The New Year is a great time for individuals and businesses to reevaluate their recycling efforts and overall carbon footprint and seek to reduce their impact every day. Currently less than 35% of US households recycle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides great information about how to increase recycling efforts in your everyday living, and how your efforts will help your community.
Paper Culture, a Carbonfree® Business Partner for the past seven years, and online retailer of personalized cards, gifts and wall décor, evaluates and optimizes reductions in their carbon footprint on a regular basis. Through its seven-year participation in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, Paper Culture has neutralized operational emissions equivalent to the carbon dioxide sequestered by planting 12,615 tree seedlings, then growing those trees for ten years.
They make sure that all of their business practices fall under their four pillars for sustainable operations (aka T.R.E.E):
1. Trees – Plant a tree with every order
2. Responsibility – Offer only eco-friendly products
3. Ethos – Operate sustainable business practices
4. Education – Help through community outreach and teaching
After evaluating the packaging in which products were sent to customers, the folks at Paper Culture felt there was an opportunity to engage and reinforce the importance of recycling and the power of planting one single tree. With most of their customers being parents with young kids, they also wanted it to find an interactive approach.
As a result, they came up with the ReversibleBox. The outside of the box is printed with eco-friendly water-based inks and is much more than just pretty typography; it's a reminder of the true impact of trees, from the air we breathe to the natural habitat they provide. On the reverse side of the box is a tree pattern with the recommendation that customers reuse the box the next time they need to send a package, store old photos or any other use they can imagine. In addition, the box contains tree seed packets with planting instructions.
Since the company plants a tree with every order, Paper Culture wanted their customers to be able to plant a tree of their own so they could enjoy and teach the benefits to the next generation.
Paper Culture CEO & Co-founder Christopher Wu says, "We are in a fortunate position to be able to connect to the future generations through our customers. We loved the idea of parents and their kids planting trees together, which creates both a teaching moment and the appreciation for one of earth's finest gifts."
Since the inception in 2009, Paper Culture has been providing modern and eco-friendly products, including personalized holiday cards, birth announcements, birthday invitations, gifts and wall decor. Carbonfund.org appreciates Paper Culture's ongoing commitment to reducing and neutralizing its operational emissions through its support of Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects around the world.
The Tower Companies “envisions a world where buildings inspire and enrich the lives of their occupants, and create a positive social change.” In this envisioned world, people seek out buildings that improve their health and well-being, connect them to thriving communities and help to sustain the environment.
The Tower Companies strive to be leaders in the green building industry – they believe it's not only a responsibility, but also an opportunity. One of the company’s goals is to "lead by example on environmental responsibility, by developing and managing high performance properties, being a global voice on environmental stewardship, and sharing our sustainable and innovative practices."
Since 2008, the Tower Companies has been a carbon neutral company, offsetting 100% of energy consumption by purchasing wind power and carbon credits, equal to over 150,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Carbonfund.org has been fortunate to partner with the Tower Companies to help achieve some of their carbon neutral goals. Through energy reduction strategies, the Tower Companies also have saved 10 million kWh in electricity, a 22% reduction since 2008.
Please see their inaugural sustainability e-newsletter for more interesting and inspirational facts about the Tower Companies’ environmental impact achievements.
In order to maximize product sustainability and environmental responsibility, reduce product carbon footprint and enhance transparency in product sustainability initiatives, Eco Alkalines™ Batteries once again undertook a rigorous audit and update of the cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for its products. This audit and update of the product LCA included enhanced product functionality analysis and energy usage, new initiatives to reduce transportation-related emissions and product packaging emissions, greater detail of raw materials content assessment, and establishment of an ongoing product carbon footprint reduction plan with annual goals and achievement measurements.
The updated LCA meets current PAS 2050 and ISO requirements to renew registration of Eco Alkalines™ batteries as Certified Carbonfree® Products with Carbonfund.org Foundation, and ongoing product sales will be reported to Carbonfund.org so that corresponding carbon credits to neutralize the carbon footprint for all products will be purchased and retired on behalf of LEI Products by Carbonfund.org. Eco Alkalines™ batteries have been Certified Carbonfree® by Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability for the past four years.
