Friday, 19 February 2010 18:53

Fight Climate Change with Your Phone Bill

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T4CCarbonfund.org partner, Telecom For Charity, will reduce your office’s carbon footprint for a week just for talking with them about your telecommunications needs. They provide services throughout the US and can help you with a wide range of telecom needs. Their business plan is simple: provide great telecommunications services and help your favorite charity at the same time. To date, they’ve donated almost $30,000 to charity. If you sign up, remember to let them know your favorite charity is Carbonfund.org, and they’ll donate 5% of your monthly bill to us! It’s a win-win; you’re getting great telecommunications service, lowering your monthly bills, and supporting Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Give them a call at (888) 775-4100 or visit: www.telecomforcharity.org.
The chill in the air here on the East Coast is a sharp reminder that winter is on its way. If the thought of cold makes you cringe, consider turning your thoughts to the Southern Hemisphere. While we’re settling into autumn, New Zealand is blossoming into spring and Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd has just the ticket for you. Not only does Queenstown Heritage Tours specialize in sightseeing tours into Skippers Canyon and the Wakatipu Basin, they also come highly, and environmentally, recommended. Queenstown Heritage Tours has been recognized again as one of the New Zealand’s leading tourism businesses by Qualmark - New Zealand Tourism’s official quality assurance system. To earn the prestigious quality mark, Queenstown Heritage underwent a comprehensive on-site assessment to ensure it met general quality criteria focused on service, fleet in use, safety and business management systems in place. “We presented to our Qualmark assessor a comprehensive fleet management sheet which was developed in-house in order to prove an acceptable industry standard for our fleet,” said Yasmine Sander Ickenroth, owner of Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. “This new fleet management sheet forms not only the basis for our Qualmark assessment but further more enables us to monitor our carbon footprint.  Our commitment to the Queenstown community, the co-operation with the Department of Conservation as well as our partnership with Carbonfund.org made it clear to our assessor that we truly deserve to be recognized as one of the country’s leading tourism businesses,” Sander Ickenroth said. We’re also pleased to share that Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. annually offsets its operational carbon emissions with Carbonfund.org and is committed to be part of the global movement of businesses and organizations that are leading the fight against global warming.  Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. is committed to monitoring its energy consumption, fuel usage and kilometres travelled by its customers as well as the kilometres travelled by its employees to and from work. Those activities are a part of its environmental impact management initiative. “Like last year, we calculated our carbon footprint with an online calculator and offset the 35 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions that could not be omitted during the past 12 months,” explains Sander Ickenroth.  By offsetting their non-avoidable operational emissions, Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. supports Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated reforestation projects. "It was very important for us to work with an organization that supports certified projects that are internationally recognized and comply with set standards," Sander Ickenroth said. "We also sought an organization that offered verification by independent auditors. Carbonfund.org met these criteria." So, escape to spring this fall, and book your Skippers Canyon adventure with Queenstown Heritage Tours.
Everybody knows the difference between how we feel on a bright sunny day versus a dark grey day. One of the reasons for this is the difference in the spectrum between bright sunlight and obscured, or artificial, light.  Having evolved millions of years under full sunlight , one would expect this spectrum to be the ideal, balanced and healthy for the human mind and body. Thus to see well and feel good, we need to receive all wavelengths of light. The goal of Viva-Lite® is to offer its customers a balanced source of light, including a continuous balanced light spectrum and temperature, as close to sunlight as possible. And Viva-Lite achieves this with energy-efficiency as well. Viva-Lite is one of the world´s leading suppliers of healthier and greener lighting solutions providing full spectrum daylight and energy-efficient products in form of bulbs, lamps, fixtures and other technology for homes and offices alike. Energy-efficiency and the human health aspects are at the core of Viva-Lite’s business. The energy saving full spectrum daylight bulbs help to increase energy-efficiency and raise working and living standards for people around the world. "Until about one hundred years ago, we spent 90 percent of our daytime outdoors under natural light. Today, it's quite the opposite. Houses, cars, offices, schools, or shopping malls are all built to be energy-efficient and well insulated, protecting us from the sun's natural light and warmth. As a result, we are continuously exposed to artificial lighting; it’s no wonder we feel distressed and sometimes depressed." Toby Ruckert, Founder Viva-Lite® The Viva-Lite energy-saving bulbs offer the full colour spectrum of sunlight, including some vital UV constituents. They are economic and design alternatives to the conventional low-consumption bulbs, with the added healthful advantages of energy-saving performance, visibility and enhanced well-being. The brilliant white light radiates like a ball of light, similar to a light bulb, and offers excellent lighting values. The energy-saving lightbulbs achieve up to 80% energy efficiency compared to conventional bulbs. And Viva-Lite strives to achieve corporate sustainability and environmentally sound practices by reducing the use of toxic substances such as mercury, and working to develop mercury-free alternatives, reducing packaging and waste by using environmentally friendly materials, supporting and promoting safe recycling methods, and avoiding unnecessary CO2 output by intelligent energy consumption, forecasting, optimizing storage, forwarding and warehousing facilities. For the emissions Viva-Lite cannot avoid, they have chosen to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset a portion of their business emissions. “Partnering with Carbonfund.org seemed to be the reliable and proven choice for offsetting emissions generated during the manufacturing process of our products,” says Toby. Viva-Lite also offers news and educational information on its website and via its blog, to help consumers understand the benefits of full spectrum lighting. For more information, please visit http://www.viva-lite.com/ and choose your country for details about their products.
If Carbonfund.org had a tree for every time we said reducing your carbon footprint saves you money, we'd have, well, perhaps a very sizable forest. In these times of federal budget woe, how appropriate is it that the government is wising up and realizing that more efficient energy can save them 11 billion dollars going forward, or the equivalent of 235 million barrels of oil? The federal government's carbon footprint is 121.3 million metric tons, according to a report released by The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). That number is divided into two categories - reducible emissions and that which shall not be touched, which includes military operations, law enforcement and other emissions. Of the 121.3 million, 54.9 million come from this category, with the Department of Defense toting a disproportionately large footprint of 52.2 million metric tons of emissions on its own in 2010. That's 95% of all the non-reducible emissions. Meanwhile, the reducible emissions have dropped 2.5 million metric tons from the 2008 baseline to 66.4 million metric tons. That 2.5 million is equivalent to the annual emissions from 490,196 cars, which is great, but come on government. We can do better than this. According to the president's sustainability goals, the federal government will reduce its direct emissions (things like fuel or building energy use) by 28% and its indirect emissions (energy used in the lifecycle of things we buy and use) by 13% by 2020. This is where the CEQ estimates that planned reductions will save $11 billion in energy costs. Are you happy with the progress, or do you think these are some empty green promises?
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.
Thursday, 06 January 2011 15:30

