperatures continue to increase, we can expect range changes of species like blue mussels to continue, and the health of our oceans is at risk.” Food shortage due to decreased food production and availability are among the consequences of climate change. For more information about the S.C. study, check out this article by E2 Wire's Ben Geman.