“Eco Alkalines Batteries continue to lead the market in environmental conservation and sustainability initiatives,” states Eric M. Carlson, president of Carbonfund.org Foundation. “The comprehensive re-evaluation they’ve completed of their products’ carbon footprint to the latest in sustainability standards underscores their ongoing commitment to offering businesses and consumers the most environmentally responsible batteries available on the market today.”
Eco Alkalines™ batteries are committed to environmental sustainability and green innovation, are environment and landfill conscious. The packaging is manufactured with 80% of recycled materials and the batteries are derived from earth elements which have no trace amounts of harmful metals such as Mercury, Cadmium and Lead.
In addition to their innovative and unique green credentials and applications, Eco Alkalines™ perform equal to or better than the leading national brands in performance and longevity tests. Eco Alkalines™ have a guaranteed 5-year shelf life and a unique patented leak resistant seal ensuring that they will not leak into your devices.
Despite their pioneering eco accolades and novel technology, Eco Alkalines™ batteries are competitively priced compared to the leading national brands. As eco-friendly technology evolves to a ‘must’ rather than a choice, Eco Alkalines™ does not believe that consumers and companies should have to pay a premium for a green product.
Eco Alkalines™ batteries are geared to environmentally-conscious consumers, as the brand continues to create an environmental awareness with a message of its commitment to reduced world-wide carbon emissions and its suggestion to use recycled material and recycle products when and where possible. You may support Eco Alkalines™ Batteries and learn more about them at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ecoalkalines-batteries-reduces-carbon-footprint.
One cup of premium loose leaf tea inspired Beth Johnston to get into the tea business, and environmental responsibility drives the company’s commitment to organic teas, sustainability practices and Carbonfree® business operations.
“Conserving our planet’s precious resources has always been a personal concern for me. With our continued expansion, both importing and shipping customer orders, I felt a further responsibility to take it on corporately,” says Beth Johnston, Founder and CEO. “We had been looking for an effective way to offset the impact Teas Etc. has on the environment but also wanted to give our customers the choice to offset theirs. We did our homework, looked at a couple of different options and decided that Carbonfund.org was the right partner to help us meet our goals.”
For the seventh consecutive year, Teas Etc. is offsetting its own carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org by supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. In an effort to generate greater awareness about sources of carbon emissions, Teas Etc. offers customers the option of offsetting the carbon footprint created by shipping their orders. To date, Teas Etc. and its customers have neutralized the same quantity of emissions as would be sequestered by almost 11,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
Teas Etc is has provided premium quality award winning teas and modern accessories to wholesale and retail customers for over 15 years. The company is USDA certified to package and to distribute organic products, and has a complete line of organic teas. In addition to their tea line, the company manufactures the innovative, award winning Tea Traveler® that allows tea drinkers to enjoy loose leaf teas on-the-go. The company opened in 1998 with its headquarters in Palm Beach, FL has an office in Nanjing, China and a permanent show room at AmericasMart in Atlanta, GA.
In addition toCarbonfree® operations,Teas Etc. supports a local recycling program, utilizes recycled paper goods, biodegradable packing materials and chemical-free cleaning products. Their ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, high quality products and excellent customer services confirms Teas Etc. as a leader in responsible online premium loose leaf tea retailing and wholesaling.
David and Victoria Byrnes have worked with organic and fair trade producers for over 12 years, helping other brands launch their products nationally. After seeing there were so few organic snack options on grocery shelves for their own family, they decided to launch their very own brand. With hard work and perseverance, and a focus on organic and Non-GMO Verified products, they launched Good Boy Organics in 2012, featuring BOPS (Baked Organic Potato Snacks), Organicasaurus corn puffs, and Yellow Barn Biodynamic® sauces.
