If you’re in the Pine Island, Florida area, plan a side trip to the Earth & Spirit Garden Gallery, a unique destination specializing in Fair Trade, local artwork, and handmade items and gifts. Open Wednesdays – Sundays from 10am - 4pm, Earth & Spirit Garden Gallery hosts a full calendar of fall events for you to enjoy. October is Fair Trade Month, so join Earth & Spirit Garden Gallery in "A Taste of Fair Trade!" on Saturday, October 22nd. Learn how fair trade is making a difference in the world. On Sunday, November 6th, from 1 – 3 p.m., Earth & Spirit Garden Gallery will be the host of the second annual “organic high tea” fashion show on Sunday, November 6, 2011 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. What makes this gathering so unique is the fun twist to this high brow affair. The “high tea” will include tea sandwiches, tasty breads and dessert made from all organic ingredients and organic fair trade tea from Equal Exchange. The setting will be the pristine outdoor space of the garden gallery and the facilitator of the event will be the main designer - Deb Z. A silent auction will be held during the tea with items donated from island artists, restaurants, and destinations with proceeds going to Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. (ACT). Deb Z is the artist/designer and owner of Zwear Fashions. Her distinctive work is with hand-painted designs on washable silks. The fashion show will feature her scarves, capes, jackets, and other accessories. Other local artisans jewelry, accessories, and designs will also be featured in the show. Join us for a spirit-filled afternoon of women supporting women.  Call 239-282-1025 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to make your reservation for the organic high tea fashion show. Earth & Spirit’s Green Flea Market is held the first Saturday of the month from October to April. The Green Flea Market features fresh mango smoothies, live music, and lots of Pine Island down to earth fun.  Island yoga classes are offered every Thursday morning from 10-11:30 a.m. This year to celebrate the "Creative Coast Weekends" on Pine Island, Earth & Spirit will host Artists in the Garden. On the second Saturday of each month beginning in November, the artists and crafters represented in the gallery will be setting up displays and demonstrations of their work throughout the grounds. Come and enjoy meeting the local creative souls at Earth & Spirit.  Earth & Spirit includes a nursery and organic herb garden, a gift shop, and offers landscaping services, specializing in colorful water-features, outdoor metal sculptures, bamboo trellis, and butterfly gardens.  The pavilion is available for event rentals, for weddings, meetings, and gatherings with meaning.  Earth & Spirit keeps an environmental focus by taking a number of steps to minimize their contribution to global climate change, like offering exclusively organic teas, greener packaging, eco-shipping options, using green energy, and supporting the projects and mission of Carbonfund.org as a CarbonFree® Small Business Partner.
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 14:05

This Earth Day Make Love, Not Carbon

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Standard Innovation Corporation, the company behind the We-Vibe – the fastest-selling sexual health product of its type in history, announced a charitable campaign to combat global warming this Earth Day, April 22. The company will donate $5 to Carbonfund.org for every new person who follows @Ms_WeVibe on Twitter or likes the We-Vibe Facebook page between now and April 22 to report that eco-friendly sex is important to them. “It's our way of offsetting the carbon generated from all that extra heavy breathing – and then some,” jokes Danny Osadca, We-Vibe company CEO. “We have always been a carbon-neutral provider of body-safe and eco-friendly products and this is an extra tip of our hat to Mother Nature.” What Exactly is Greener Sex Anyway? Here are five tips on how to be eco-sexier: 1.        Surprise your partner with an environmentally-friendly intimate gift. Look for rechargeable sexual wellbeing products that are made of body-safe and eco-friendly materials, and comply with the world's most stringent standards, including RoHS, WEEE, and REACH. 2.        Rub down with homemade eco-massage oil. Check out Stefanie Iris Weiss’ critically acclaimed enviro-sexual bible, Eco Sex, to find recipes to brew up homemade oils from natural materials. 3.        Read the labels and do your homework, says Certified Sex Educator Lou Paget. It's your body not a manufacturer's test site; know the source and composition of anything you are using on or in your body. 4.        Good clean oxygen is at the heart of sexual arousal and the better you breathe, the better your sex life, according to sex therapist and best-selling author Ian Kerner. Put an air-purifier in your bedroom. Many people suffer from allergies which really impairs their libido and interest in sex. A good air purifier will remove dust and other allergens and increase air-flow. 5.        Find someone who is as passionate about the environment as they are about getting it on. Eco-friendly dating sites, like Ecodater.com and Greensingles.com, are a great way to meet your eco-warrior partner. How to Show Your Support To choose LOVE not CARBON, simply follow Twitter @Ms_WeVibe or like the We-Vibe Facebook page between now and April 22 and $5 will be donated in your honor to Carbonfund.org. Share your ideas for “greening up the bedroom” on the We-Vibe Blog and we’ll send you a free We-Vibe product if your suggestion is selected for our next list.
Coffee: We  buy it in bulk and yet it always seems to make its way back to the grocery list. Being the team of java-lovers we are, Carbonfund.org is particularly pleased to share with our supporters and partners that Grounds for Change is offering a special deal for Earth Day. Just use the coupon code: PLANT-A-TREE-15 to save 15%, and Grounds for Change will plant a tree in your honor. Feel free to share this link with family and friends to spread the word and help plant more trees!

Coupon valid through Monday, April 25th. Click here to choose your brew.

