Summer is here, and the “weekend warriors” are out in force, perfecting their manicured suburban lawns. Each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year and producing tons of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for up to 5% of the nation's air pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas powered lawn mower produces as much volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions air pollution in one hour of operation as eleven new cars each being driven for one hour.
Environmentally-responsible lawn care companies are innovating ways to reduce and eliminate the harmful emissions associated with meticulous lawn maintenance, and new CarbonFree® Business Partner Gone Green Maui is leading the way.
Gone Green Maui is committed to offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional landscape maintenance. They offer all natural control applications for weeds, insects, diseases and fungus. All fertilizers and soil amendments are made from natural products to prevent the pollution to the water supply. And now, Gone Green Maui has taken a further step by neutralizing its remaining operational emissions through the CarbonFree® Partnership program.
"Gone Green Maui is committed to reducing the carbon footprint associated with landscape maintenance and is happy to have become a member of Carbonfund.org to offset the carbon we are unable to reduce currently," states Sean T. Woods, Owner of Gone Green Maui.
By supporting Carbonfund.org’s global forestry projects, Gone Green Maui mitigates its own emissions while contributing to important forest preservation and restoration efforts, thus leading its industry in environmentally aware actions.
Throughout 2013, Carbonfund.org will be recognizing our business partners who are reaching their fifth and sixth years as CarbonFree® Partners. Part of this recognition includes special tree-plantings, 10 for each partnership year, by Carbonfund.org in honor of each of these anniversary Partners.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership and this special tree-planting commemoration augment the environmental responsibility that many of our business partners exhibit in their ongoing operations. One such partner, LATHER, producing skin care products that inspire a healthier more radiant life, maintains various sustainability initiatives as part of their environmental commitment.
LATHER offers its customers an in-store packaging recycling program and has pursued more environmentally sustainable plastic packaging made with EcoPure, an organic compound that accelerates natural biodegradation in plastics.
Since 2008, LATHER has partnered with Carbonfund.org to offset the carbon footprint of their corporate office. To date, LATHER has offset over 40,000 pounds of CO2 emissions through projects supporting renewable energy, methane destruction, and reforestation. This equates to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered each year by almost 16 acres of US forests.
When notified of the 50 trees planted for their 2013 CarbonFree® anniversary, our friends at LATHER pointed out that the traditional five year anniversary theme is wood.
LATHER acknowledged the benefits of tree planting efforts and the wide range of ecosystem services that trees contribute, including their ability to:
- Produce oxygen - without which life would not be possible
- Absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to mitigate climate change
- Improve local air and water quality by filtering pollutants
- Restore biodiversity while providing habitat and nutrition for wildlife
- Control flooding by minimizing runoff and topsoil loss
- Protect against storms such as Southeast Asia’s monsoons and hurricanes in the Caribbean
- Help regulate water and nutrient cycles (e.g., phosphorous and nitrogen)
- Create jobs managing tree nurseries, planting and care
- Provide various aesthetical, spiritual and cultural benefits to local communities
We're proud to partner with LATHER to help them continue their commitment to environmental sustainability and to helping others lead a more radiant life.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program attracts companies of all sizes that are committed to environmental responsibility in their operations. The Carbonfund.org motto of “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t®” resonates with our business partners, who take deliberate steps first to lower their operational emissions before neutralizing those they cannot eliminate.
A new CarbonFree® Partner, Born Custom Guitars, was attracted to the program for this very reason. Born Custom Guitars already maintains sustainable business practices within their custom-made electric guitar manufacturing processes. Their mission is to build the highest quality instruments available while being stewards of the environment and their community.
The folks at Born Custom Guitars believe that music has the ability to create positive change in the world, so they set out to ensure that their guitars do the same by providing their industry with an example for how to manufacture guitars in a more sustainable manner. To achieve this goal, Born Guitars are built only with woods that are either salvaged, reclaimed, or sustainably sourced, and are finished with natural oils or water-based lacquers. Their manufacturing methods were designed to minimize the amount of wasted wood during manufacturing.