As part of their commitment to environmental sustainability, Good Boy Organics focuses exclusively on certified organic products. Organic agriculture helps capture and retain carbon in the soil through the use of cover-cropping, green manure and compost. The use of petroleum-based fertilizers is prohibited in organic farming systems. Organic agriculture’s focus on soil-building improves soil moisture, so less energy is expended to water crops. Good Boy Organics’ Yellow Barn pasta sauce products are also certified Biodynamic®, an agricultural practice in which all inputs and outputs must be grown and re-used on the farm. This reduces carbon emissions from transportation and fosters self-sufficiency.
Despite all of these benefits of certified organic products and Biodynamic® agriculture, Good Boy Organics recognized that its own business operations produced harmful greenhouse gas emissions, including office space energy consumption, product shipping and business-related travel emissions. To enhance their environmental commitment, Good Boy Organics joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership to neutralize those annual operational emissions they could not eliminate.
“I chose to partner with Carbonfund.org and their Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, because their values to environmental sustainability most closely match our own. They are well-known for their efforts helping companies like mine reduce and offset carbon emissions.” David Byrnes, Founder, Good Boy Organics
At Good Boy Organics headquarters, they maintain a recycling program for cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, and cans. All materials are printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. Their office uses energy-efficient lighting and low-heat strategies in order to save energy. These measure help to reduce the carbon footprint from their operations, and the Carbonfree® Business Partnership ensures that remaining emissions are mitigated through the support of Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects.
When Carbonfund.org Foundation was created ten years ago with the motto “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, we knew we were positioning ourselves as the last-in-line solution in sustainability plans. The climate change education component to our mission is a very important one, and a significant portion of our website is dedicated to providing ways that businesses and individuals can reduce their carbon footprint before considering carbon offsetting strategies.
This approach has attracted businesses that take seriously their responsibility to seek out recycling, reuse, energy efficiency and emissions reduction opportunities. Fireclay Tile, a California-based sustainable tile manufacturer, is a great example.
“We are scavengers at heart and scrappy when it comes to saving resources; therefore we are committed to finding new and innovative ways to reuse cast off materials, and to incorporate sustainability into all levels of our manufacturing process, explains Eric Edelson, CEO of Fireclay Tile. “We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org simply because tile is heavy, and we wanted to offset the carbon footprint created by shipping our tile all over the world.”
Fireclay Tile’s Carbonfree® Business and Shipping program is a final step in the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Fireclay uses Carbonfund.org’s online business calculator to compute annual carbon emissions from office energy usage, business travel, and product shipping and delivery. The resulting offset donation supports forestry initiatives around the world that sequester carbon dioxide in formal third-party validated, verified and audited projects.
Fireclay’s unique process includes made-to-order tile using recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing practices in their California operations. Their recycled clay body boasts of over 70% recycled materials, which include post-consumer glass, granite dust, and porcelain from toilets collected to back water conservation efforts in the Bay Area. Fireclay’s glass tiles line is composed of 100% recycled glass from local window and solar panel production industries.
Fireclay maintains onsite recycling practices that include water reclamation at cutting and mixing stations, along with rainwater capture at their Aromas, CA factory. Glaze overspray is captured at each glazing station and is included with all scrap material and anything considered defective, then crushed into an aggregate for making the recycled clay. All orders are packaged for shipment using 100% recycled boxes, reused shipping crates, and sawdust from a local furniture manufacturer used to cushion shipments.
A fine example of “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, Fireclay Tile is walking the walk, and Carbonfund.org is proud to assist in that last step.
Storing your wedding gown, vintage clothing, family heirlooms or military uniforms became more environmentally sustainable when Foster-Stephens joined the Carbonfree ® Business Partnership program last fall.
Foster-Stephens of Elk Grove Village, IL has been producing storage solutions including archival boxes, muslin garment bags and reusable/recyclable garment bags to preserve and protect wedding gowns and other family treasures since 1936. Their product line includes many styles and sizes of archival protection boxes and bags to anyone interested in preserving textiles and family heirlooms: dry cleaners, museums, designers, costume archivists, military personnel and individuals interested in preserving their heritage.
