As June’s temperatures start to rise in Miami, visitors and locals seek out a respite from the heat.  And with all the news reports of climate change’s impact on the heavily-populated cities along the US eastern seaboard, the environmentally-aware customers will choose to patronize area businesses that take responsibility for their environmental impact.

For the past four years, these eco-customers have had the option to visit the tea oasis at specialTEA Lounge & Café, created with the planet and people in mind.  Owners Marilyn Morales and Chris Infante are extremely conscious of their impact on the environment.  Since opening the café, Chris and Marilyn have been teaching through example about sustainability initiatives, selecting local and organic products, and being as earth-friendly as possible. They use local organic ingredients and materials whenever possible, use eco-friendly compostable containers and utensils, and choose paper products made with 100% post-consumer-recycled content.  The café is equipped with energy-saving LED light bulbs, an energy-saving water-heater, a water-saving dual-flush toilet as well as an ExtremeAir® hand-dryer.

This year, specialTEA Lounge & Café took an important additional step in their sustainability plan by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership and mitigating their annual operational carbon emissions.   

 “No matter how eco-conscious we are in our decisions, there are still aspects of our business that are beyond our control,” explains Christian Infante, co-owner of specialTea Lounge.  “For those reasons, we have chosen to partner with Carbonfund.org, a leader in carbon offsetting, to offset any carbon emissions we generate in the course of our business operations.”

SpecialTEA Lounge & Café patrons can enjoy a pot of tea or a cooling frappé with friends over a game of chess, relax with a book on the comfy couches, or use the free wi-fi while noshing on sweet or savory treats at the café.  With over 60 premium fresh loose leaf teas, certified Organic Fair Trade™ and locally roasted coffee, frappés, bottled and hand-craft sodas, homemade pastries, desserts and an array of delicious made to order panini, salads and wraps, there’s something for everyone.  And customers can be environmentally-assured, knowing that specialTEA Lounge maintains CarbonFree® operations and a commitment to sustainability.  

For visitors to the greater Chicago area and the locals who’ve endured a long winter, a big three-season draw is the Lake Michigan waterfront.  Among the popular waterfront pastimes are the various Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat cruises that provide passengers with views of the Chicago skyline, architectural tours, dinner cruises, and on-board wedding and special event celebrations.  

To help protect and preserve the Lake Michigan resource, the environmentally-focused passenger will consider a cruiseline’s attention to environmental responsibilities and fuel conservation when booking their tour.  CarbonFree® Partner Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline will stand out as a leader in this area. 

As part of their extensive sustainability initiatives, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline has partnered with Carbonfund.org to measure and neutralize their annual carbon dioxide emissions.   Office energy usage, business travel and employee commuting emissions, as well as all fuel used by the cruise ships throughout 2012, were included in the emissions calculations.  The resulting total annual operational emissions were mitigated by corresponding donations to support Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and reforestation projects. 

The CarbonFree® Business Program status joins many other environmentally conscious initiatives followed by the Chicago-based cruiseline company.  Since 2006, all vessels have used B-11 biodiesel fuel, saving more than 4,000 gallons of imported crude oil per year.  Their newest vessel, Chicago’s Leading Lady, added to the fleet in 2011, is equipped with computerized energy-efficient engines that help the boat save over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. 

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises encourages their passengers to join an active office and operations recycling program by recycling their onboard maps for future guests. Dockside waste bins are constructed of recycled plastic milk containers, and beverage cans and bottles are collected onboard and dockside for recycling.   Promotional materials are printed by CarbonFree® Partner Digital Hub, voted Chicago’s Greenest Printer, with soy-based inks and recycled papers. All employees are encouraged to ride their bike, walk or commute to work by using public transit, and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruisline encourages its staff to participate in the employee public transit reimbursement program.  

This focus on measures to protect the waterways its passengers enjoy demonstrates a firm commitment to environmental stewardship by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, and Carbonfund.org is glad to participate in these efforts.  

