Monday, 29 June 2009 13:06

A Delicious Way to be Greener

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Drexelius Chocolates is a partner of ours with a commitment to going green that extends from their business operation all the way to the owner’s personal life.  Molly Drexelius is Chief Chocolate Taster and Owner of Drexelius Chocolates, which is an online company that specializes in unique chocolate events and online sales of premium, all-natural chocolate bars. Molly is devoted to great chocolate: where it comes from, how it is grown and processed, what it tastes like and helping to raise awareness of fine chocolate. Her close relationship with the chocolate makers allows her to research, gain understanding and carry better products. “Drexelius Chocolates is doing our part locally, but we want to make a difference globally. By partnering with Carbonfund.org, we support the larger changes that we want to share with the world.” As a partner, Drexelius is supporting Carbonfund.org's third-party verified offset projects to help reduce carbon emissions & fight global warming. Molly also plans on searching the world for the best chocolate and bringing it right to your fingertips at their website!
Yearning for yarn of pure quality and a wide variety of colors and texture?  Ecobutterfly Organic's mission is to provide knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers with a very "green" and high quality source for all kinds of certified organic cotton yarn, hemp and fiber, with a vital focus on vegan and Fair Trade products. They also provide arts and crafts accessories, including knitting needles, beautiful recycled glass buttons and more, that are strictly eco-organic and/or recycled only. Ecobutterfly started as an offshoot to a knit shop that was started by Stephanie Schiff’s grandmother in 1955.  Bea's Knit Shop has been a cornerstone in the knitting community of Los Angeles for over 50 years, and Stephanie ran the business with her grandmother starting in 1988 until her grandmother Bea passed away in 1997. “I learned so much from her and I cherish everything she passed on to me. She was the best and I miss her more than anyone,” says Stephanie. Stephanie’s love for organics, vegetarianism and 30 years of learning the knitting craft from her grandmother was a perfect combination for her business path. She knew that she wanted to carry organic cotton yarns and other natural items, and she wanted to make sure that she could find sources for certified organics and Fair Trade goods when possible. She made the decision never to offer highly chemical processed synthetic rayon yarns just because they are made from natural fibers such as bamboo, soy, corn, tencel, banana, etc. These natural fibers are made into a chemical soup and extruded like spaghetti to make the silky "rayon" yarns – not an eco-friendly result. All of the cotton yarn they sell are organic, using no chemicals or pesticides to grow the cotton and no chemical processes used on the raw picked cotton to the finished yarn product. The yarns are very soft and wash very well. The “color grown” yarns often get deeper in color with hot water and machine drying, while most conventional dyes fade over time. For example, their Peruvian Mariposa certified organic and Fair Trade cotton yarn is a roving yarn core wrapped with fine threads for a fantasy texture. This organic cotton yarn is not only hand brushed, rustic and very soft, but hand harvested and wood vat dyed by hand with organic eco-friendly dyes in 28 naturally-derived, vegetable-based colors. Small variations in color may result from the artisanal process which adds to the beauty and uniqueness of this yarn. The Ecobutterfly Organics web site is powered by the wind and sun, and they contribute to Carbonfund for offsets to help reforestation projects. And their environmentally friendly business practices didn't stop there. Customer service is a high priority, and all orders are sent out the same or the next business day unless otherwise