Michelle Lam

Michelle Lam

A national survey supports the view that Americans are willing to change their energy consumption to help the environment as well as save costs. According to a national survey commissioned by General Electric, 79 percent of those polled said they are willing to adjust their short-term energy consumption behaviors to ensure long-term results. Such behaviors include using “smart” devices such as thermostats or appliances. Bob Gilligan, vice president at GE Energy Services, explains, “There are some things that are essential to achieving a desired quality of life, and Americans overwhelmingly agree that investing in our nation’s energy future is one of them.” It is not news that the environment is a top-of-mind concern for Americans, but what accounts for their willingness to act? The following are some of the primary motivators determined from the survey:
  • Desire to save money (95 percent)
  • Increased control over energy bill (90 percent)
  • Desire to make a difference for children or grandchildren (88 percent)
  • Reduced number of power outages (86 percent)
  • Environmental concerns (85 percent)
You can get tips on saving energy at Carbonfund.org's Save Energy page and learn how you can reduce, offset your carbon footprint from using energy in your home or to get around. Read more about the survey and the press release here.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 17:59

Shark Attacks Building in Silver Spring

It’s everybody’s favorite time of the year again; Shark Week is back and kicks off August 1 on the Discovery Channel. This year, Shark Week is celebrating its 23rd anniversary, making it the longest-running event on cable. To promote the event, Discovery Channel has installed “Chompie” on the outside of the Discovery Communications headquarters building in Carbonfund.org's hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland. Chompie is a 446-foot inflatable shark that required the services of a professional rigging company. Discovery's headquarters building is also known for being Platinum-Level LEED certified by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for sustainable site development, water and energy savings, materials selection and environmental quality. 446 feet is the measured distance from the tip of the shark’s nose to the back of his tail. Each piece averaged 1,280 man-hours to sew the fabric together. That's a total of 6,400 hours that went into bringing Chompie to life! Discovery Communications is a Carbonfund.org partner and offsets corporate carbon emissions. Be sure to check out Shark Week on August 1 and learn more about our business partnership program at www.carbonfund.org/business.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="192" caption="El Mosote Co-op"][/caption] Who would have thought that beautiful jewelry, handbags, and other novelties could be created from trash such as discarded tires, leather scraps, metal parts, and old magazines? Carbonfund.org partner Revy Fair Trade Products is doing just that, with the help of local co-ops in El Salvador. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="160" caption="Neuva Creacion Co-op"][/caption] The Central American nation is still recovering from a long civil war. Exploitation of workers, child labor and environmental degradation have been common practices in such developing countries, but Revy Fair Trade Products is trying to change this. The company supports the fair trade mission by providing secure jobs and paying fair wages to individuals in each co-op. These co-ops have in turn made a commitment to sustainability; they are taking materials that would otherwise become waste and turning them into unique crafts. Recycling and reusing materials is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint. Click here to learn more ways you can lower your own footprint and check out Revy Fair Trade Products for one-of-a-kind gifts!
Before we can change energy use habits we must first change beliefs about energy conservation. A recent survey conducted by the Earth Institute of Columbia University shows that many Americans misunderstand energy conservation. Of the respondents surveyed, 20 percent believe that curtailment (e.g., driving less and turning off lights) is the most effective way to save energy. Few responded with what experts advocate, i.e., taking an efficiency approach like buying more efficient appliances and insulating homes. According to EcoMall, insulating walls and ceilings in a home can save up to 20 to 30 percent of home heating bills and reduce carbon emissions by 140 to 2,100 pounds per year. Similarly, the government's Energy Star program maintains that replacing windows can save from 7 to 24 percent of heating and air conditioning bills. Reducing our carbon footprint requires action but at the same time, the most effective actions. Ariel Schwartz of Fast Company suggests that the government should ramp up its energy information campaigns so that people understand "that, say, insulating homes from extreme heat and cold will save more energy than flicking off the lights.” You can see the full results of the study here. Learn more about practical ways you can save energy.
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 18:20

Orbitz Featured Among Best Ecotourism Websites

Ecotourism is the fastest growing segment in the travel industry. Within a few years, ecotourism is expected to generate hundreds of billions of dollars for the global economy, while helping to conserve habitats and endangered species. According to The Daily Green, there is no cut-and-dry or universally agreed upon definition of ecotourism, but it encompasses traveling to destinations in a sustainable and low-impact way. More precise enthusiasts may define ecotourism as traveling to natural and protected areas. [caption id="attachment_5256" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona"]Alamo Canyon [/caption]