Need a healthier night’s sleep?  Then have a look at Essentia Mattresses. They make the only natural memory foam in the world!  Essentia memory foam is free of petroleum, formaldehyde, toxic chemicals and contains no volatile organic compounds. The secret?  Essentia memory foam is actually made from rubber tree sap but reacts the same way traditional memory foam would.  Made with natural latex, organic essential oils, plant extracts and water Essentia natural memory foam has all the comfort of memory foam but without all the toxins that could make you sick. Essentia takes pride in using only the highest quality natural ingredients in its products, so you get health and comfort without compromise. Essentia products also feature a Zebrano striped cover which is both stylish and functional, made with 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified unbleached organic cotton. Essentia’s product line includes mattresses, support pillows, crib mattresses and even something special for the four-legged members of your family. Essentia is one of only 2 companies that produce its own foam. Instead of importing latex like most companies do, Essentia imports the natural rubber tree sap to make their natural memory foam. This uses close to 80% less space than importing the finished latex foam. They also cut down significantly on fuel consumption in transportation by importing the sap, and also by the way they ship their mattresses. Essentia actually compresses and rolls the mattresses, so they use 75% less packaging and take up less space in a truck.  All product boxes are made from 80% post consumer recycled paper. Essentia also has recently expanded their environmental commitment by joining the CarbonFree® Partnership program, offsetting a portion of their operational emissions by supporting the projects and mission of Carbonfund.org. Jack Dell’Accio, the founder of Essentia, explains: “It’s important for us to set the example for everyone that we need to take every step possible to leave this earth a greener place. We need to make this mark, especially in the mattress industry which traditionally isn’t overly concerned about consumer health or the impact on the earth. This is why Essentia is more than a brand; we have a commitment to comfort and quality, without compromise. A partnership with Carbonfund.org was a natural step for us to help everyone move towards the future, when the world is green again.” You can experience Essentia for yourself at an Essentia retail location, online or by giving them a quick call to learn more. Also, Essentia mattresses come with a 60-day money back guarantee, a 20-year warranty and free shipping to the Continental US and Canada. If you thought that was cool, it gets better: Essentia is offering a 10% Eco-Driver discount on your Essentia purchase. And while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for their monthly contest for a chance to win a Comfort Pillow!

The American Forest and Paper Association continues to make strides as an industry intent on leading the expansion of paper recycling.  The success of their “Better Practices, Better Planet 2020” initiative will be partly dependent upon consumer preferences shifting to products containing fully or partially recycled paper.  In order to help close the “recycling loop”, “green” consumers must continue to seek out businesses that offer eco-conscious products featuring recycled paper, in order to expand the practice of paper recycling and the manufacturing, marketing and price-competitiveness of products containing recycled paper.  CarbonFree® Business Partner Paper Culture was led by its strong environmental focus, one of the foundations upon which the company has built its business, to develop its product line on 100% post consumer recycled paper and to take additional measures to neutralize the carbon emissions from its business operations.  

As part of its ongoing environmental commitment, Paper Culture took the important step five years ago to neutralize its annual operational emissions and become a CarbonFree® Partner.  "In choosing Carbonfund.org, Paper Culture wanted a partner that had a strong, auditable record of driving additional green house gas reducing projects,” explains Christopher Wu, Paper Culture Owner.  “When we looked at their marquee list of partners that includes names like Staples, Discovery Channel and Virgin, when combined with the audit trail provided by Environmental Resources Trust to verify the various Carbonfund.org projects, our decision was made." 

Over the past five years, Paper Culture’s CarbonFree® commitment has neutralized its own operational emissions by steadily supporting Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects around the world, which reduce carbon dioxide emissions through tree planting and forestry management efforts.     

Paper Culture is an online stationery company offering modern eco-friendly personalized stationery and cards such as baby announcementsholiday cards, and baby shower invitations.  All Paper Culture card and stationery designs are printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper, and Paper Culture plants a tree in a US national forest with every order. These steps, together with the long-term commitment to CarbonFree® operations, underscore Paper Culture’s focus on environmental responsibility and demonstrate their sustainability leadership within the paper products industry. 