Despite these efforts, Born Guitars recognized that they still create carbon dioxide emissions through the shipping and manufacturing of their custom guitars. In order to neutralize their remaining operational emissions, Born Custom Guitars joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
“While our sustainable sourcing and manufacturing initiatives alone can’t completely neutralize our company’s impact on the environment, our purchasing of carbon offsets and partnership with Carbonfund.org gets us as close as possible,” explains Campbell Davis, CMO and Co-Founder of Born Custom Guitars. “We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because they are a third party audited, non-profit organization that maintains transparency in all facets of their operation.”
Carbonfund.org welcomes Born Custom Guitars to the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, and we commend their commitment to sustainable custom-made guitar manufacturing.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation industry continues to contribute approximately 28% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Yet, transportation services are a necessary part of commerce, recreation and daily life for most. While fuel efficiency standards and gas conservation driving techniques help, emissions from the transportation sector likely will be impossible to eliminate.
Leaders in transportation services recognize the importance of maintaining environmentally responsible programs to reduce operational emissions. Carbonfund.org’s business partner Event Transportation Associates (ETA) exemplifies this leadership, reaching its fifth year as a CarbonFree® Business Partner.
ETA is a national transportation management company specializing in hotel shuttles, meet-and-greet services and VIP moves. ETA has designed and operated transportation systems for some of the largest international sporting, convention, and political events in the world. Their clients have included the World Olympics, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association All Star Games, Harley-Davidson, the Consumer Electronics Design and Installation Association, and various other corporate and association groups.
“ETA is committed to reducing our carbon footprint with the assistance of Carbonfund.org. As a small business in the transportation industry, we are proud of our partnership with Carbonfund.org and the opportunities they offer,” states Kelly Clark, Vice President of ETA. “Carbonfund.org's statement of reducing what you can and offsetting what you can't fits our corporate mission of being a responsible partner to the environment. As a leader in the transportation management industry, we feel it is our responsibility to limit our mark on the environment through positive programs such as Carbonfund.org. We are excited to work with Carbonfund.org on reducing the footprint of the transportation services we provide."
By supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects over the past five years as a CarbonFree® Business Partner, ETA has neutralized almost 450,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s equivalent to the emissions created by burning over 22,600 gallons of gasoline. This continuous commitment to environmental responsibility confirms ETA’s position as a clear leader in sustainable national transportation management services.
As June’s temperatures start to rise in Miami, visitors and locals seek out a respite from the heat. And with all the news reports of climate change’s impact on the heavily-populated cities along the US eastern seaboard, the environmentally-aware customers will choose to patronize area businesses that take responsibility for their environmental impact.
For the past four years, these eco-customers have had the option to visit the tea oasis at specialTEA Lounge & Café, created with the planet and people in mind. Owners Marilyn Morales and Chris Infante are extremely conscious of their impact on the environment. Since opening the café, Chris and Marilyn have been teaching through example about sustainability initiatives, selecting local and organic products, and being as earth-friendly as possible. They use local organic ingredients and materials whenever possible, use eco-friendly compostable containers and utensils, and choose paper products made with 100% post-consumer-recycled content. The café is equipped with energy-saving LED light bulbs, an energy-saving water-heater, a water-saving dual-flush toilet as well as an ExtremeAir® hand-dryer.
This year, specialTEA Lounge & Café took an important additional step in their sustainability plan by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership and mitigating their annual operational carbon emissions.
“No matter how eco-conscious we are in our decisions, there are still aspects of our business that are beyond our control,” explains Christian Infante, co-owner of specialTea Lounge. “For those reasons, we have chosen to partner with Carbonfund.org, a leader in carbon offsetting, to offset any carbon emissions we generate in the course of our business operations.”
