Ten years ago, American Greg Findley founded Detour – the Local Travel Marketplace – to connect travelers seeking unique adventure tours with top-quality, sustainable, local tour operators. After 20+ years as a guide and operations manager in the US and in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia, Africa, the Philippines, and Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Costa Rica in Latin America, Greg learned first-hand how to craft great travel experiences for travelers, and he came to understand fully what makes a great adventure tour. He also learned that international tourism must benefit the local people and it must help to protect the local environment in the travel destination. Detour is committed to tourism that is both great fun, but also that helps to make the world a better place.
As an important part of its sustainable tour operations mission, Detour minimizes its own operational carbon emissions then mitigates what it cannot eliminate in partnership with Carbonfund.org. As a virtual company, Detour maintains only a small wind-powered office with some employees working from home. Detour handles all tour information and customer communications online, replacing paper and printing with electronic documents. And for the past ten years, Detour has neutralized all remaining operational emissions through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program. To date, Detour has neutralized almost 740,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by 8600 tree seedlings planted then grown over a ten-year period.
“As a company based on promoting small-scale tourism directly through socially and environmentally responsible local tour operators and outfitters, Detour is committed to protecting the environment and minimizing global climate change,” said Greg Findley, Detour’s CEO.
Working only with sustainable local travel companies ensures that the tours support the local economies. Detour selects tour operations that employ local people and provide economic incentives for local people to protect their natural and cultural resources. Traveling with local companies also gives travelers a window into the lives of the communities they visit. This inside knowledge can make the difference between being a tourist and thoroughly experiencing and learning about a destination.
Taking a trip, even the most sustainably-planned tour, has some negative environmental impacts, including the carbon emissions of airplane travel and on-site ground transportation. Detour advises its customers to become environmentally-responsible travelers by choosing a sustainable trip, taking fewer and longer trips, and trying to get direct air flights when possible. Detour also encourages tour customers to purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from their flights through Carbonfund.org, in order to take responsibility to neutralize vacation travel emissions. Carbonfund.org congratulates Detour on its tenth anniversary as a Carbonfree® Business Partner and in maintaining its ongoing commitment to environmentally sustainable tour operations.
New Carbonfree® Business Partner, Sparkfactor.org, wants to make it simpler for companies to support programs that provide better access to educational opportunities for all.
Sparkfactor.org is the nonprofit division of Sparkfactor Design, with programs centered on technological and philanthropic innovation, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education for underprivileged communities. They also focus on corporate giving, and on making it as simple as possible for other companies to donate.
Sparkfactor.org found the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program to be an equally simple and affordable way to neutralize a portion of their operational emissions, by supporting Carbonfund.org’s carbon emissions reduction, mitigation and sequestration projects.
In order to spur further innovation, Sparkfactor.org has also begun a program called Makers 4 Good. Its goal is to create strategic partnerships between “maker” companies and other nonprofits for the mutual benefit of both. The flagship product will be a battery-powered USB charger developed by Sparkfactor Design.
The team at Sparkfactor.org believes that everyone should have access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, and that their partners and supporters can bring both expertise and financial support to bear in the effort to democratize technical learning. In the 21st Century, STEM topics will continue to weave their way into nearly all human endeavors, and Sparkfactor.org wants to make sure there are as many seats at the table as possible.
Sparkfactor.org recently announced their latest STEM program awardees, seven organizations receiving funding to advance innovative ways to bring technological education to students in underserved communities. Carbonfund.org commends Sparkfactor.org’s work and their commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their own operations, while supporting the educational advancements of the organizations they support.
For ten years, ONNO t-shirts have improved product sustainability by participating in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, neutralizing a portion of their product shipping and transportation emissions. Because ONNO t-shirt company moves raw materials and finished product all over the globe, producing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels (from boats, trains, and trucks), the company has chosen to balance the environmental impact of those transportation emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s forest preservation, carbon emissions reduction and renewable energy projects around the world.
Producing environmentally-conscious clothing is a complicated process. Conventionally-grown cotton has been clearly identified as one of the world’s “dirtiest” crops, accounting for 16% of global insecticide releases – more than any other single crop, according to the nonprofit Environmental Justice Foundation. Synthetic fabrics are, well, just that – synthetics, made from petro-chemicals, releasing large quantities of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, and producing toxic waste water, in their manufacturing processes, and are not biodegradable.
ONNO t-shirt company produces its socially-responsible t-shirts using sustainable fibers from bamboo, hemp and organic cotton. Their website provides great information about the fabrics used to make their more sustainably produced shirts. And their long-term commitment to carbon emissions mitigation through investment in Carbonfund.org’s clean air projects makes the partnership between ONNO t-shirt company and Carbonfund.org a great example of true operational sustainability.