As a nonprofit ourselves, we know the array of factors that go into starting and then managing a nonprofit organization. Strategic planning, management, capacity building and fundraising must be well thought out in order for a nonprofit to accomplish its mission. Carbonfund.org partner EMD Consulting Group, LLC lends its experience and provides guidance and support in these areas and identifies challenges and opportunities. EMD Consulting Group has helped a number of nonprofits develop their fundraising, marketing plans, economic feasibility studies, program development and much more. The Group has worked with nonprofits with very diverse missions from the Judevine Center for Autism to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. EMD Consulting Group is not only in the business of helping socially responsible organizations, but it demonstrates its own corporate social responsibility by partnering with Carbonfund.org to reduce its climate impact. To learn about how your company can partner with us, visit www.carbonfund.org/business.
The government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released its State of the Climate in 2009, saying a detailed review of 10 climate indicators points out that "global warming is undeniable." The indicators, from surface and sea-surface temperatures to measurements of heat content in the oceans and sea levels, have all trended higher. Moreover, in the past 30 years, each decade has gotten warmer with the 2000's being the warmest on record. "The NOAA Report, in confirming the certainty and severity of climate change, is a call to action for policymakers, business leaders and individuals to reduce our climate impact," said Eric Carlson, President, Carbonfund.org. "What makes this report compelling is that it shows the problem is far greater than rising sea levels and heat waves. World food supplies, public health and the viability of many populated areas are also in jeopardy." Over 300 scientists from 48 countries analyzed the climate data. "When we follow decade-to-decade trends using multiple data sets and independent analyses from around the world, we see clear and unmistakable signs of a warming world," said Dr. Peter Stott, contributor to the report and head of climate monitoring and attribution at the UK Met Office Hadley Centre. NOAA has issued a video summarizing the report and an executive summary. You can also download the full report. Read about how you can reduce your climate impact here, and support innovative, third-party validated projects that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbonfund.org spent the day at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday, September 25th as Virgin and IMP event productions presented Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2010. The festival started at Noon, with 21 artists playing on 3 different stages, all in one day! In addition, the day was filled with fun packed activities including a Ferris wheel, a Playstation tent, evening fireworks and all the festival food anyone would ever want. Our educational booth, alongside others like Virgin Unite and Music 4 More, let concertgoers learn how to reduce their climate impact and support carbon reduction projects. To illustrate what festival attendees are doing to reduce where they could, Carbonfund.org offered a large canvas. Here are some favorite quotes from the canvas: "Use natural sunlight during the day." "Bike everywhere." "Unplug electronic devices that are not in use." "Recycle." "Did you know you can run a diesel engine on waste vegetable oil?" "Use public transportation." "We borrow the earth from our children. We don't own it." "Hire locals." "Reuse your drink cups at Virgin Fest." "Nature rocks my socks." The festival was great and Carbonfund.org thanks everyone who came by to support us. And a huge thank you to both Virgin Mobile and IMP for having us. See you next year. Please remember to reduce what you can, offset what you can't.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 11:23

#ClimateTuesday is Here!

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#ClimateTuesday is here and we’re taking over facebook and twitter. Today is the day to invite your friends and supporters to get involved in a 350 event. Can we make #climatetuesday a trending topic? Can we double our registrations for the event? I think we can! On October 24, events are happening in over 150 nations across the world. In Botswana, the Maru-a-Pula school will be hosting a Green Drive “to change attitudes and lifestyle of our students and our community.” They will be launching a new recycling center, promoting their organic garden and a strong treaty in Copenhagen. In the Maldives, a country whose citizens will lose their homes and way of life if we don’t reach this goal, a team of divers will build an artificial reef shaped like the three numbers: 3, 5 and 0. (They've produced an awesome video.) In Washington DC, local leaders and activists will be marching to the White House to call on Obama and the nation to get a strong international treaty. Not half-measures or baby steps, but a comprehensive global deal on protecting the earth’s climate. Find an event in your area, and help us spread the word! If you are in DC and reaching out to DC folks, here’s the DC event: http://bit.ly/381tFG DC tweet: RT @Carbonfundorg: #climatetuesday action: join @350 on facebook & join events around the world on Oct. 24th ! http://bit.ly/381tFG #green #climatebill For those outside of DC, here’s the main 350 event: http://bit.ly/1pUcwZ National Tweet: RT @Carbonfundorg: #climatetuesday action: join @350 on facebook & join events around the world on Oct. 24th ! http://bit.ly/1pUcwZ #green #climatebill People talking about #climatetuesday on Twitter
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