specified. Ecobutterfly insists on reusing packaging with the highest percentage of post consumer recycled paper and shipping materials available, as well as 100% Non-GMO (NO corn PLA), sustainable and biodegradable cellulose in place of plastic. They keep unnecessary paperwork for shipped orders down to a minimum, and all information is sent via e-mail for customers' records. Stephanie dedicates the Ecobutterfly Organics website to the memory of her Grandma Bea, and we join her in saying “Thank you, Grandma Bea, for your beautiful inspiration.” Visit her website to plan your next handicrafts project and be inspired by her legacy.
polar2With Dec. 31 approaching, please consider making a year-end, tax-deductible donation to Carbonfund.org to fight global warming today! Through the environmental leadership and support of donors, Carbonfund.org in 2009:
  • Reached 5 billion pounds of CO2 reduced through carbon reduction projects around the globe;
  • Supported innovative projects like India's Neria low-impact hydroelectric project which generates clean power, helps create jobs and local investment in clean technologies;
  • Received the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS) and Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) dual validation for the 1,870 acre Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Reforestation Project in Louisiana;
  • Certified new products including Motorola's Renew W233 mobile phone as CarbonFree®, the leading carbon neutral product label in the world;
  • Joined the 1Sky, 350, TckTckTck, and the Clean Energy Works coalitions;
  • Was featured in USA Today, US News, Mother Nature Network, among many others, and participated in Earth Day on the National Mall;
  • Participated in Maya Lin's What is Missing? campaign on deforestation;
  • Added Motorola, Transamerica, Samsung and numerous small and start-up businesses to the CarbonFree® business program, promoting the message: "Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can't™."
Please take a moment and make a year-end, tax deductible donation to Carbonfund.org to support our programs and projects. Help Carbonfund.org get to 10 billion pounds of CO2 reduced. For every $20 you donate, Carbonfund.org will also plant a tree in your honor. December 31st is almost here so please, donate now. Thank you!
Washington, DC is noticeably one of the greener cities today, with a recent boom in energy-efficient building and renovation, shoppers using reusable bags and restaurant menus with organic or sustainably produced fare. Founding Farmers, the city's first LEED-certified restaurant for greener design and a Carbonfund.org partner offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, has won a Mayor's Environmental Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Restaurant. A restaurant that is succeeding in operating greener and serving up great food is a big accomplishment and an example for others given the city's very competitive restaurant scene (and many foodies). The District Department of the Environment is making a case study of Founding Farmers available at its website. The city notes that Founding Farmers "focuses on sourcing food and products that have been grown and harvested through sustainable agricultural methods, from the meats, poultry and produce, to the beverages, spirits and wines. Just six months after opening, the restaurant was named a Certified Green Restaurant™ by the Green Restaurant Association for daily operational practices to reduce waste..." The city also notes that Founding Farmers offsets its remaining business carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org. The offsetting supports third-party validated projects that are reducing carbon emissions, such as clean, renewable energy. Founding Farmers will be accepting the award presented by Mayor Adrian Fenty's office on Thursday. You can view the other award winners here. Stay tuned to our twitter feed for more on this news!
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 13:26

