A stroll through the National Palace Museum of Taiwan, viewing the remarkable treasures and artifacts of Chinese dynasties across history, impresses visitors with the high value and venerated role that jade carvings and jewelry played in Chinese history. Indeed, jade is a gemstone with a long and fascinating history. Though its reputation is perhaps made most famous by the Chinese, jade has played prominent roles in many other cultures in North to South America, New Zealand, Europe and Russia - all of which revered jade as a stone of high value and status. Bringing beauty into people's lives is the goal of the Cassiar Jade Collection, and they specialize in providing the highest quality of nephrite jade since 1967 as a direct manufacturer and importer of jade jewelry and carvings. In recent years, they have extended their lines to include other very unique and selected semi-precious stone products for the marketplace. But Cassiar Jade isn't just taking stones out of the earth - they've made it an integral part of their business to give back to the earth, too. The polar bear is their keystone symbol representing all wildlife, people, and lands threatened by global warming. Cassiar Jade Collection is committed to help, and five percent of their sales revenue from bear carvings is given to various non-profit organizations that support research projects that benefit the world's polar bears, as well as educational programs that enlighten the international community about the issues surrounding the polar bear's deteriorating habitat. Cassiar Jade also partners with Carbonfund.org to offset general business emissions in their ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. Now we know about the green business practices of Cassiar Jade, but what else do we know about the green stones? The mysteries of jade are ancient and still persist to mystify jade admirers with its unique qualities as the "Stone of Heaven". This gemstone is believed to bring its wearer good health, good luck and protection. So, while everything has a price, jade can be considered priceless because it stands for the essence of purity and the symbol of life. The Chinese consider jade to be the "Stone of Heaven" and a sacred mineral, used for making sacred implements and articles. Jade also was revered in the Mayan culture as the "Sovereign of Harmony", facilitating balance within the physical, emotional, and intellectual planes. It is believed that Montezuma, king of the Mayan empire, was relieved to hear that the Spanish Conquistadors were only interested in gold, not jade, when they arrived in the New World. Jade in New Zealand was honored by the Maori natives who consider it a talisman of protection, to provide an invisible defense against attack and illness. But jade has several forms and imitators, so it’s important to work with knowledgeable sources when purchasing jade items and jewelry. Jade is valued for its color and its lack of cracks. Polished pieces should be shiny, and hold a luster that appears to be greasy and is cold and smooth to the touch. For finished carved pieces, the quality of craftsmanship and the overall color of the piece is the most important value factor, but attention is also paid to translucency, texture, and pattern.

So if the allure of the “Stone of Heaven” has caught your eye, check out the Cassiar Jade Collection for high quality jade carvings and jewelry, and reliable service from a highly committed team of jade experts.

Chile is a country of startling contrasts, extreme natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. In fact some 2,500 miles (think San Francisco to New York) separates the northern and southernmost tips of this country. Such vast expanse offers an amazing variety of landscapes, from the desert to the challenging ice fields of Patagonia. In a land so characterized by its variety of beautiful landscapes, and its willingness to grow big yet restrained by its narrow natural boundaries, you will find an in-bound tour operator that takes you on those unforgettable journeys you can still touch when you close your eyes back home. Cascada Expediciones is not just a group of people that take you the greatest spots in all of Chile, but they also enlighten you, passing along their wisdom in and care of what is most dear to them: the environment. What started as a small kayaking school is now a passionate and world renowned Chilean in-bound tour operator that promotes environmentally sustainable tourist services, including a carbon offsetting program with Carbonfund.org to offset all emissions created by guest and guide travel to, from and within each destination. The belief that nature and our surroundings are a natural high, and a mental and physical charge is the very core of the philosophy that moves them. You won’t feel like an outsider; on the contrary, you’ll feel right at home and get the feeling you’ve been going there for quite some time now. Throughout its twenty years of operation, Cascada Expediciones has garnered many recognitions for exception travel experiences including:
  • Virgin Holiday Responsible Tourism Awards 2009
  • Listing on the “BEST ADVENTURE TRAVEL COMPANIES [on earth]” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
  • Rough Guides’ book – Clean Breaks: 500 New Ways to See the World - August 2009, includes special recommendation of Cascada Expediciones.
But perhaps their own clients say it best with client testimonials such as: “…absolutely fantastic...Ecocamp was amazing…we loved the staff…it was a trip of a lifetime…Cascada travel was the best…great memories of Patagonia…wonderful staff exceeded my expectations.” The beauty, variety and adventure of a Chilean vacation awaits you - explore the immensity with Cascada Expediciones!
Friday, 19 February 2010 12:48

