Tuesday, 28 June 2011 14:08 Written by Linda Kelly
[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.
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 20:12 Written by Ivan Chan
Congratulations 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. “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.
Friday, 14 August 2009 11:42 Written by Ivan Chan
Five experts including Eric Carlson are featured in the current Seed Magazine on the value of carbon offsets to reduce global carbon emissions. Third-party standards, verification and auditing are the hallmarks of real and high-quality offsets. The key question about a carbon offset is: Is it real, and who says so? Carbon offset providers should offer, and purchasers should look for, offset projects that are third-party verified to the highest international standards and project portfolios that are third-party audited. The annual audit should also be made publicly available. As for cap-and-trade, which is the mechanism to reduce emissions in climate legislation such as the recently passed bill in the House of Representatives, Carlson said, "A cap-and-trade system promotes the most cost-effective carbon reductions, whether internally or externally. Cap-and-trade allows us to tackle climate change in the most cost-effective and fastest way possible." As the goal of climate legislation is to reduce emissions, where the reductions take place isn't important, but that they occur. Like the acid rain experience years ago which used a market-based approach successfully, cap-and-trade will reduce emissions sustainably, equivalent to a 2 to 3 percent reduction per year to achieve the over 80% reductions that the country's aiming for.
Thursday, 20 August 2009 12:41 Written by Chris Driver
Carbonfund.org will participate in the National Business Travel Association’s 2009 Convention in San Diego, CA from August 23-26. This marks the second straight year that Carbonfund.org has offset the Convention, and this year we’ve created a website where attendees can calculate and offset the footprint resulting from their travel to San Diego. Business travel is frequently the second largest part of a company’s carbon footprint, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with NBTA again to help spread the word about how important it is for companies to make their business travel greener. Several of our partners will be in attendance at NBTA including Virgin America, JetBlue, Avis Budget Group, and Amtrak. If you happen to be there as well, please stop by and say hello to the Carbonfund.org team at booth #1346.
Friday, 12 March 2010 17:12 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 23 September 2009 14:31 Written by Lesley Carlson
Today is the 6th anniversary of when Carbonfund.org was registered as a 501(c)(3). And, five days from now is our daughter Renee’s 6th birthday. Yes, fall 2003 was busy for the Carlsons, but it was all intertwined. Eric had long worked on energy efficiency and his interest in renewable energy as a way to solve climate change, but he saw no sign of the breakthrough necessary to really solve the problem. Seeing our beautiful Sonja born in Fall 2001 made the matter personal and urgent. What would happen to our child if global warming continued on its threatening march? Would we be able to say to her that we did what we could to stop it? Carbonfund.org resulted from three observations: 1) Acid rain, a former environmental urgency, had been solved primarily from a cap-and-trade on SO2; 2) Individuals and businesses were already taking steps to reduce their CO2 emissions through conservation and energy efficiency and through the Chicago Climate Exchange; and 3) Dramatic legislation to solve the problem was nowhere on the horizon. We wanted to provide individuals and businesses an affordable way to understand and neutralize their own carbon footprint. Above is the banner to our first website, which was put up in January 2004. A few months later we had the moxie to start a 100,000 metric ton challenge, which given the $3200 we raised in 2004, took a little while to attain. But we did. And then some. Today, thanks to our early supporters to whom we had a lot to prove, but who gave us legitimacy and voice, and to those who have joined us ever since, we celebrate that we are offsetting over 5 billion pounds (over 2,260,000 metric tons) of CO2 and our relationship with more than 450,000 individuals and 1,200 businesses to build a greener future. We are also excited that national brands, such as Motorola and Domino Sugar have adopted our CarbonFree® Product Certification, making their products carbon neutral from start to finish and that we have helped in preserving or growing trees in Nicaragua, Louisiana, Brazil and China, covering an area over 8 times the size of Central Park. We have also been proud of our wonderful workforce committed to transforming the way in which people think of, use, and purchase energy, or “reduce what [we] can, and offset what [we] can’t.” While we are not yet at our original goal of moving “toward a zero carbon world,” we have shown that carbon reductions can happen at reasonable cost and can invigorate the economy and that people are willing to make the changes to get there, even during serious economic times. The good news is that with all of us working together, we are having an effect. Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute wrote in the September 20 Washington Post that US CO2 emissions are down 9% over the last two years and continue to drop this year. For the first time, we are showing that we can reduce our climate impact. Together with our supporters, Carbonfund.org will make more investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and forest-based projects and educate individuals and businesses on what they can do. In addition, we all need to press our leaders for national change. This session, Congress will be considering that dramatic legislation we dreamed of so long ago. Carbon offsetting has helped us to see it. Those of us who have led the fight against climate change need to join our voices and add more to get the Waxman-Markey bill passed. Without our individual and national action, it will be hard for any kind of substantial international climate change treaty to happen. This is how it works. Through realizing a private dream of starting an organization or taking personal action, every individual can say that we did what we could to stop it.
- Host an online training session on social media tools
- Invite you to an email listserv where we can share articles, techniques, contacts, etc.
- Provide you with ongoing support and material to help you find your voice online