The Daily Green compiled a list of the best ecotourism websites based on general overview and country-specific information. Orbitz is among those honored, as the company has put together a great ecotourism hub for information and planning tools. One can search for eco-friendly hotels as well as eco-friendly destinations. Orbitz also partners with Carbonfund.org to offer customers the option to offset flights booked through its website in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects around the world. Image Credit: Charles Conner, US National Park Service
11 million gallons: That’s the amount of crude oil that spilled in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident. Up to 84 million gallons: This is the amount of oil estimated to have spilled from the BP oil well ruptured on April 20. According to new estimates released by U.S. government scientists, the ruptured BP oil well has leaked from four to eight times the amount of oil that was spilled in 1989. And there is no indication yet that the spill will be fully contained in the near future. The priority has been to stop the leak, that much is clear. But we must also consider the long-term implications here as well. In order to ensure that a similar environmental disaster doesn't occur again, we must look to clean energy solutions to help meet our nation's and world's energy needs. Learn more on how you can support clean energy projects here.
The advent of e-cards and e-vites has enabled us to reduce the amount of paper waste we produce for birthdays, weddings, dinner parties, etc. Now you can also send birth announcements without paper waste. Nursery Notice is an online birth announcement service that creates announcements in the form of personalized websites. Each Nursery Notice site is customized with the baby’s birth details, photos, and a guestbook for family and friends to sign. A site is quick and easy to set up, and customers can rest assured that each Nursery Notice is private and secure. There’s no paper, postage, or mail delivery involved with the creation of a Nursery Notice site. Here at Carbonfund.org, our motto is “Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can’t” and as a CarbonFree® Partner, Nursery Notice embodies this. Learn more about how your company can become a partner here: www.carbonfund.org/business.
Summer 2010 has been one for the record books, with record-setting temperatures, a brutal heat wave in Russia and deadly flooding in Pakistan. Not only is climate change wreaking havoc on the weather, according to a University of South Carolina study, it could affect dinner plates soon as well. Researchers at the university concluded that higher air and water temperatures along the East Coast are shrinking the range of blue mussels. In the past, mussels lived as far south as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; now, the southernmost area that mussels can be found is Lewes, Delaware. Sierra Jones, a Ph.D. student at the University of South Carolina, explains the concern of the findings, saying, “These mussels are a very important part of the food chain, help clean the water, and are farmed commercially. If temperatures continue to increase, we can expect range changes of species like blue mussels to continue, and the health of our oceans is at risk.” Food shortage due to decreased food production and availability are among the consequences of climate change. For more information about the S.C. study, check out this article by E2 Wire's Ben Geman.
The introduction of iTunes forever changed the music industry in 2001, and record companies have been fighting an uphill battle ever since. Digital music is often hailed as the more environmentally-friendly way to enjoy music by eliminating energy and waste associated with the production and disposal of compact discs. But record companies are trying to change that notion, and Involved Productions is helping to lead the way by reducing their business' carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org. If you like to dance and frequent the clubs, chances are you’ve heard a record produced by this London-based music production and publishing company. Involved Productions is home to several well-known dance music labels including Anjunabeats, Anjunadeep, and Involved Records. A recent release, “Left/Right Switch” by Holderman, is featured on a Nike promotion and is a club favorite around the world. Check out Anjunabeats on YouTube at www.youtube.com/anjunabeats.
With over 30,000 products to choose from, Motivators.com is a leading distributor and retailer for promotional products. Customers can choose from promotional key chains, water bottles, pens, bags, and a whole lot more. Motivators.com does not just provide products, however; it has a team of knowledgeable consultants on hand to assist in designing artwork and custom promotional items, or just help plan the ideal giveaway. Such dedication to meet its individual customers’ needs has lent Motivators.com success for over thirty years. The company further sets itself apart through its continued commitment to environmental responsibility in its business practices. Here are just some of the ways Motivators.com demonstrates its green commitment:
  • Internal recycling and energy conservation
  • Option for customers to give back by planting trees through the American Forest Global ReLeaf Fund
  • Offsetting carbon emissions through its CarbonFree® Partnership with Carbonfund.org
So check out Motivators.com to satisfy all of your promotional needs, whether the purpose is personal or business. You'll find a diverse products and services selection and be working with a company commited to our environment.
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