Carpet CarbonFree® with Tandus Floorcovering

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Want environmentally friendly carpeting but don’t know where to look?  Check out CarbonFree® Certified carpeting from Carbonfund.org partner Tandus. With an environmental commitment to LEAVE NO TRACE, Tandus has taken an innovative approach to reduce the carbon footprint of their products and their business. TndTo receive Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Product Certification, the carbon footprints of the Tandus carpets were calculated though an intensive life-cycle assessment (LCA), the footprints were reduced where possible and the remainder was neutralized through support of our third-party validated Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Reforestation Project. Further, with their efforts to conserve energy and utilize renewable energy along with their use of recycled materials in their products, Tandus is demonstrating that carpeting can be beautiful, functional and have a smaller environmental impact. Tandus creates floorcovering solutions that enhance spaces for learning, working, healing, and living through inspired design, leading-edge technology, achievement toward sustainability, and a commitment to continued leadership.  Tandus offers its customers single-source innovative product design and technology, comprehensive services, and environmental leadership. Based in Dalton, GA, Tandus can be found online at www.tandus.com.

Today’s business environment is all about efficiency and optimization – how to achieve the highest rate of results with the lowest costs, least amount of environmental impact and highest customer satisfaction. Businesses need tools to help them accomplish these goals. Carma Systems has developed unique “machine-to-machine” monitoring systems that help their customers do just that – measure and monitor their progress and results as they’re happening. Carma Systems was founded in 2007 by a team of creative tech enthusiasts (and a kitty) who are dedicated to bring high-quality, cutting-edge wireless solutions to the B2B market. With a focus on building long-term solutions to conserve the time, money and resources of their clients, Carma Systems was born. Carma Systems’ customized devices can help to monitor data for many industries in many applications, including fleet management, athletic training and performance, supply chain management, manufacturing, facility management and healthcare. While Carma Systems’ products have many applications, fleet management demonstrates the full range of effectiveness of employing Carma Systems. Major companies like UPS and FedEx have already implemented M2M technology into their fleet vehicles, with proven results of reliability and success. Research shows that the information collected using M2M technology helps to track the health of vehicle components, measure acceleration and deceleration speeds, decrease idle time, and as a result their customers save money and time. The benefits of Carma Systems in fleet management include: • Lower insurance costs for fleet vehicles • Reduce gas mileage and CO2 emissions • Increase fuel efficiency • Monitor driving safety and route precision Carma Systems also keeps their focus on eco-friendly business practices.  They created a proactive environmental policy called CarmaEarth that lays a foundation for responsible product development and reducing the impact of business operations. Their products are designed to use as little material as possible, thereby reducing their footprint on the environment. Along with the reduced volume of material needed, they also use low impact materials such as upcycled plastic which has up to 65% post consumer content and reduces the cradle-to-grave impact by up to 50% when compared to conventional plastics. While Carma Systems has taken strides to reduce waste and emissions, they recognize that they cannot completely eliminate carbon emissions. To take care of the rest, Carma Systems partners with Carbonfund.org to make emission offset donations to take carbon out of the atmosphere through Carbonfund.org’s various projects such as reforestation, energy efficiency and landfill off-gas recovery. To learn more about Carma Systems’ innovative products and services, please visit www.carmasys.com.

care2butterfly-2Care2 is a large online community for taking action and supporting environmental and social causes, including global warming, education, animal welfare, and civil rights.  Recently, Care2 has launched a new way for its members to easily contribute to these great causes for free.  In the Butterfly Rewards Program, members earn credits by taking action on the site and can redeem their credits to buy gifts for the world such as a rehydration salt pack to save a child from dysentery, the planting of a tree, or supporting a carbon reduction project like a wind farm. Randy Paynter, President and Founder of Care2 says, "This program makes it incredibly easy and fun to make a difference - in a very personal way.  Each person can decide which project to support with the credits they earn.  With millions of members taking action across the site, we're excited to see the collective impact we can make." You can learn more about the Butterfly Rewards Program here.  Please join Care2's compassionate community and take real action that makes a difference.  You can sign up here for free. Care2 is a CarbonFree® Partner with Carbonfund.org and offsets their business footprint.  Additionally, they offer a free "click to donate" feature on their site.  For every click, they will offset a pound of carbon dioxide!  Check out click to donate here.
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 09:54

Care2: Empowering You to Make a Difference

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care2Care2 is a community that empowers individuals to make a difference. Care2 has over 18 million members, making it the web's largest community of people seeking to make a difference in issues like green living, human rights and animal welfare.  The letter from the President Randy Paynter on the Care2 site says it all, “The idea is simple: Make it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most.”