Long-term Carbonfree® Business Partner Skyline Eco-Adventures, the original zipline tour company – 1st of its kind in the USA – received the top votes as Hawaii’s #1 land activity/adventure tour company by Hawaii Magazine's “Best of the Best Readers Choice Awards” for the second year in a row. Skyline Eco-Adventures was founded in 2002 on Maui, Hawaii, by father and son, Buck and Danny Boren. Skyline's first location, the Haleakala Skyline Tour, is located on Historic Haleakala Ranch in beautiful upcountry Maui.
From the very beginning, it has been Skyline Eco-Adventures' mission to thrill guests with a unique outdoor adventure, while providing significant funds and resources to protect the fragile and irreplaceable natural and cultural environment of Hawaii. Since 2010, Skyline Eco-Adventures has been a Carbonfree® Business Partner, using our online calculator to compute estimated annual tour operational emissions, then neutralizing those emissions by supporting reforestation and forest conservation projects around the world. Through 2015, Skyline Eco-Adventures has mitigated the impact of almost 3.7 million pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the impact of planting almost 42,800 tree seedlings and growing the trees for ten years.
Skyline Eco-Adventures offers four different zipline tours on three of Hawaii’s islands, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. At each Skyline Eco-Adventures location, guests are treated to great experiences with one of Hawaii's best guide team. Named one of Hawaii's Best Places to Work for five years running, the Skyline's staff help make each experience unforgettable.
In addition to maintaining carbon neutral tour operations, Skyline Eco-Adventures’ staff involved in a variety of other community and conservation projects, including its Zip 4 the Trees event and 1% For the Planet donation program. Carbonfund.org is happy to continue to partner with Skyline Eco-Adventures in their tour emissions offset program and congratulates the tour company’s many recognitions for giving back to community and preserving our natural environment.
Dolphin Blue, an online retailer of environmentally sustainable “green” products and a Carbonfree® Business Partner for the past five years, has launched its Green Office Starter Kit bundle, to help make it easy for businesses to try “green” office products.
Founded in 1994 on the belief that we can all consume responsibly, Dolphin Blue provides high quality non-toxic and post-consumer recycled content products, so that environmentally conscious companies and individuals can purchase products aligning with their values.
Dolphin Blue’s own commitment to Carbonfree® operations has neutralized almost 718,000 pounds of greenhouse gases over the past five years, equivalent to planting 8350 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for ten years.
The Green Office Starter Kit bundles include products that Dolphin Blue uses in its own office, so they are well-tested and endorsed. Dolphin Blue is offering the starter kits to make it easy for someone who is looking to make their workplace environment more sustainable.
We all can make a difference in our product choices and work environments, and that is what Dolphin Blue is all about - making it easy for each of us to be responsible in what we consume with their assortment of green printing, office, home, children's toys and pet supplies. Carbonfund.org is honored to partner with Dolphin Blue in their efforts to Make Green Waves at Home and Work™.
Looking for holiday gifts with a greater impact than merely delighting the recipient?
Check out new Carbonfree® Business Partner Impact Consumer, which has just launched their online consumer goods site focused on providing products from companies that actively give back for each product purchased.
Impact Consumer is an E-Commerce marketplace for products with a positive environmental or social impact, seeking to create a meaningful consumer experience. From futbol/soccer ball and skateboard companies that give one for every one purchased, to a sunglasses company that supports Optometry Giving Sight, a candle company creating jobs for US refugees, and a children’s books publisher that supports clean drinking water initiatives, Impact Consumer’s featured products also focus on sustainable and Fair Trade materials.
Learn more about Impact Consumer and the products that give back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDi-5tvb63I
Not only do the products they sell help to improve the world through social and environmental initiatives, but Impact Consumer has taken the additional step to balance all of the carbon dioxide generated from shipping the products to purchasers, and 25% of the company’s net profits will go to support their non-profit partners and ImpactConsumer outreach programs.
Founder and CEO Connor Eberhart says it very clearly: “As consumers, we directly support the practices of the companies we buy from, so let’s choose to purchase products from companies who are improving our planet.”
Impact Consumer has chosen to support Carbonfund.org and our carbon emissions reduction and mitigation projects, in order to neutralize its own operating emissions and product-to-consumer shipping emissions, thus lessening its own environmental impact on our world.
New Carbonfree®Business Partner Maison Zahara is a lifestyle brand and online boutique offering ethically sourced products for the home and personal wear, made in non-mechanized ways using high quality local ingredients. The company’s work reflects its philosophy that aesthetic beauty and sustainability are not mutually exclusive; environmental mindfulness is truly luxurious.
“Our future depends on community, preservation, protection of peoples, cultures and traditions,” explains Marisela Feldman, Founder and CEO of Maison Zahara. “Maison Zahara is committed to providing conscious consumers with a sustainable alternative to ubiquitous mass production. Developing strong partnerships with organizations such as Carbonfund.org is less of a choice and more of a responsibility of any scalable business in today's world.”
