Friday, 25 September 2009 10:05
A new report shows that $70.2 billion was given to the fossil fuel industry over the last seven years from government subsidies. Only $12.2 billion was given to renewables like wind and solar, in the same time period. The study, released this week, is available through the Power Shift '09 site and here. Read more>>
Friday, 09 October 2009 11:10
One of our business partners, Clean Air Lawn Care, is up for an Entrepreneur of the Year award. They're a very cool business--they use electric mowers, organic fertilizers and recycle all their clippings. Please take a second and vote for them! The Emerging Entrepreneur Award from Entrepreneur Magazine selects innovative startup businesses who stand out among their peers. After being chosen as a semi-finalist, the winner must be selected by the online community at http://www.entrepreneur.com/e2009/vote/emerging.php#432 The winner will be featured in the January ’10 and December ’10 issues of Entrepreneur Magazine. It’s a tremendous honor to be working with a company that has been selected one of the 5 semi-finalists for this award. We hope you will join us in helping to push them to the top! The contest ends on Monday, so vote now! And for those of you on twitter, please tweet this: RT @Carbonfundorg Vote Ends Monday! Help innovative green business win prestigious #Entrepreneur Award http://bit.ly/om3ao #green #eco Read the press release:
Clean Air Lawn Care Nominated for Emerging Entrepreneur 2009 Fort Collins, CO – Clean Air Lawn Care CEO, Kelly Giard, has been nominated to be Entrepreneur Magazine’s Emerging Entrepreneur of 2009! This is an incredible honor for all of Clean Air Lawn Care and a testament to the changing face of business – a commitment to being green, setting high ethical and environmental standards, and being an example to others. Clean Air Lawn Care is a lawn maintenance business that uses clean electric and biodiesel powered equipment. The vehicles hauling this equipment have mounted solar panels which charge the electric equipment during the workday. The equipment is clean and quiet; the fertilizer is organic; the business is carbon neutral. Clean Air Lawn Care is the pioneer of sustainable lawn care franchising. In the October 2008 print issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Clean Air Lawn Care was identified as one of the top 5 green franchises in America. The January 2009 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine showcases the Franchise 500 and Clean Air Lawn Care again is listed as one of the major players in a green franchise movement. The sustainable company has been receiving other national attention as well. In May of this year, the company graced the cover of Turf Magazine, an indication that change is indeed coming to the lawn care industry. Noting the sustainable methods used by Clean Air Lawn Care, the magazine stated, “Clean Air may have a jump on competitors who are clinging to traditional techniques.” Why Sustainable Lawn Care… • 5-10% of the nation’s air pollution comes from gas powered lawn equipment. • In one hour, one gas lawn mower can pollute as much as an SUV driven 23,600 miles. • The company saves $10,000 a year on gas and spends less than $500 to charge the equipment through renewable energy. • Electric lawn mowers cut noise emissions by 50%-75%. Through the use of electric equipment powered by renewable energy, Clean Air Lawn Care removed 32,000 pounds of air pollution equaling over 1,000,000 vehicle miles in 2008. The positive impact of Clean Air Lawn Care’s business is parallel with growth. The company’s growth equals a larger reduction in national air pollution. The online vote is taking place at http://www.entrepreneur.com/e2009/vote/emerging.php#432 Watch the video and learn how Clean Air Lawn Care is starting a revolution in lawn care and changing the way America mows the lawn.