The Care2 site offers a plethora of engagement options, and here are just a few of them:

  • healthy living – from food, to health, to pets to family this section of Care2 gives members categorized advice on ways that members can improve the overall well being of their lives in a variety of ways.
  • community – want to join up with like-mined people? This is the place to meet people who are also looking for you, such as: travel, singles, parenting, hobbies, and many more.
  • start a petition – this great feature allows individuals, non-profits, and other groups to make their voices heard in a simple but effective way to start petitions, spread the word, and get voices heard. In fact, ever notice the petition widget on the Carbonfund.org site? This is one way that Care2 and Carbonfund.org partner together to get a pro-environment message out to readers like you!
  • eCards – for any occasion, Care2 offers eCards that range from spiritual to sentimental to romantic to funny. These cards are great for a special occasion or “just because.”
  • free click to donate – this is one of the easiest ways you can support Carbonfund.org! With Care2s click to donate, a member can simply go onto the site and click on the Carbonfund.org cause under global warming to click our cause and get Care2 donations. This is a great way to support us and other causes without impacting your bank account.
  • news network – the Care2 news network gives news from the US and around the world on many newsworthy areas including government, politics, culture, and more. This is a great one-stop shop to get the news that you care about.
  • daily deals – looking to save on coffee, cosmetics, clothes and other socially/environmentally conscious stuff? Care2 provides a deal every day for subscribers that can save big money and support great businesses. 
  • green jobs – if you want a green job in policy, renewable energy, your favorite non-profit or more, this tool offers a great list of green jobs that can get you to work in the green economy. A great resource for folks looking for any kind of green collar job!

These engagement options that Care2 offers are just a few of many that members can explore. Carbonfund.org is certainly proud to partner with such a forward thinking organization. The membership is free and easy to sign up for so check it out today. To learn more please visit: http://www.care2.com or http://www.thepetitionsite.com.

[caption id="attachment_9662" align="alignleft" width="277" caption="image courtesy of chicagofree.info"][/caption] Next Monday’s 60th Annual Fourth of July Fireworks celebration in Gunnison, CO will be, to our knowledge, the nation’s first carbon-neutral celebration of its kind. Thanks to the forward-thinking actions of the Gunnison Rotary Club, the Gunnison independence day celebration includes a carbon-offsetting program to account for the carbon emissions created by the fireworks display, the participants’ travel to and from the event, and the refreshments and entertainment provided that evening. Thousands of locals and visitors make the annual pilgrimage to the Gunnison Rotary Club’s fireworks celebration, which raises funds for college scholarships and local charitable causes. In honor of the 60th anniversary of the celebration, the Rotary Club is planning its largest fireworks display ever. Gunnison Rotary Club president, Mike Callihan, has worked with Carbonfund.org for several years to offset emissions from the Gunnison Car Show event, this year to be held August 19-21. Mike approached us with the idea to calculate emissions from a fireworks display, and he did the bulk of the research to determine the amount of carbon dioxide generated by the pounds of fireworks to be used at this year’s 60th annual display. “There’s nothing neutral when it comes to Americans celebrating the 4th of July – we all love the fireworks.   But now, with Carbonfund.org’s help, our Rotary Club is going carbon neutral," says Mike.  "We’re leaving in all the fun and fireworks, but offsetting the carbon impact.  It’s the responsible way to celebrate our nation’s birthday.  Our national goal should be to make every 4th of July carbon neutral within 5 years. It’s a simple thing, really, but one with an incredible impact.   Over 235 years ago, we declared our independence from foreign tyranny.  Let’s now declare our independence from the tyranny of carbon!” All the festivities will be held at Jorgensen Park with live music, a beer garden and food court launching at 4:30 p.m. At dusk, a look back 60 years reveals Gunnison as it was in 1951 by Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, an entertaining local historian and professor at Western State College of Colorado. Military veterans will be honored just before the fireworks fly at 9:15 p.m. Donations are encouraged to cover costs and raise money for Rotary Club projects. Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. For more about the year-round events in the progressive community of Gunnison-Crested Butte, check out their tourism association site for great travel planning ideas.
ww2Congratulations to our partner Better World Books, awarded the US Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 WasteWise Gold Award for Paper Reduction! Better World Books is a socially conscious online retailer of new and used books. BWB doesn't throw away books; any used books it can’t sell are either sent directly to one of its nonprofit literacy partners or are recycled. According to their blog, this practice has saved more than 32 million books from landfills while now raising over $7.8 million in funding for literacy and education initiatives around the world through the sale of those books. logo3“Every year, almost a million tons of books are thrown away. We’re proud of our company’s accomplishments reducing that tremendous and unnecessary waste,” says CEO David Murphy. “By moving discarded books out of landfills and back into the reading cycle, we’re not only helping the environment, but also raising money for good causes and promoting literacy. We are honored to be recognized by the EPA and to receive this WasteWise Gold award.” Better World Books also ships books CarbonFree® through its shipping partnership with Carbonfund.org. Our partnership has reduced over 5,300 metric tons of carbon emissions, supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. To put this in perspective, that is equivalent to the carbon sequestered annually by over 1,100 acres of pine forest, or the carbon emissions from roughly 600,000 gallons of gasoline consumed! Congrats Better World Books!! Click here to visit Better World Books.