Maison Zahara’s business is structured to bridge the gap between social and environmental sustainability, as they are of equal importance, yet the former is often overlooked. Sourcing products directly from specific peoples and cultures with a mastery in their particular craft allows Maison Zahara the opportunity to add authenticity to its overall mission. The careful curation of its artist/partner network is an important aspect of the company’s responsibility as a sustainable business. Extending this environmental responsibility to carbon neutral operations further demonstrates Maison Zahara’s commitment to a philosophy and practice of environmental mindfulness and stewardship.
The historic 1854 Twenty Mile House – a former stagecoach stop – is a stunning and secluded eco-estate on a 200-acre riverside property, surrounded by the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountains. For over 150 years, the Twenty Mile House charming guest house and private cabins have hosted eco-weddings and provided a haven for those looking for a truly relaxing getaway from their busy lives.
For the past five years, Twenty Mile House also has participated in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, neutralizing almost 400,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology, forest preservation and carbon emissions reduction projects. To date, this sustainability program has reduced the same quantity of greenhouse gases as are sequestered by planting almost 4500 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for ten years.
The Twenty Mile House Eco-Wedding packages include use of the spectacular grounds, featuring lush forest, beautiful gardens, serene creeks, flowing rivers and star-filled sky. Dining options include organic and locally-sourced options, and the wedding staff helps couples create the destination wedding experience that best suits their dreams. The Twenty Mile House offers an onsite Wedding Fair for couples who have booked their wedding date or are interested in learning more about the eco-wedding options. For families and visitors, the list of activities in extensive, featuring local hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking and canoeing, fishing, golf and winter skiing.
Twenty Mile House marries back-to-nature experiences with environmental responsibility, and Carbonfund.org congratulates the staff on their fifth year as a Carbonfree® Business Partner.
It takes continuous effort to manage and reduce carbon emissions associated with running a business. Long-term Carbonfree® Business Partner Mountain Rose Herbs takes this commitment to operational sustainability very seriously and has made great progress to “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” year over year.
Mountain Rose Herbs offers high quality organic bulk herbs, gourmet spices, loose leaf teas, essential oils, herbal extracts, and natural body care ingredients, including certified organic, fair trade, ethically wild harvested, and Kosher certified botanical products, through its online store. The company’s primary facility was constructed with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and relies heavily on natural lighting. Energy demand was further reduced by making a complete lighting upgrade to energy-efficient bulbs in principal facilities and installing Energy-Star rated heating and cooling systems.
In addition, Mountain Rose Herbs upgraded all computers to those with Gold Star ratings for energy conservation, minimal shipment packaging, and elimination of environmentally harmful materials, as well as more energy-efficient flat screen monitors. The company converted all electrical usage to a local Green Power program to ensure that a significant portion of electricity comes from wind and solar sources.
Even with all of these efforts, management at Mountain Rose Herbs recognizes that the company still produces carbon emissions. Since 2008, they’ve worked with Carbonfund.org to measure and offset these unavoidable emissions by supporting clean energy and carbon reduction projects such as a wind farm in India, a methane collection plant in New York, and Carbonfund.org’s forest conservation work in Brazil. To date, the company has neutralized over 4 million pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 400 passenger cars off the road for a year!
Carbonfund.org applauds Mountain Rose Herbs for its long-term and continuous commitment to sustainability and is honored to partner with the company to help achieve its goals.
At Carbonfund.org, we love it when our business partners take our motto seriously and put it into action. We’ve been touting “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” for almost a dozen years, and many of our business partners have joined us in these efforts. It's easy to talk the talk, but they walk the walk as well.
Five-year Carbonfree® Business Partner Original Moxie is a great example. They create every product they offer and have a very personal stake in whether each ingredient is safe to use – for customers and for the planet. Whenever possible, Original Moxie uses organic, unrefined ingredients, so as to maximize their uniquely beneficial properties and minimize the company’s carbon footprint.
Original Moxie also understands that waste tends to pile up when you make something from scratch. Whenever possible, they purchase tools and supplies that can be re-used without sacrificing hygiene and quality. From glass droppers for essential oils to cotton towels for cleaning up, Original Moxie strives to minimize the amount of disposable items used to create products. All paper, plastic and glass that cannot be re-used is responsibly recycled, and all product containers are easily-recyclable plastics. All retail customers receive their orders in USPS Priority Mail boxes, which have been awarded Cradle to Cradle Certification℠ for their ecologically-intelligent design.
For everything that can't yet be reduced, recycled, or re-used, Original Moxie offsets its remaining carbon footprint by partnering with Carbonfund.org in supporting carbon emissions reduction projects. To date, Original Moxie has neutralized 395,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the same quantity as avoiding over 2 million pounds of waste decomposition in landfills.
Whether your hair is curly or straight, Original Moxie’s natural hair care products will help you look your best, and you can feel good about a company that’s leading the beauty care industry in true environmental responsibility.