Thursday, 03 September 2009 10:46
The last month of summer is always a time to devotedly enjoy the last days of freedom and sun. While many of us in the office went on vacation, our work to stop global warming never stopped! Check out these the top blog posts from the month of August. 1. @Carbonfundorg reaches 1000 followers! Tweet Tweet! Carbonfund.org’s twitter mosaic is all the rage. In August, we passed a big milestone and reached 1000 followers, and we posted this awesome mosaic of all our friends. We’re shooting to reach 2,500 in September, so please follow us and YOU can be a part of this work of art! Molecule Eats Carbon Dioxide From the world of the weird and wonderful, Maryland scientists recently discovered a molecule that “eats” carbon dioxide. Will this be the solution that helps us avert catastrophic climate change? 3. Tips for College Students to Keep it Green and Keep Some Cash School is back! While parents relish their new-found freedom, their kids are off to school and helping us keep it green—and for a good reason. They’re the ones that will feel the effects of this global warming mess our parents made. 4. YouRenew.com Makes Splash with Giant iPhone 3GS If you’re like me and you have iphone envy, you might have found a dandy man this month. Carbonfund.org partner, Rich Littlehale, Co-founder of YouRenew.com dressed up in a giant Iphone in Manhattan this month to try to get people to recycle their old phones. Hot! 5. Energy Efficiency & Our Economy Want an extra $1.2 trillion in your pocket? How about 23% reductions in global warming emissions by 2020? A new report shows us how to get there through efficiency alone—now doesn’t that just sound smart? 6. ‘Cash For Clunkers’ Car Rebate System Begins It’s not just here at Carbonfund.org where “Clunker” became the logophile’s latest lust. Nearly 700,000 cars were traded in through this program, saving consumers’ money, stimulating the economy and reducing pollution for old and inefficient vehicles. Don’t forget to check out our recap of the program here: http://www.carbonfund.org/blog/global-warming/carbon-reduced-economy-stimulated-cars/ 7. Protect Your Skin this August with EcoStinger Hot summer sun can’t fight Carbonfree Partner Ecostinger. They make sun protective clothing for all your outdoor clothing needs! And you’ll get a discount for being a Carbonfund.org supporter... 8. Rising Food Prices from Global Warming a Serious Threat to Urban Poor The moral imperative to solve global warming is no more clear than when you’re looking at impacts to the urban poor. Heat waves, droughts and extreme weather will affect agricultural production and will raise food prices, putting an extreme burden on those who are already struggling to survive at under $1 a day.
Thursday, 20 August 2009 10:53
Ride a bike. Biking or walking is the best way to save on gas and save on money. Plus if you have a bike, you could do bike delivery. Check out this awesome business model: harvestcycle.com. They pick up produce from a local farm and deliver it carbon-free to their clients. Return your beverage bottles. Some states require stores and other distributors to give you a refund of 5-10 cents for every beverage or beer bottle you bring back. Plus, it’s green and gets the whole house to participate. Learn more here: www.bottlebill.org. Eliminate your vampire leakage. If you are paying the electricity bill, start off right by buying power strips that you can easily turn off when you’re not using the microwave, the TV and other appliances. A friend of mine was able to lower her electric bill to $7 a month this way! Stop the red cup madness! Start off right and buy a reusable party cup and get all your friends to do the same. If you have a party, let everyone know that they have to bring their own cup—you’ll eliminate waste AND clean-up time. Offset your events, and your carbon footprint. Calculate and offset in support of innovative projects to reduce carbon emissions, while reducing your own impact on the planet. You can calculate at the Carbonfund.org individual calculators here. Get involved in your campus climate group. Hundreds of college campuses have pledged to go carbon neutral because of activism by students. Find out at AASHE which campuses have pledged, and ask your own campus to do its part. Colleges and universities are helping to lead the way in the fight on global warming. Students are inventing clean energy technologies, designing the efficient green buildings, and pushing state and local policy. Get involved in the growing movement of young people who are helping to avert climate change today. Also check out the International Youth Climate Blog at itsgettinghotinhere.org.