To improve their own operational sustainability and neutralize operational emissions, Foster-Stephens supports Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects around the world that help to sequester carbon dioxide and reduce carbon emissions. They also maintain recycling programs in their office and warehouse, and select products made from recyclable materials.
"We are proud of our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint,” states Nancy L. Jones, President of Foster-Stephens. “Our partnership with Carbonfund.org allows us to maintain our commitment to providing the best products for protecting textiles for future generations while offsetting the carbon emissions required to provide these products."
Historical preservation is important, but it should be accomplished with minimal impact on our environment’s future. Foster-Stephens is helping to achieve this goal by carefully selecting environmentally-responsible preservation packaging products and mitigating its own business emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
What does consistent environmental leadership look like? Over the past six years, CarbonFree® Business Partner Community Capital Management has neutralized over 850,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to the emissions created by burning almost 43,500 gallons of gasoline.
Community Capital Management is a registered investment adviser whose mission is to deliver strong investment performance for its clients in strategies aligned with their organizational purpose. The firm primarily manages fixed income impact investing portfolios that finance a variety of community initiatives such as affordable homeownership and rental housing, environmental sustainability, job creation and training programs, affordable healthcare facilities, childcare programs, and neighborhood revitalization activities. As a leader in the impact investing space, Community Capital Management maintains its commitment to operating an environmentally-conscious business practice.
"Community Capital is excited to partner with Carbonfund.org in committing to offset our carbon footprint. We hope that we will help lead the way and encourage others in the investment management industry to do the same," said Jamie Horwitz, Director of Marketing at Community Capital.
The firm is proud to lead by example, offsetting its carbon emissions by supporting the development of renewable energy, forestry projects and increased energy efficiency through its partnership with Carbonfund.org.
In addition, Community Capital Management’s CarbonFree® commitment includes encouraging office recycling programs, minimizing the use of plastic water bottles by offering a water filtration system in their office, using energy-efficient lighting, conducting more marketing online rather than using printed media, living within close proximity to their office to reduce vehicle pollution, and continually seeking other ways to grow their business in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner. This consistent leadership in operational sustainability sets Community Capital Management in the forefront of its industry as an environmentally responsible fixed income investment management firm.
As is the case with many of our eco-tourism business partners, Eagle-Eye Tours of Windermere, Canada recognizes the environmental impact of their educational tour programs and is doing something about it. Eagle-Eye Tours covers the globe with diverse tours, ranging from ones with a birding focus to tours combining photography and wildlife, birds and gardens and more, visiting some of the wildest corners of our planet. Tour travel and onsite lodging creates carbon dioxide emissions, which Eagle-Eye Tours works to minimize but also realizes that all emissions cannot be avoided.
To address this negative by-product of their tours, Eagle-Eye Tours has maintained a CarbonFree® operation for the past five years by calculating annual tour-related emissions then supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects to neutralize those emissions. To date, Eagle-Eye Tours has mitigated almost 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions through their CarbonFree® program, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by almost 23,000 tree seedlings planted and grown for ten years.
"We travel the world enjoying birds and other wildlife, but realize that many of these species are threatened by climate change,” explains Cam Gillies, Director of Eagle-Eye Tours. “We are excited to continue to offset the carbon emissions from our operations and to take concrete action in the conservation of the biodiversity we so enjoy."
Eagle-Eye Tours offsets all of the carbon dioxide emissions produced from all guide and on-tour participant flights, vehicle use during tours and operations, ship use, and the electricity used by their office. They also design tours that visit reserves and lodges that have been established to demonstrate and deliver benefits from conservation to the local community. Eagle- Eye Tours offers tour participants the option to help with environmental sustainability by offsetting flights from their departure to the start of the tour. This ongoing commitment to sustainable tour management helps to set apart Eagle-Eye Tours as a leader in ecotourism and demonstrated environmental responsibility in all aspects of their operation.
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.