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Friday, 24 July 2009 13:47

Fighting Global Warming and Poverty

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the midst of a five-day visit to India has not been received warmly by her hosts as she broaches the subject of carbon emissions reductions. Clinton is urging India to reduce its emissions in accord with proposed action of the rest of the world to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of global warming-causing carbon dioxide emissions. Ms. Clinton asserts “no inherent contradiction between poverty eradication and moving towards a low-carbon economy,” a claim that some officials disagree on. “There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have been among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions,” Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister told Ms. Clinton. Here you have the paradox - how can we fight global warming without India's participation?  How can we get India to participate when they have more pressing issues at hand?  Is there an inherent contradiction between economic and social development and clean energy? There is no clear answer to these questions, hence the paradox. But there are real steps that we can take today the fight global warming and support local communities. Live Climate is an organization that fights poverty through the use of carbon financing. Their projects not only reduce emissions, but also bring electricity to remote communities or provide work to otherwise under-employed people. Also, there are clear areas of convergence where fighting global warming will certainly help improve the quality of life of the poor. Many type of renewable energy, for example, are highly probable and can be implemented in remote locations that wouldn't otherwise have power. And a fundamental principle of fighting global warming - improved energy efficiency - should help allow everyone to do more with less.
Thursday, 19 August 2010 17:20

Fight Vampire Energy and Save Money with EcoStrip

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Efficiency evangelists have long complained about "vampire" energy loss, the wasted electricity from keeping electronics constantly plugged in. By some accounts, this can cost hundreds of dollars a year in extra electricity costs and create unnecessary carbon emissions. New innovations in power strip technology are letting consumers easily curtail their vampire loss.

EcoStrip, a pioneering company committed to conserve energy, has designed a power strip that turns off periphery devices–like your speakers, monitor, DVD player, sound system, etc.–when you turn off your primary electronic equipment such as your computer or television. This way, every time you turn off your computer or tv, you’re saving a lot more electricity than that. This power strip can save you over a hundred dollars a year–not bad. As a service to our partners, blog readers and social media followers, has negotiated a discount on EcoStrips purchased online–an extra 30% off when you enter the coupon code carbonfund AND EcoStrip makes a donation to for every product sold, helping us pursue our work in fighting global warming. So take this step to make your home or office more energy-efficient, an investment that will likely pay itself back in less than a year's time.
Friday, 03 December 2010 10:46

Fight Climate Change with Purchasing Power

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In a market economy, what we buy has the power to effect change far beyond the cash register. Join the Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) and on December 10th, from 11:00am – 12:15pm Pacific Time (2:00 – 3:15pm, Eastern Time) for a webinar about addressing climate change in purchasing decisions. If a brand of coffee becomes popular, for example, it won't sit on shelves long and stores will order more because they can rely on this brand. The coffee company will have to produce more beans to meet the demand from the stores, necessitating a bigger harvest of crops and a larger manufacturing facility to handle all this coffee. If this brew is, say, a Sumatran blend, then more shipping will be needed to bring over the beans. These steps have an impact on the carbon footprint of the end product. Tune into the webinar to learn how your business or organization’s purchasing practices can help meet your climate or environmental protection goals. RPN Director Alicia Culver will also highlight key product categories that can substantially reduce energy and GHG emissions while also saving money. Dare Wenzler, director of business development at, will describe the CarbonFree® Certified label, how it was developed, and how it can be referred to when purchasing products for government agencies and businesses. Click here to sign up for the webinar.
Friday, 19 February 2010 18:53