Monday, 08 June 2009 14:08
Dan Terry is in love with sweet lady traffic. If he’s like most Americans, he drives at least 39 miles a day, every second of which he’s joining the rest of US commuters who burn 6,300 gallons of oil—every second. Watch this hilarious ode to sweet lady traffic. The transportation sector accounted for 33% of all the greenhouse gas emissions the US produced in 2007, which means that despite how much Dan Terry and others may love sitting in their cars, inhaling exhaust and stop and going for hours every day, we have to find a more sustainable way of moving through our cities if we’re going to deal with climate change. Luckily for me, I'm able to ride my bike to work most days. My ride makes me ridiculously happy in the morning--I don't know if it's all the endorphins that are released, if it's just seeing the change of the Washington DC spring, or if it's all the money and CO2 I'm saving that invigorates me. Using Carbonfund.org's carbon calculator, I figured out that if I drove to work every day, my '95 Volvo would produce 3,000 lbs of CO2 emissions per year and cost me $15 in offsets (not to mention gas, maintenance and other vehicle expenses). Just by switching to my '06 Fuji Silhouette, I cut down significantly on my CO2 impact and get some healthy exercise to boot. Calculate your commute now>> Unfortunately, not everybody has the kind of bicycle-friendly infrastructure that Washington DC has, so more and more people are finding other ways to reduce their commute—either by moving closer to work, telecommuting, or using public transportation. With a new transportation bill coming soon to Congress, Transportation for America is calling on Congress to invest in infrastructure to support the new commuting trends. You can take action by sending a message to your member of Congress on their site, MyCommuteSucks.org. Or, you can help spread the word by tweeting about your commute. Include #mycommutesucks in your rant to have your tweet show up on their front page.
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 11:57
A national survey released by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities shows that there is a disconnect between Americans’ conservation attitudes and their actual behaviors. The survey showed that a large majority of Americans have a positive attitude towards conservation efforts such as turning off unnecessary lights, opting for public transportation or carpooling, and lowering the thermostat. However, despite the optimistic outlook, many individuals are not following through with their behaviors. • 72 percent of Americans say it is important to use public transportation or carpool, but only 10 percent say they "often" or "always" do; • 88 percent of Americans say it is important to recycle at home, but only 51 percent "often" or "always" do; • 81 percent say it is important to use re-usable shopping bags, but only 33 percent "often" or "always" do; The survey also illustrated that when combating global warming, Americans are more likely to show their support through their consumer purchases. In the past year, approximately 1 in 3 Americans have rewarded companies that are taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products. “There is plenty of room to improve,” admits Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change. “At the same time, each behavior has its own set of barriers...Lowering these barriers will make it much easier for people to act in ways consistent with their values."
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 17:42
While solar power chargers for cell phones or GPS devices are not new to techies, a new solar technology is now making recharging your phone as easy as grabbing your beach tote. G24 Innovations, the company that is licensing the technology, says that dye-sensitized cells will be used to provide power for various portable devices from e-book readers and cell phones to wireless sensors and keyboards. The solar cells will most likely be made into thin, flexible panels that will then be stitched into various consumer products such as e-book covers, tennis bags, backpacks, golf, shopping and beach bags. Individuals will then be able to plug their phones or music players into the bags using a USB cord. Solar panels on the bags will have 11 cells each, and wiring will attach the panel to a battery pack in the bag. The technology uses a photosensitive dye to start its energy production, similar to the way leaves use chlorophyll to begin photosynthesis. Currently, most photovoltaic cells are still based on silicon or related inorganic materials, not dyes. While the technology works best in direct sunlight (taking six to eight sunny hours outside for the panel to fuel the charger), the cells have even shown to generate voltage from moonlight.
Friday, 05 February 2010 14:21
A new report released by scientists states that the hole in the atmosphere's ozone layer is slowly mending. While that news may sound encouraging, some scientists warn that the repairing hole may ironically further contribute to global warming. According to research, the hole led to the formation of moist, radiant clouds that are shielding the Antarctic from carbon emission temperature increases. But, as co-author of the report, Ken Carslow, warns “the recovery of the hole will reverse that,” and essentially accelerate warming in the Southern Hemisphere. The report was based off of a new, University of Leeds study using recorded meteorological data spanning the course of two decades. The study showed that the hole generated high-speed winds that caused sea salt to be swept into the atmosphere leading to the production of the moist, reflective clouds. However, some scientists think that the wind speeds were not generated by the ozone layer’s hole, but caused by emissions of greenhouse gases. Even as the ozone layer continues to recover, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to expand causing a rise in temperatures. The temperature rise would cause wind speeds to increase over time and have the same cloud-forming effect the ozone hole has now.
