Shira Silberg

Shira Silberg

Virgin America cares about climate change.
Virgin America is the Official Domestic Airline of the Governors' Second Annual Climate Summit in Los Angeles from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.  Also, Virgin America released its first annual Climate Report today describing their unique sustainability efforts and emissions data for 2008.  When Virgin America launched in 2007 they took great care to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their business.  They not only use more efficient aircraft, regulating cruising speed to reduce fuel burn, and encourage customers to offset the impact of their flight through Carbonfund.org, they even use organic hand soap in the airplane bathrooms! Earlier this year, Virgin America became the first U.S. airline to join The Climate Registry and commit to reporting emissions according to The Climate Registry's standards.  We are proud that our partner is an innovator and a leader in sustainability efforts for the airline industry. Flying somewhere? Check out this page where you can offset your trip! If you're reading this in-flight, remember you can offset your trip during flight on Virgin America's RED in-flight entertainment system.
Clipboard01This climate change map developed by the UK government shows the predicted effects of a 4 degrees Celsius rise in global average temperatures on the way we live.  The map is interactive allowing the user to isolate different aspects of climate change and how they impact human activity.  It was launched at the Science Museum by Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Climate and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband and the UK's chief scientist Professor John Beddington. The map considers the impact of extreme temperatures, droughts, effects on the water supply, agricultural productivity, the risk of forest fire, and sea level rise on human activity.  The results show a significant decrease in yields for all major cereal crops in all major regions of production.  In some low latitudes, yields could decrease by more than 20% putting 10 to hundreds of millions of additional people at risk from hunger.  It also shows half of all Himalayan glaciers will be significantly reduced by 2050, leading to 23% of the population of China being deprived of the vital dry season glacial meltwater. The map also shows where marine ecosystems will be fundamentally changed by ocean acidification.  This will greatly impact coastal communities relying on subsistence fishing of reef species, and could cause substantial losses in jobs and revenue for commercial fishing. The hottest days here in North America could rise by 18-22 degrees!  See for yourself how climate change will affect human activity and check out the interactive map here.
dirty coalUSA Today's Traci Watson reports that the draft of the Senate bill released today calls for 20% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.  This is an increase from the 17% reduction required by the House bill.  The bill would initiate a cap-and-trade system much like the House bill, and would also provide financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs because of the new legislation. The draft doesn't provide detail on who would receive emissions credits that could be worth millions, a topic in Senate negotiations.  These details may determine the bill's success, but as Tony Kreindler of the Environmental Defense Fund pointed out the draft is merely a jumping off point and will change significantly in the coming months. President Barack Obama weighed in on the bill's release, saying his administration is "deeply committed to passing a bill that creates new American jobs and the clean energy incentives that foster innovation." The most important thing about the bill is that it makes steep cuts in global warming pollution and includes provisions that crack down on old, dirty coal power plants.  These are important steps in the right direction.  Please join us in letting your Senators know that this bill is important to you! Call your senators today-toll free-and tell them to support a bold climate and energy bill.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 12:16

Pollution Reduction Bill Made Stronger

capsmall Bloomberg’s Jim Efstathiou Jr. reports that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has prepared a “discussion draft” requiring deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions than the levels approved by the House. The draft, which will be released on Wednesday, calls on U.S. companies to reduce their impact 20 percent by the year 2020, rather than 17 percent that was approved by the House. U.S. power plants, factories and refineries may need free government-issued emission permits in order to continue to do business.  This topic was hotly debated in the House, and was not addressed in the draft of the Senate bill. The Senate bill would cap greenhouse gas emissions and allow companies to trade permits similar to the cap-and-trade plan approved by the House. According to the New York Times, Senator John Kerry made a special effort to move away from the language of cap-and-trade since it can be confusing to the public and tried to re-frame the conversation in the more concrete concept of reducing pollution.  "I don't know what 'cap and trade' means. I don't think the average American does," Kerry told reporters. "This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it's a pollution reduction bill."
Friday, 30 October 2009 19:14

Think Green This Halloween!