Fight Climate Change with Your Phone Bill

Written by partner, Telecom For Charity, will reduce your office’s carbon footprint for a week just for talking with them about your telecommunications needs. They provide services throughout the US and can help you with a wide range of telecom needs. Their business plan is simple: provide great telecommunications services and help your favorite charity at the same time. To date, they’ve donated almost $30,000 to charity. If you sign up, remember to let them know your favorite charity is, and they’ll donate 5% of your monthly bill to us! It’s a win-win; you’re getting great telecommunications service, lowering your monthly bills, and supporting’s third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Give them a call at (888) 775-4100 or visit:
The chill in the air here on the East Coast is a sharp reminder that winter is on its way. If the thought of cold makes you cringe, consider turning your thoughts to the Southern Hemisphere. While we’re settling into autumn, New Zealand is blossoming into spring and Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd has just the ticket for you. Not only does Queenstown Heritage Tours specialize in sightseeing tours into Skippers Canyon and the Wakatipu Basin, they also come highly, and environmentally, recommended. Queenstown Heritage Tours has been recognized again as one of the New Zealand’s leading tourism businesses by Qualmark - New Zealand Tourism’s official quality assurance system. To earn the prestigious quality mark, Queenstown Heritage underwent a comprehensive on-site assessment to ensure it met general quality criteria focused on service, fleet in use, safety and business management systems in place. “We presented to our Qualmark assessor a comprehensive fleet management sheet which was developed in-house in order to prove an acceptable industry standard for our fleet,” said Yasmine Sander Ickenroth, owner of Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. “This new fleet management sheet forms not only the basis for our Qualmark assessment but further more enables us to monitor our carbon footprint.  Our commitment to the Queenstown community, the co-operation with the Department of Conservation as well as our partnership with made it clear to our assessor that we truly deserve to be recognized as one of the country’s leading tourism businesses,” Sander Ickenroth said. We’re also pleased to share that Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. annually offsets its operational carbon emissions with and is committed to be part of the global movement of businesses and organizations that are leading the fight against global warming.  Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. is committed to monitoring its energy consumption, fuel usage and kilometres travelled by its customers as well as the kilometres travelled by its employees to and from work. Those activities are a part of its environmental impact management initiative. “Like last year, we calculated our carbon footprint with an online calculator and offset the 35 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions that could not be omitted during the past 12 months,” explains Sander Ickenroth.  By offsetting their non-avoidable operational emissions, Queenstown Heritage Tours Ltd. supports’s third-party validated reforestation projects. "It was very important for us to work with an organization that supports certified projects that are internationally recognized and comply with set standards," Sander Ickenroth said. "We also sought an organization that offered verification by independent auditors. met these criteria." So, escape to spring this fall, and book your Skippers Canyon adventure with Queenstown Heritage Tours.
Everybody knows the difference between how we feel on a bright sunny day versus a dark grey day. One of the reasons for this is the difference in the spectrum between bright sunlight and obscured, or artificial, light.  Having evolved millions of years under full sunlight , one would expect this spectrum to be the ideal, balanced and healthy for the human mind and body. Thus to see well and feel good, we need to receive all wavelengths of light. The goal of Viva-Lite® is to offer its customers a balanced source of light, including a continuous balanced light spectrum and temperature, as close to sunlight as possible. And Viva-Lite achieves this with energy-efficiency as well. Viva-Lite is one of the world´s leading suppliers of healthier and greener lighting solutions providing full spectrum daylight and energy-efficient products in form of bulbs, lamps, fixtures and other technology for homes and offices alike. Energy-efficiency and the human health aspects are at the core of Viva-Lite’s business. The energy saving full spectrum daylight bulbs help to increase energy-efficiency and raise working and living standards for people around the world. "Until about one hundred years ago, we spent 90 percent of our daytime outdoors under natural light. Today, it's quite the opposite. Houses, cars, offices, schools, or shopping malls are all built to be energy-efficient and well insulated, protecting us from the sun's natural light and warmth. As a result, we are continuously exposed to artificial lighting; it’s no wonder we feel distressed and sometimes depressed." Toby Ruckert, Founder Viva-Lite® The Viva-Lite energy-saving bulbs offer the full colour spectrum of sunlight, including some vital UV constituents. They are economic and design alternatives to the conventional low-consumption bulbs, with the added healthful advantages of energy-saving performance, visibility and enhanced well-being. The brilliant white light radiates like a ball of light, similar to a light bulb, and offers excellent lighting values. The energy-saving lightbulbs achieve up to 80% energy efficiency compared to conventional bulbs. And Viva-Lite strives to achieve corporate sustainability and environmentally sound practices by reducing the use of toxic substances such as mercury, and working to develop mercury-free alternatives, reducing packaging and waste by using environmentally friendly materials, supporting and promoting safe recycling methods, and avoiding unnecessary CO2 output by intelligent energy consumption, forecasting, optimizing storage, forwarding and warehousing facilities. For the emissions Viva-Lite cannot avoid, they have chosen to partner with to offset a portion of their business emissions. “Partnering with seemed to be the reliable and proven choice for offsetting emissions generated during the manufacturing process of our products,” says Toby. Viva-Lite also offers news and educational information on its website and via its blog, to help consumers understand the benefits of full spectrum lighting. For more information, please visit and choose your country for details about their products.
If had a tree for every time we said reducing your carbon footprint saves you money, we'd have, well, perhaps a very sizable forest. In these times of federal budget woe, how appropriate is it that the government is wising up and realizing that more efficient energy can save them 11 billion dollars going forward, or the equivalent of 235 million barrels of oil? The federal government's carbon footprint is 121.3 million metric tons, according to a report released by The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). That number is divided into two categories - reducible emissions and that which shall not be touched, which includes military operations, law enforcement and other emissions. Of the 121.3 million, 54.9 million come from this category, with the Department of Defense toting a disproportionately large footprint of 52.2 million metric tons of emissions on its own in 2010. That's 95% of all the non-reducible emissions. Meanwhile, the reducible emissions have dropped 2.5 million metric tons from the 2008 baseline to 66.4 million metric tons. That 2.5 million is equivalent to the annual emissions from 490,196 cars, which is great, but come on government. We can do better than this. According to the president's sustainability goals, the federal government will reduce its direct emissions (things like fuel or building energy use) by 28% and its indirect emissions (energy used in the lifecycle of things we buy and use) by 13% by 2020. This is where the CEQ estimates that planned reductions will save $11 billion in energy costs. Are you happy with the progress, or do you think these are some empty green promises?
Did you know that the Combined Federal Campaign is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign? CFC has more than 200 campaigns around the country and internationally to help raise millions of dollars each year for charity. Federal employees can support's efforts to fight climate change by donating to CFC#62681. You'll be supporting's innovative projects that are reducing carbon emissions in the U.S. and around the world. The projects are third-party validated, and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 2010 marks the second year that we have been a part of this important campaign. If you care about climate and our environment but aren't a federal employee, you can make a tax-deductible donation anytime directly at our website: Please share this blog post with others you know! Thank you for your support.
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