press releases | carbonfund.org
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:53

Durban UN Climate Change Conference in review

Written by
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

Written by
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.
During my undergrad days, I would often spend nearly $500 per semester onBookRenter textbooks and other required reading for my classes.  With four classes every semester, that is over $100 per class!  I wasn’t even a science major – some of my friends spent even more.  Enter BookRenter.com, a CarbonFree® Partner who can save you hundreds of dollars per year on your textbooks and required reading.  What’s more, they are offsetting the round-trip carbon emissions from their textbook rentals! BookRenter allows you to rent hassle-free and simply ship your books back when you’re done.  If you want to keep a few, no worries.  You can turn the rental into a purchase.  Not only is renting textbooks cheaper, but can be a more sustainable choice.  There is no need for piles of unwanted books outside your campus bookstore. This semester (and next!), rent textbooks with BookRenter.com to save money and prevent unwanted books at the end of your semester.  You can also enter their St. Patrick’s Day sweepstakes on Facebook!
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 08:43

Dolphin Blue Helps Close the Loop in America's Recycling

Written by
Choosing greener, environmentally sustainable office products is more important than ever in the U.S., as the amount of waste sent to landfills continues to rise. Dolphin Blue, a leading online retailer of green office products and printing, has joined Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Partner program as the next step in reducing its carbon footprint and supporting carbon reduction projects. Individual waste generation in the nation is about 4.5 pounds per person daily as of 2008, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, up from 4.4 pounds a decade earlier. The good news is that while Americans are on average still throwing away more, they are also recycling or opting for recycled products more. The country’s recycling rate stands at about 33 percent as of 2008, compared with about 28 percent a decade earlier. Dolphin Blue has helped close loop in recycling by supplying eco-friendly products to businesses from at least 20 percent post-consumer recycled material. In 1992, Dolphin Blue founder Tom Kemper, conducted the first public recycling event at the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. He collected and sorted 350 fifty-gallon bags of recyclable materials, but had little success finding anyone to accept them. Kemper realized that recycling works only when consumers and businesses are buying products made with recycled materials. He founded Dolphin Blue the following year. “Carbonfund.org is an organization that shares the values on which we have built our business,” said Kemper, Dolphin Blue’s CEO and president. “As Dolphin Blue continues to grow as an organization, our ecological footprint increases, and everything I’m able to do to offset that footprint creates value for future generations. Carbonfund.org assists us in meeting that challenge.” Eric Carlson, Carbonfund.org's president said, “Dolphin Blue, like Carbonfund.org, is making it easy and affordable for businesses to reduce their climate impact and become sustainable, not only in their operations but in their purchasing decisions. We are proud that Dolphin Blue is now part of our CarbonFree Partner program.” Dolphin Blue has expanded its eco-friendly product offering to include remanufactured laser toner and inkjet cartridges, business and academic calendars, stationery and other supplies, as well as post-consumer recycled paper. To further reduce its carbon footprint, the company sells only green printing and office supplies manufactured in the U.S. Dolphin Blue uses energy-efficient office equipment, sources energy from wind power, and reuses packing and other office materials. The company also supports third-party validated projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation in its partnership with Carbonfund.org.
Our CarbonFree® partner, Digitope Limited, develops innovative software for working effectively with music, photos and icons. When it comes to taking care of the environment, Digitope is committed to reducing their impact. All Digitope software is sold and delivered over the internet. By distributing their product in an entirely digital manner, they are saving the production of discs, packaging and shrink-wrap and eliminating the need to travel to a store. Digitope makes usage of energy-efficient computers and equipment, recycled paper and their offices are lit with efficient CFL lighting. Software companies across the world are starting to realize great cost savings by switching over to an all-digital distribution model, which not only cuts costs, but prevents a lot of unnecessary materials from being produced. Digitope provide another fantastic example of a company that is committing to reducing what they can!
Go west, young man! But do it with style. Meet Destination St. Louis, a full-service destination management and convention services company with 21 years experience serving visitors to St. Louis, specializing in complete event management, transportation logistics, custom tour programs, registration and more. When you work with Destination St. Louis, you select a dedicated team of professionals willing to give you the best in personalized service. Whether it’s an event for 500 at the Gateway Arch, a city-wide shuttle system or a tour program, their flexible, knowledgeable staff is always responsive to your changing needs. As experts in serving the St. Louis Metro area, Destination St. Louis can ensure that your group’s visit will be one they remember for years to come. Your guests’ first impression of a city can be a lasting one. Personalized meet and greet services at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, or other area airfields, will make the transfer to the hotel easy and comfortable. Whether you are planning transportation service for an individual VIP or a convention of thousands, Destination St. Louis meets the unique needs of your organization. Destination St. Louis is proud to provide carbon neutral shuttles for their clients. Fuel consumption will be calculated for each shuttle and an appropriate amount of carbon offsets — re-forestation, renewable energy credits or energy efficiency — will be selected by the client and offset through Carbonfund.org. Additionally, Destination St. Louis’ motorcoach affiliates have many “green” policies in place. They currently recycle all used oil, batteries, tires, antifreeze and transmission fluid. In addition they also recycle any used cans, bottles and paper products. All motorcoaches have a no idling policy that has been enforced for over two years. All vehicles are not allowed to idle their coaches for longer than 15 minutes. Additionally, their transportation companies use low-volume water sprayers and environmentally-friendly detergents to clean their vehicles. And let Destination St. Louis’ award-winning team plan your next event! From site selection to theme development, decor, menu, and entertainment, they provide imaginative solutions that are within your budget. From conception to reality, Destination St. Louis can help assure your event is the one they talk about for years! Destination St. Louis provides complete, customized tours that accommodate your group’s diverse interests. The rich cultural heritage of St. Louis and the surrounding area allows us to create tours that offer something for everyone. Spouse programs, tours and luncheons can be arranged at the finest locations St. Louis offers, from historic homes to world-class cultural attractions. So plan your next program in the Gateway to the West and let the team at Destination St. Louis make it the trip of a lifetime.