Fashionable Clothes for Kids with our Planet in Mind

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The husband and wife team of Crab Apple Kids have it right – create a convenient, one-stop online shop for a lovely collection of unique, stylish and high-quality children’s clothing. Their inspiration is simple: they’re the parents of three beautiful children who often serve as models for their online fashions.

Crab Apple Kids features baby, toddler and children’s clothing for every occasion, including special events such as christenings, holidays and new baby gifts.  Their collection of Christening Gowns and dresses is absolutely outstanding.  The line also features matching family collections, perfect for family portraits, special occasions, or  “multiples.” Crab Apple Kids makes an effort to recycle where possible. They recycle and reuse shipping boxes wherever possible, a practice that cuts packaging their products almost in half. “Crab Apple Kids is a children’s store, and we feel anyone purchasing from us has their children’s and grandchildren’s best interest at heart—and so do we.” Their decision to become a Carbonfund.org small business partner, by donating to Carbonfund.org to support renewable energy, reforestation and avoided deforestation, and energy efficiency also reflects their environmentally-minded business sense. The CrabAppleKids.com shopping site gives customers the option to shop by size, brand, category and occasion. They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, free shipping for purchases over $50, and hassle-free returns. Check out the trendy and fashionable styles for your children at: www.crabapplekids.com.
Friday, 18 September 2009 16:11

Fashion For A Cause

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Fashion Fights Poverty is causing waves in the fashion community by making this year’s Annual BenFashion Fights Povertyefit CarbonFree®. Every year Fashion Fights Poverty brings the top eco and ethical high-end fashion designers to the nation’s capital. In what the Washington Post describes as “one of the largest fashion fundraisers in Washington, DC,” the Annual Benefit raises money to combat poverty in some of the poorest parts of the world. By focusing on sustainability, eco friendly, and ethical designs, Fashion Fights Poverty sets the bar for responsibility in the fashion industry. This year’s Annual Benefit exemplifies that commitment, as Fashion Fights Poverty has offset the event's carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org. Take their message to heart – know where your clothes come from, who makes them, and what they’re made out of. We can all make an impact and help better the world through fashion.
Greenbiz.com published an article in May titled Transparency; Regulations Drive LCA Popularity that highlighted the growth in corporate interest to perform Life Cycle Assessments, otherwise known as LCAs. A fill product LCAs is a method used to calculate the carbon footprint of each unit through the entire supply chain – from raw material extraction to use and disposal.  This article highlights a Green Research report that surveys the field of LCAs including companies, academia, and LCA providers. What the report found was that the typical barriers for performing LCAs include costs, time, lack of regulation, and a lack of awareness of the benefits. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="392" caption="image courtesy of scienceinthebox.com"][/caption] As the article points out though, the benefits can far outweigh the barriers.  For example, the cost and time associated with LCAs is heavier on the first product. As data is collected and incorporated into research databases, the re-use of that information cuts significantly both the time and cost of the process for the company’s additional products. Now, how about lack of regulations or awareness of benefits? The article reports that when the survey done asked companies “What best reflects your thinking on the business benefits of LCA?” The top five responses were that the LCA will: enable them to make better products, enable them to respond to customers, put sustainability on scientific footing, enhance brand, and help make them more efficient.  This research report also finds:
“Of 23 companies surveyed that have already conducted LCAs, 82 percent plan to do at least one in the next 12 months. The number of scientific publications that reference LCAs has jumped from 473 in 2008 to 902 in 2010, with 636 referencing LCAs between January and April 2011. And LCA tool vendors and consultants report 30-40 percent sales increases a year, with many companies turning to LCAs to get a better grasp on their impacts, respond to demands for transparency and get ahead of regulations or eco-label requirements.”
An example of an eco-label that requires an LCA is CarbonFree® Product Certification. This certification label is a meaningful, transparent way for companies to provide environmentally friendly, carbon neutral products. By determining a product’s carbon footprint with an LCA, reducing inefficiencies where possible and then offsetting remaining emissions through third-party validated carbon reduction projects, companies can (as the survey points out): differentiate the brand and product, increase sales, improve customer loyalty and, of course, strengthen corporate social responsibility & environmental goals. Companies that have performed LCAs and achieved this certification include: Motorola, LEI Electronics, Intek America, Nika Water, Grounds for Change, Domino Sugar as well as others.  Considering this new research report on LCAs, these companies are clearly onto something! For more information about these products or about the Certification Program, visit: www.carbonfund.org/products