SpecialTEA Lounge & Café patrons can enjoy a pot of tea or a cooling frappé with friends over a game of chess, relax with a book on the comfy couches, or use the free wi-fi while noshing on sweet or savory treats at the café. With over 60 premium fresh loose leaf teas, certified Organic Fair Trade™ and locally roasted coffee, frappés, bottled and hand-craft sodas, homemade pastries, desserts and an array of delicious made to order panini, salads and wraps, there’s something for everyone. And customers can be environmentally-assured, knowing that specialTEA Lounge maintains CarbonFree® operations and a commitment to sustainability.
The summer travel season is around the corner, and exotic locations lure the most adventurous travelers to remote and environmentally sensitive areas to experience their wonders. When planning these trips, environmentally responsible travelers will seek out sustainable tours that meet established ecotourism guidelines.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." CarbonFree® Business Partner Detour, The Adventure Travel Marketplace adheres to this definition and its guiding principles when selecting the local tour operators and outfitters for its online destination tours and travel adventures. Detour actively promotes sustainable tourism by offering trips operated by local ecotourism companies and promoting green certified hotels in the trip destinations they support.
As an important part of its sustainability mission, Detour minimizes it own operational carbon emissions then mitigates what it cannot eliminate in partnership with Carbonfund.org. As a virtual company, Detour follows Carbonfund.org’s motto to “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” by maintaining 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 six years, Detour has neutralized all remaining operational emissions through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program. To date, Detour has neutralized over 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by 6000 trees 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. Finally, Detour encourages tour customers to purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from their flights through Carbonfund.org. Join the ranks of eco-travelers by selecting leading sustainable tour operators like Detour and taking the extra steps to neutralize your vacation travel emissions.
There’s only one chance to make a first impression, and product labeling is an important part of a product’s first impression. CarbonFree® Partner Label Impressions helps its customers make clear, strong impressions through a range of product labeling options while maintaining its own best first impression as an environmental leader in its industry.
Label Impressions is dedicated to keeping our environment healthy “one label at a time” by offering customers the most current information on eco-friendly products and materials. Their company vision is to set the standard for efficiency by being clean, lean and green. An important component of that vision is maintaining their CarbonFree® Partner status for the past five years.
"We’re setting a precedent in the label industry,” states Jeff Morrow, VP of Sales & Sustainability for Label Impressions. “Label Impressions has been focusing on environmental printing issues for years now and this is the culmination of those efforts.”
In the past five years, Label Impressions has neutralized almost 800,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency and renewable energy technology projects. That’s equivalent to the carbon emissions produced by burning 40,000 gallons of gasoline.
Label Impressions maintains CarbonFree® operations and is a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified label printer, offering a variety of environmentally sensitive label choices including soy and water-based inks, recycled and biodegradable labels, biodegradable adhesives, and their own tree-free and water-free waterproof labels made from natural stone. The FiberStone® labels combine the conformability, durability and toughness of a film label, the aesthetic qualities of a paper label, and the eco-friendliness of a 'green label' made from stone.
First impressions and first-in-industry environmental accomplishments are important to Label Impressions, and Carbonfund.org is honored to help Label Impressions celebrate these achievements and their fifth anniversary CarbonFree®.
Many of our business partners focus on following sustainable business practices, specializing in organic products, minimizing waste in their packaging and supporting Fair Trade practices. These programs are important to their business ethics and compatible with the products they’re delivering.
Exemplifying this approach is the husband-and-wife team that created Arbor Teas, a CarbonFree® Business Partner for six consecutive years.
Arbor Teas offers USDA-certified organic loose leaf teas from around the globe through its on-line store, with one of the web’s largest selections of organic tea, three-quarters of which is Fair Trade Certified. Arbor Teas maintains a daily mission to find the world's most fantastic organic teas and deliver them to customers as sustainably as possibly. This includes maintaining their CarbonFree® Business Partnership, neutralizing all operational and shipping emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air and carbon reduction projects around the world.
Because Arbor Teas deals in products that come from all corners of the globe, it was imperative to offset the carbon footprint of all shipments that arrive at or depart from their facility as well as the carbon emissions from their internal operations.
