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.
craftsmanThe Craftsman Bed and Breakfast is a great model of our "Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can" motto here at Carbonfund.org.  This bed and breakfast located in Pacific City, Oregon is housed in one of the area's oldest buildings which was restored into the beautiful home you see today. They are located about an hour and a half southwest of Portland on the beautiful Oregon coast. Before offsetting their carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org, The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast reduced their climate impact as much as possible.  From using reusable canvas bags for shopping, composting organic food waste, using rain barrels for landscape watering needs, to double-paned energy efficient windows installed in the B&B. To learn more about their environmental initiatives or to book a visit, please visit The Craftsman.
Costco.com now sells the world’s first CarbonFree® Certified carbon neutral paper shredder, made by GoECOlife™. The paper shredder has earned Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Certified Label, the world's leading carbon neutral product label and the first in the U.S. To earn the CarbonFree® Product Certification, the GoECOlife™ SOHO 8-Sheet ULTRA-QUIET™ Paper Shredder underwent a rigorous product life-cycle assessment performed by WSP Group to determine the carbon footprint. In addition to using energy-saving technology, GoECOlife™ reduced the remaining carbon footprint through support of Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. “We put our shredder through Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Product Certification because of its rigor and third party life-cycle assessment,” said Sam Lee, spokesperson for GoECOlife™. “The Certification provides a credible way for consumers to differentiate products that minimize their impact on climate change and the environment.” The personal GoECOlife™ shredder utilizes an energy-saving technology that prevents vampire energy waste when the shredder is not in use and plugged in. The shredder is manufactured with materials that meet Restriction of Hazardous Substances standards (RoHS-compliant) and is packaged with recycled, partially recycled and/or biodegradable materials. The shredder is available at this link on Costco.com (online only); also, Costco.com is running a promotion through February on the paper shredder! The promo includes a $20 instant rebate, a 12-pack of CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ Lubricant Sheets, an “Envy Green” Reusable Canvas Tote and a “Green Facts” Mouse Pad. You can also learn more about Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Certified Label and Product Certification by visiting www.carbonfund.org/products.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 20:25

Coral Reefs Could Be Gone by 2100

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Did you know that coral reefs affect over 500 million people? While these majestic ocean structures only cover 0.1% of the sea floor, they provide important goods and ecosystem services, such as supporting fisheries, food supplies and tourism. Recent estimates, though, put the demise of coral reefs at less than a century. Coral reefs and their constituent organisms, corals, are threatened by climate change. If coral reefs collapse, some countries could face economic hardship and hunger. Over 100 nations currently protected by wave-resistant reefs will be more vulnerable to storms and flooding. It all comes down to warming sea temperatures. "The increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations since the industrial revolution has driven increases in the average tropical ocean temperature by nearly 0.5°C, a sea level rise of 17 cm, and an increase in surface ocean acidity..." This according to a study published by the Institute of Physics (IOP). As a general rule, the thermal threshold for corals occurs at approximately 1°C above the long-term summer maximum for a region. Damage to corals have already been observed in the form of coral bleaching, which is most commonly caused by stress from temperature change. Here's an example of bleached corals: Global temperatures are continuing to rise. In fact, between 2000-2005, it's been estimated that greenhouse gas emissions grew four times faster globally than the preceding 10 years. Click here to learn how you or your business can reduce emissions today.
Friday, 18 December 2009 15:05

Copenhagen Update: The Waiting Game

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I have spent my career thus far fighting global warming. From standing up to big coal in Virginia to helping businesses and individuals fight global warming now with Carbonfund.org - all I have thought about for years has been global warming. The UN COP15 climate meetings in Copenhagen should have ended by now, and probably should have ended in the failure to produce a global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But, as the New York Times has put it, our world leaders are heading into overtime to try and strike a last minute deal. Nobody wants to leave Copenhagen without a deal - that just looks bad for all parties involved. And as Eric Carlson, Carbonfund.org's President and Copenhagen attendee stated, "It is normal for these types of negotiations to be tension filled and prolonged." But I am sitting here in agony (metaphorically speaking), waiting for what could amount to either be one of the most important announcements of my lifetime or another huge let down. Climate stability is too important for our world leaders to leave Copenhagen empty handed. I am anxiously awaiting a statement of victory - a deal has been reach and emissions will be reduced. Follow Carbonfund.org on Facebook and Twitter for updates and news from Copenhagen!
Thursday, 10 December 2009 16:07

Copenhagen Update: Save Tuvalu!

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"Our islands are disappearing, our coral reefs are bleaching, we are losing our fish supplies. We bring empirical evidence to Copenhagen of what climate change is doing now to our states," -Dessima Williams, a Grenadian diplomat speaking for Alliance of Small Island States
Global warming induced seal level rise is already happening, and in all likelihood will continue for the foreseeable future. To many of us, this is an abstract concept with little everyday relevance - what do I care if the sea rises 3 millimeters a year? Well, 3mm is a lot when you live on an island small island nation that is barely above sea level. In Copenhagen, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) - a coalition of 43 small and extremely vulnerable Island Nations - has called for a new legally binding treaty that will cap temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C. The proposed agreements to date have focused on a 2.0 degree C temperature increase target. Holding temperature increases to 1.5 degrees would mean stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 at about 350 parts per million (ppm) - currently, concentrations are at about 387ppm and increasing every year. According to the International Energy Agency, the aggressive shift in the target will add about $10.5 trillion extra in energy-related investment by 2030 - a figure that is untenable to many Nations would would be asked to foot the bill. Many think that the 2.0 degree C temperature increase target is ambitious considering the current pace of action on the global scale. The small island nation of Tuvalu has been a vocal advocate of this aggressive target. This nation's emissions are tiny compared to total global output, and is essentially powerless to stop global warming without a global treaty. For Tuvalu, the issue of global warming and sea level rise is not abstract. It is real and it is happening now. There is a very real possibility that Tuvalu will be inundated and lost to the sea - sinking 3,000 years of history and culture forever. I have never been to Tuvalu and I didn't know where it was in the world before today. But the idea of losing it forever saddens me unspeakably, not only on behalf of the residents of the country and others like it, but also because I may never have the option to explore this tiny island nation. Global warming threatens to relegate nations, peoples, cultures, traditions, foods, animals and so many other things to the history books for good. I hope that our leaders in Copenhagen have the will and commitment to fight to save out climate and the rich diversity of life and cultures it supports. And I hope that as individuals, we are all committed to reducing our carbon footprints today to help make that process a little easier.