102909_accentfrontIf you are still scrambling for a costume for this weekend think about how you can make your Halloween fashions more eco-friendly! 1) Store bought costumes are boring and wasteful - make your own! - Costumes from a store are often made of plastic and you probably only wear them once!  Dig deep in your closet to see what you can make on your own. 2) Use the stuff you've already got - I'm sure you have tons of stuff in your house that can be made into a really cool Halloween costume.  Got wrapping paper?  Dress up as a present!  Got tin foil?  It's great for a knight in shining armor.  Got an old sheet and scissors? Dress up as a ghost. 3) Trade with your friends - sick of the silly things you own?  Trade your most outrageous costumes with friends.  That way no one has to wear the same thing twice AND no one has to buy new costumes. 4) Give Out Green Candy - if you are giving out candy this year, choose something environmentally friendly.  Check out NaturalCandyStore.com for some great ideas like these Organic Dark Chocolate Bites. For more tips on how to make this Halloween environmentally friendly, visit GreenHalloween.com.  Have fun thinking green this Halloween!
candybagSaturday October 17th is Sweetest Day!  This holiday is rumored to have originated with a candy company employee looking to start a philanthropic tradition of giving out boxes of free candy in Ohio.  Today it is celebrated as an opportunity to give small gifts to people in your life to show them that you care.  Why not make some Domino® Certified CarbonFree® Rock Candy? Domino Certified CarbonFree Sugar is available in select markets and has a net-zero carbon footprint after a rigorous life-cycle assessment of its carbon footprint and balancing it with clean renewable energy production and supply. Or, buy some candy and then make the wrappers into a cool bag like this one.  Or just show your loved ones you care by giving the gift of a carbon offset!  I think that's pretty sweet.
logoPlanning a wedding is hard work.  I would know - I'm getting married in May!  It is even more work to plan an eco-friendly event, and think of how every detail impacts the environment.  That is why Elegance & Simplicity Wedding & Event Designers are so great.  They thought of EVERYTHING.  They have wind powered facilities, drive fuel-efficient vehicles, support reforestation efforts, use eco-friendly cleaning practices, and of course offset their footprint with Carbonfund.org! They also help you find vendors who abide by their same standards. When planning my wedding I have tried to be environmentally conscious wherever I can.  I chose to send out a video online  for my save-the-date rather than send out more paper.  I also chose to get my dress from the Bridal Garden, a nonprofit bridal boutique that sells donated dresses from showrooms and other brides rather than buy a new dress.  I plan to use recycled paper for my invitations, and have my guests rsvp online to keep the paper products to a minimum.  Visit Elegance & Simplicity to find out how to make your event greener!
bikeandrollThe Union Station Bike Transit Center, dubbed the first commuter bike station on the East Coast, in D.C. is having its grand opening and accepting memberships online. To learn about the offerings and memberships at the 100+ bike facility, visit the Bikestation site. Bike and Roll, a leading bicycle rental and tours company, is handling the day-to-day operation of the Center, located adjacent to Union Station.
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 11:09

Climate Refugees

tuvaluAs sea levels rise, the picture of a new kind of refugee emerges.  Climate refugees are people displaced by global warming and related environmental disasters. Hundreds of thousands of these refugees have already been displaced from permanently flooded coastal areas in places like Bohla Island in Bangladesh and the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea.  The 10,000 Tuvaluans living on the low island atoll of Tuvalu pictured here may be next. But rising sea levels do not only affect these exotic far away places.  Nearly a quarter of the world's population lives in low coastal areas.  Some of the world's great cities like London, Miami, New York, New Orleans, Mumbai, Cairo, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Shanghai are vulnerable to rising sea levels.  According to Elaine Kurtenbach of the Associated Press, Chinese cities are among the largest and most threatened.  In Shanghai, developers seem to ignore this threat, and they are building new infrastructure on the densely populated coasts.  By 2070, experts estimate that nearly 150 million people will be living in areas vulnerable to flooding from rising sea levels.
Thursday, 05 November 2009 18:55

Clean Air Cab: Carbon Neutral Taxi Co.

wrap-for-blog-2Our new partner, Clean Air Cab, is a carbon neutral taxi company serving the Phoenix metro area.  In addition to purchasing carbon offsets from Carbonfund.org, they go above and beyond and also plant ten trees per month for each cab they have on the road.  For October, Clean Air Cab has planted 260 trees!  They plan to reach 200 cabs in the next 3 years and plant over 23,000 trees. Rather than your usual Ford Crown Victoria, their entire fleet is made up of Toyota Priuses getting an estimated 50 miles per gallon.  They also prove that going green doesn't have to be expensive.  They have prices that are cheaper than the top three cab companies in Phoenix. carbon fund 1 “We believe that going green isn’t something you do – it is something you are,” said Steve Lopez, Founder of Clean Air Cab. In addition to taking care of the environment, Clean Air Cab has programs that protect their local community.  Arizona State University students can call Clean Air Cab’s Free Ride Back program to get a cab to take them home if they have been drinking and can't drive themselves. In the morning, they call back and a cab will pick them up and take them back to their car for free. People in the Phoenix, AZ metro area can book a Clean Air Cab taxi online at www.CleanAirCab.com or by calling 480-777-9777. Check out Carbonfund.org's CarbonFree® logo on the back of each Clean Air Cab!
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