“It makes no sense at all to sell an organic product if the method of delivering it to our customers is environmentally harmful,” emphasizes Jeremy Lopatin, co-founder of Arbor Teas with wife Aubrey. “Although we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re happy to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset what we can’t avoid… yet!”
Arbor Teas became the first tea company to deliver its full line of organic loose teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging, continuing to lead the tea industry through its staunch commitment to sustainable business practices. Tea drinkers are now able to compost their tea leaves and tea packaging together in their home composting system. Organic teas delivered CarbonFree® with compostable packaging – that’s commitment to environmental sustainability in action and leadership by example.
The printing industry has made a lot of progress in helping its member organizations analyze and reduce carbon emissions from various aspects of the commercial printing process. These efforts to pursue industry sustainability have resonated with CarbonFree® Business Partner Digital Hub in very tangible ways.
Now in its fifth year as a CarbonFree® Partner, neutralizing its annual shipping emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy projects, Mikal Martzel and Digital Hub has developed a broad range of environmentally responsible initiatives.
"We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because we are on a mission to achieve as close to a zero carbon footprint as possible," explains Mikal Martzel, VP of Marketing, Sales and Environmental Policy at Digital Hub.
Over the past five years, Digital Hub has mitigated almost 400,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions through the CarbonFree® Business Partner program, equivalent to taking 37 cars off the road for a year.
Digital Hub produces all printed materials in-house, giving their staff complete control over the paper, inks and chemicals used to produce printed materials. This eliminates the chance of non-environmentally safe materials being used by an outsourced print vendor. Digital Hub also uses a waterless printing process when possible and reduces the chemicals used in traditional water-based offset printing methods.
In 2009, Digital Hub switched to 100% wind power for its electricity usage, further reducing its operational emissions. And their internal policies of “one stop” lunch service, in which all employees order lunch for delivery by the same local restaurant, paper and products recycling and food composting programs in their office adds to their sustainability initiatives.
Carbonfund.org is honored to partner with an industry leader like Digital Hub and commends their broad commitment to maintaining an environmentally sustainable business.
ENFIELD, NH May 8, 2013 – Leading Edge Design Group (LEDG), a leading national provider of energy optimization services, announced today that it will offset its carbon emissions with the Carbonfund.org Foundation, one of the country's leading carbon offset organizations. In addition to their existing effort to reduce emissions by advancing corporate recycling initiatives, improving office-wide sustainable products and systems procurement, and establishing team car-pooling mandates for customer visits to reduce travel related emission, LEDG’s CarbonFree® program participation supports their employees, partners, and customers who are striving to increase their own commitment to carbon neutrality.
“We are proud of our ongoing efforts to help our customers significantly reduce their carbon footprint but understand that this effort necessitates travel and the associated consumption of natural resources, “ said Todd Boucher, Principal, Leading Edge Design Group. “Our partnership with Carbonfund.org allows us to maintain our commitment to our clients while offsetting the carbon emissions required to support the successful implementation of our solutions.”
LEDG’s emissions offset purchase will go toward supporting reforestation projects in the US and abroad.
“LEDG has taken a significant step in recognizing that, despite concerted efforts to reduce operational emissions, there remains a portion of their carbon footprint that cannot yet be eliminated,” explains Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. “By becoming a CarbonFree® Business Partner, LEDG joins leading businesses and organizations around the world that have made this simple and affordable commitment to neutralize all annual carbon emissions and support our carbon reduction projects.”
ABOUT LEADING EDGE DESIGN GROUP Leading Edge Design Group is a leading national provider of energy optimization services that delivers significant energy savings to the public and private marketplaces through efficient data center designs and emerging LED lighting and wireless lighting control technologies. Founded in 2007 with the goal of pursuing, promoting, and providing the finest energy optimization solutions available, we help our customers minimize the environmental impact of their businesses while improving operational reliability and reducing costs. Leading Edge Design Group is dedicated to encouraging, challenging, and contributing to energy industry innovation with an ongoing commitment to our community and our environment. Visit us at http://www.ledesigngroup.com, review our work in the photo gallery, and connect with us on Twitter @ledesigngroup.