Tuesday, 06 October 2009 17:31

The Tengchong Conservation Carbon Project

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Carbonfund.org supports projects all across the world, and a project we are supporting is the Tengchong Conservation Carbon ProjectTeng_Chong in the Yunnan Province of Southwestern China. This project is reforesting 1,093 acres at the south end of the Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve and will ultimately sequester nearly 170,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. The Tengchong Conservation Carbon Project has had a positive effect on its surrounding environment, such as inhibiting the growth of invasive weed species, helping improve the local water quality and reduce erosion. Additionally, the project area is providing habitat for about 400 bird species and more than 150 mammals, including leopards, Malayan sun bears, and China’s only remaining Bengal tiger population. The project is the first forest-based project to be validated to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard with Gold Distinction. To learn more about Carbonfund.org’s projects, please visit www.carbonfund.org/projects.
Tuesday, 06 October 2009 11:00

iQuit: Apple Leaves Chamber of Commerce

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Apple announced that it is leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its stance on global warming. The Chamber has been a source of global warming denial and has seen great backlash recently from members who consider its views to be 'extreme.' Apple is the fourth member of the Chamber to leave in recent months. Others include energy companies PG&E, PNM of New Mexico, and Chicago-based Exelon - not your typical tree hugging companies. The exit comes a month after Apple initially disclosed its corporate carbon footprint. The Chamber will likely see more members quit in the near future if their regressive views on climate change continue. Most studies, including ones performed by the Congressional Budget Office, indicate that the climate bill will help the economy over the long run. Moreover, an obstinate view that global warming isn't occurring and/or isn't man-made simply will not fly with most 21st century businesses. Businesses today deal with modern realities, which include relating to consumers that are acutely aware of the dangers of global warming and the potential adaptation of their business model to the risks of a warming world. Did you know that over 1,200 businesses have taken responsibility for their carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org? You can too! Click here for more info.
Numerous reports have linked exposure to coal ash to an increased risk of cancer, birth defects and other health problems for the communities who live close to dump sites. Last year, a slurry broke in Tennessee, dumping a billion gallons of ash into waterways, burring houses and destroying ecosystems. The spill also raised concerns in Kentucky and other areas with coal ash. Lesley Stahl looks at the health effects and the safety of coal ash in her 60 Minutes report last night on the coal industry. Stahl interviews several coal industry representatives on the impact of coal ash on human health. From refusing to say “coal ash is safe” to arguing that it’s the same as dirt, this inside look into the coal message machine and the actual damage it’s doing to the people who live close to it is a must-see. Check it out: Watch CBS News Videos Online
Monday, 05 October 2009 17:16

Study Abroad now CarbonFree® with IES Abroad

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IESIES Abroad gives their students more than a great study abroad experience – they help their students make a difference in the fight against climate change. Even if you’re not attending their newly established Environmental Studies & Sustainability program in Germany’s black forest, IES has made it easy to calculate and offset your abroad experience’s carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org.  Through our affiliate page with IES, students can calculate the carbon footprint of their flight to their abroad destination and any flights they take while they are studying. IES students, when they’re not skiing in the Alps, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, dancing Tango in Buenos Aires, or eating Tapas in Barcelona, can now fully understand and neutralize the climate impact of their travel. IES has lead the way in greening study abroad. Their Go Green InitiativeTM has significantly improved their Chicago headquarters and worldwide offices’ environmental performance. Through this program, IES has significantly reduced paper usage, switched to FSC certified paper, encouraged their employees to save energy, reduced their carbon footprint, increased recycling, and reduced water usage. They’ve even gone the extra mile by composting leftover food and powering offices with renewable energy in some locations.
Sitka Technology GroupSitka Technology is a leader in designing custom software packages for sustainability focused organizations.  In addition to offsetting their annual carbon footprint through participation in the CarbonFree® Partner program, Sitka focuses on helping governments and nonprofits with their environmental software needs.  With a strong belief that collaboration is vital to creating effective software, they help clients attain their sustainability objectives so that our communities can prosper. Their most recent project is a great example of how their award winning custom software excels at meeting their client's needs.  Their new web application gives the public unprecedented view into the workings of the largest fish and wildlife restoration program in the world. This interactive web 2.0 application, www.cbfish.org, makes it simple for anyone with computer access to map habitats and compile costs and results into easy-to-read charts. Users can zero in on specifics of thousands of fish and wildlife projects, from wetland restoration in the Columbia River estuary to screening of irrigation diversions in Idaho.
bikeandrollThe Union Station Bike Transit Center, dubbed the first commuter bike station on the East Coast, in D.C. is having its grand opening and accepting memberships online. To learn about the offerings and memberships at the 100+ bike facility, visit the Bikestation site. Bike and Roll, a leading bicycle rental and tours company, is handling the day-to-day operation of the Center, located adjacent to Union Station.
Virgin America cares about climate change.
Virgin America is the Official Domestic Airline of the Governors' Second Annual Climate Summit in Los Angeles from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.  Also, Virgin America released its first annual Climate Report today describing their unique sustainability efforts and emissions data for 2008.  When Virgin America launched in 2007 they took great care to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their business.  They not only use more efficient aircraft, regulating cruising speed to reduce fuel burn, and encourage customers to offset the impact of their flight through Carbonfund.org, they even use organic hand soap in the airplane bathrooms! Earlier this year, Virgin America became the first U.S. airline to join The Climate Registry and commit to reporting emissions according to The Climate Registry's standards.  We are proud that our partner is an innovator and a leader in sustainability efforts for the airline industry. Flying somewhere? Check out this page where you can offset your trip! If you're reading this in-flight, remember you can offset your trip during flight on Virgin America's RED in-flight entertainment system.
dirty coalUSA Today's Traci Watson reports that the draft of the Senate bill released today calls for 20% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.  This is an increase from the 17% reduction required by the House bill.  The bill would initiate a cap-and-trade system much like the House bill, and would also provide financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs because of the new legislation. The draft doesn't provide detail on who would receive emissions credits that could be worth millions, a topic in Senate negotiations.  These details may determine the bill's success, but as Tony Kreindler of the Environmental Defense Fund pointed out the draft is merely a jumping off point and will change significantly in the coming months. President Barack Obama weighed in on the bill's release, saying his administration is "deeply committed to passing a bill that creates new American jobs and the clean energy incentives that foster innovation." The most important thing about the bill is that it makes steep cuts in global warming pollution and includes provisions that crack down on old, dirty coal power plants.  These are important steps in the right direction.  Please join us in letting your Senators know that this bill is important to you! Call your senators today-toll free-and tell them to support a bold climate and energy bill.