Besides the high-quality coffee, Grounds for Change is a great source for beans year-round because of their commitment to sustainable business. They are a member of 1% for the Planet, donate well over 1% of their total sales to various environmental organizations, and have received a Washington award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability. Why? Because every single bean they roast is Fair Trade Certified, Organic Certified, CarbonFree® Certified and Shade Grown, which means the possibility of a real livelihood for coffee growers, a breath of fresh air for the planet, zero net carbon emissions from crop to cup and healthy forests for migratory songbirds.  Most recently, Grounds for Change became a Certified B Corporation - a new type of corporation that uses the power of business to meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards, practice higher legal accountability standards, and build business constituency for “good business.” With a 15% discount, tree planting for your purchase, and the opportunity to support such a responsible business, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this Earth Day special and try Grounds for Change!
A gem in southwest Florida, Earth and Spirit Garden Gallery is the place to go for sustainable products and living. The store offers a wide variety of local artwork from over 35 artisans, making it easy to beautify your home and help the local arts community. From certified fair trade items to reusable shopping bags, Earth & Spirit also has what you need to lead a more sustainable life. Look for their certified organic produce this fall. Moreover, Earth & Spirit will be a location for Worden Farm harvest members to pick-up goods. Joining a community-supported agriculture farm is a way to get delicious, locally-produced food and cut your carbon footprint. If you’re in the area, be sure to sign up here and pick your food up at Earth & Spirit.
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:53

Durban UN Climate Change Conference in review

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The 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, concluded on December 11 after two weeks of tense negotiation. The outcome?  An agreement to be part of a new treaty to address global warming. This comprehensive global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is different from past climate agreements, as none of its predecessors have been legally binding. The precise phrase used is "a protocol, a legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force," which admittedly leaves a lot of wiggle room, but experts agree this is still a step forward from prior voluntary arrangements.  The agreement, referred to as the "Durban platform," is expected to go into effect in 2020, with discussions slated to finish by 2015. Other takeaways from the Durban conference:
  • Unlike Kyoto, the pending treaty will apply to both developed and developing countries
  • A new Green Climate Fund will provide support to the poorest countries to help them reach their emission reduction goals and adapt to the realities of climate change
Michael Jacobs, visiting professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in London, said of the Durban agreement:

"[It] has not in itself taken us off the 4°C path we are on, but by forcing countries for the first time to admit that their current policies are inadequate and must be strengthened by 2015, it has snatched 2°C from the jaws of impossibility."

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="South African foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (right) gets a congratulatory hug from the conference executive director Christiana Figueres at the closing session."][/caption] The 2 °C to which he refers is the safe threshold, beyond which we'll begin to see catastrophic climate changes.  4 °C refers to the average surface temperature increase in the next century if we continue emitting greenhouse gases at the rate we are. As Jacobs' statement implies, despite the moderate advances made in Durban, there were also astonishing losses—among those, Canada, Russia and Japan's decisions to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol, citing an inability to meet their reduction targets.  It's clear that no matter what the UN climate conferences achieve, negotiations between state leaders aren't going to be enough. Individuals and businesses must do their part by reducing what they can and offsetting what they can't. Carbonfund.org provides helpful tips and resources for reducing your emissions on our site, as well as tools to help you calculate you, your family, or your business' carbon footprint. Once you've reduced as much as possible, donate to our portfolio of carbon reduction projects to become entirely carbon neutral! To avoid 4 °C, we must remain committed to the fight on climate change.  Join us today!
Severe droughts having an "enormous" impact on the US and other countries could occur within the next 30 years unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. In the US drought has caused six to eight billion dollars in damage a year on average, the study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) estimates.  NCAR scientist Aiguo Dai said, "If the projections in this study come even close to being realized, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous." The US and much of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East could see severe droughts, as well as parts of Asia and Southern Europe.  Regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea could experience "almost unprecedented" drought conditions, the study said.  "Severe drought conditions can profoundly impact agriculture, water resources, tourism, ecosystems, and basic human welfare." Although some higher-latitude regions like Northern Europe, Canada and Russia could become wetter, this will not offset the severe droughts. Dai assessed results from 22 computer models used by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as data and published studies on droughts.  His projections are also based on expected greenhouse gas emissions this century. His scientific article is published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change here.  The study was supported by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor. Learn More: Reduce your climate impact as an individual or business. Click here.
Friday, 27 August 2010 12:48

Drink Responsibly with Grounds for Change

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Grounds for Change, a family-owned and operated coffee-roasting business, makes every effort to minimize its impact on our environment. Not only is its coffee certified organic and Fair Trade, but it is also shade grown. Shade grown coffee protects migratory bird habitats, reduces clear-cutting in tropical rainforests and promotes biodiversity. Grounds for Change coffee is also CarbonFree® Certified after a comprehensive life-cycle assessment that accounts for, identifies reductions and offsets the carbon emissions associated with the product. Through the product certification program, Grounds for Change is supporting third-party validated projects that will transition us to a low-carbon future. Be sure to visit the Grounds for Change website and take advantage of September’s coffee of the month—a “pleasing combination of Pacific and East African coffees.” And with the measures that Grounds for Change takes to reduce its carbon footprint, you really will be drinking responsibly!
As I passed my local drugstore on my way to work this morning I realized, with absolute panic, that I had forgotten to get or mail Mother’s Day cards! Along with getting a gift for Mom, you can easily send a free e-card at www.carbonfund.org/mothersday. img3When you give a gift through Carbonfund.org you support our innovative carbon reduction projects on behalf of your Mom and will receive a framable certificate in your Mom's name delivered to you by email quickly. To send your Mom one of the super cute e-cards, just click here. Looking for other last-minute gift ideas? Send Mom a beautiful bouquet from Flowerpetal.com or Organic Bouquet.  Both are Carbonfund.org CarbonFree® Shipping Partners who offset your shipping for orders, and FlowerPetal.com is giving our supporters a 10% discount and will donate 10% of proceeds to Carbonfund.org! Thanks, and here's wishing you, your Mom or a mother you know a happy Mother's Day.