Every Day is Earth Day at Marstel-Day

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At Marstel-Day, LLC, new employees sign an agreement, as part of their offer letter, to keep Earth Day as a “set-aside” day each year, reserved for company-sponsored environmental service events in their community. It might sound a little unorthodox, but for this Virginia-based environmental consulting firm, it’s just business as usual. With Earth Day swiftly approaching, members of the Virginia offices are gearing up for projects that include lending a hand to Tree Fredericksburg in their efforts to reforest Fredericksburg’s urban areas and parks, helping out the non-profit Downtown Greens at their community park,  and also sponsoring other Earth Day events in the community.  Over on the west coast in Oakland, California, office-wide projects include participating in a cleanup of Lake Merritt, as well as tree-planting and native gardening projects. Each year since the company’s inception in 2002, Marstel-Day employees have participated in a wide variety of Earth Day activities, such as building rain barrels, planting trees, installing native plant gardens, and working in local gardens in the communities surrounding their office locations. Marstel-Day is a woman-owned, HUBZone certified small business founded by company President and Harvard-educated entrepreneur Rebecca R. Rubin to further the protection, enhancement and preservation of natural resources. Marstel-Day is an idea-driven, value-based environmental company providing sustainability consulting to the public and private sector. “Our goal is to identify, adopt, and promote progressive environmental standards and practices that demonstrate our commitment to sustainable energy, natural resource conservation, habitat and open space protection, and overall environmental excellence, and to incorporate this knowledge and information into the advice we provide to our clients,” said Rebecca. The consultants at Marstel-Day provide clients with concepts, strategies and plans of action for landscape-scale conservation of natural resources, climate adaptation plans, ecosystem services, energy planning and “net zero” strategies, water security, smart growth and transportation, and the management of issues relating to encroachment pressures on government lands, open space and habitat. Their track record of award-winning performance demonstrates the consistent excellent results they achieve for their clients. The firm incorporates climate adaptation and ecosystem services into most of its studies and analyses.  Marstel-Day assists federal agencies, local governments, and private companies realize the ways in which ecosystem services save costs and help meet their federally mandated climate adaptation objectives. Internally, the company is devoted to “greening” practices. In addition to the Earth Day service requirement, Marstel-Day manages its own recycling, practices composting throughout the warmer months, and has installed a native plant garden.  Marstel-Day also partners with Carbonfund.org to offset its office energy usage and employee business travel emissions.  A firm that that truly “walks the walk” on Earth Day and every day, Marstel-Day is the consulting firm of choice for eco-conscious companies seeking the best in environmental advice.
Cycling is the world most energy efficient means of travel. If one compares units of energy to units of energy and mile for mile, estimates of of bike MPG are almost always equivalent to hundred(s) MPG - meaning that a bike can take you farther with fewer global warming causing carbon emissions (and other pollutants) - and that is a good thing. Biking also helps to promote good health which keeps society's costs of health care down. It reduces burden on over-crowded streets and public transportation. Helps to improve mental health. Improves safety of neighborhoods. And creates healthy and sustainable habits that can last a lifetime. But the biggest problem that cyclists face is safety. Let's face it, you are exposed to the elements on a bike - road conditions, weather, and crazy traffic patterns can all affect cyclist safety. For that reason, it is important for cities, municipalities, states and the federal government to prioritize development of cycling infrastructure that helps to improve cyclist safety and encourages participation in this sustainable means of transportation. A big step towards improving cyclist safety was taken as the US Department of Transportation awarded a $23 million grant to help complete part of the East Coast Greenway in the Phila., Pa. region. The East Coast Greenway is a developing bike trail system that spans 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. The grant will help to create or preserve about 1,000 jobs as it helps to make the region a more bicycle friendly area by building trails, bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure to encourage participation. Cycling in cities is normally the quickest way to travel and does amazing things to improve local air quality and minimize urban congestion. When complete, the East Coast Greenway will provide cyclists of all skill levels a safe way to see the east coast and navigate our nation's largest cities. While not all of us will be able to make it up and down the full 3,000 mile route, having such an accessible bike route near tens of millions of Americans will benefit us all.
Give green this year-- e-certificates that reduce someone's carbon footprint while supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects that help fight global warming. You choose the amount you want to give, or offset the average annual carbon footprint of someone with a ZeroCarbon™ Individual or ZeroCarbon™ Family gift. This year, Carbonfund.org also offers a tree & Chico Bag bonus. For every $20 donated, Carbonfund.org will plant a tree in your honor, and for every $50, get a Carbonfund.org Chico Bag, which is a reusable, lightweight bag for shopping or carrying items around.pnglogo The holidays don't have to mean getting stuff. It's a great time to get something meaningful for someone at a price you can afford. Visit Carbonfund.org's holiday page to start shopping! Check out these other green gift ideas as well at Planet Green.
Thursday, 05 August 2010 16:02

Creating Harmony Between Building and Landscape

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All too often, we place heavy emphasis on the interior of a space and can neglect exterior aesthetics. Anne Penniman Associates, LLC shows people the inherent potential of an area’s surrounding landscape. For residential projects, Anne Penniman Associates strives to create organic extensions of clients’ homes. The company also works with private organizations, institutions, and communities to revitalize neighborhoods and public domains. With each landscape design project, Anne Penniman Associates translates its clients’ vision into balance between form and function. As an extension of its core business, the company is committed to sustainable and low-impact design practices. For each site design, the company’s landscape architects utilize local contractors and local materials when possible, and consider biodiversity aspects in plant selection. Their commitment also extends to the office and beyond–from energy-efficient lighting to employee car pooling, to offsetting carbon emissions through Carbonfund.org in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Learn more about how you as an individual or business can take steps to reduce your own carbon footprint.