Friday, 12 June 2009 12:01
Recently, my Dad sent me an email asking about getting solar power for their home, a townhouse in Philadelphia. He has already replaced his windows with energy efficient panes, insulated his roof, is purchasing energy efficient items, and has taken other, important measures to reduce his climate impact. But what Dad can resist the allure of having a cool gadget on his roof powering his entertainment system? While he may be able to get some benefit from solar energy, he would have to cut down a tree that's already providing insulation benefits to get a fully sun-drenched roof. So I suggested instead that he get looped in on the discussion on climate change action (and saved a beautiful old elm as well). The political opportunity to influence US and international action on climate change has never been greater. Nationally, we have a change to set an economy-wide cap on carbon that restricts emissions over time with the Waxman-Markey bill. It creates a market for carbon, incentivizing reductions in carbon emissions and putting a price on pollution. The vote on this bill is expected in August. Then, this December, the world's leaders will meet in Copenhagen to craft a new global treaty on cutting carbon emissions. All eyes are on the US to see how we will meet our obligations. That's why real Dads cap carbon. Get involved! 1. Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can't™. 2. Stay informed about climate change, and express support for action. 3. Forward this article to your Dad or a Dad you know, and consider giving a gift offset instead of a gadget this year. You'll be doing him and the planet a favor! And, for the record, here are all the things my Dad has done to reduce his carbon emissions:
- Sold the two cars.
- House’s basic structure—N/S exposure only; S. shaded in summer, open for sun in winter.
- New windows throughout—double paned, sealed, and screened for warm weather.
- Recoating for the roof and insulated ceiling with panels.
- Sealed the chimneys and installed ventless gas fireplaces.
- Installed Mitsubishi heating and air conditioning system instead of electric room heaters and window air conditioners.
- Energy efficient refrigerator
- Energy efficient hot water heater
- Energy efficient washer and dryer
- Energy efficient toilets, shower heads, and faucets.
- Replaced light bulbs, use bleachless or recycled paper products, sprays rather than aerosol cans
- Use dishwasher and washing machine after 11:00 p.m.
- And, of course, he offsets with Carbonfund.org
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 10:56
Today marks a full day of climate negotiations that lead off the UN’s annual meeting in New York. President Obama will make an opening speech, in which he will acknowledge the previous administration’s climate stance by saying that his administration “understand[s] the gravity of the climate threat. We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to future generations.” This year’s challenge is getting the issue in front of and debated in the US Senate. Without a strong climate commitment from the US, Obama’s efforts will be seriously hamstrung in any international negotiations. He highlights what has been done through investment and tax incentives in the US. “The United States has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history.”
We’re making our government’s largest ever investment in renewable energy – an investment aimed at doubling the generating capacity from wind and other renewable resources in three years. Across America, entrepreneurs are constructing wind turbines and solar panels and batteries for hybrid cars with the help of loan guarantees and tax credits – projects that are creating new jobs and new industries. We’re investing billions to cut energy waste in our homes, buildings, and appliances – helping American families save money on energy bills in the process. We’ve proposed the very first national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for all new cars and trucks – a standard that will also save consumers money and our nation oil. We’re moving forward with our nation’s first offshore wind energy projects. We’re investing billions to capture carbon pollution so that we can clean up our coal plants. Just this week, we announced that for the first time ever, we’ll begin tracking how much greenhouse gas pollution is being emitted throughout the country. Later this week, I will work with my colleagues at the G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies so that we can better address our climate challenge. And already, we know that the recent drop in overall U.S. emissions is due in part to steps that promote greater efficiency and greater use of renewable energy.If the Senate and the House could come to an agreement on the climate bill, Obama would certainly be in a stronger position to push a stronger climate treaty. But in order to avoid being a disappointing collection of platitudes, calls for action need to include strong, science-based targets on emissions reductions so that we can get back to a sustainable level of CO2 in our atmosphere. Read the full released speech here.