Friday, 12 June 2009 12:01

Real Dads Cap Carbon

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susanna murley lyle murleyRecently, 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! susanna murley lyle murleyAnd, for the record, here are all the things my Dad has done to reduce his carbon emissions:
  1. Sold the two cars.
  2. House’s basic structure—N/S exposure only; S. shaded in summer, open for sun in winter.
  3. New windows throughout—double paned, sealed, and screened for warm weather.
  4. Recoating for the roof and insulated ceiling with panels.
  5. Sealed the chimneys and installed ventless gas fireplaces.
  6. Installed Mitsubishi heating and air conditioning system instead of electric room heaters and window air conditioners.
  7. Energy efficient refrigerator
  8. Energy efficient hot water heater
  9. Energy efficient washer and dryer
  10. Energy efficient toilets, shower heads, and faucets.
  11. Replaced light bulbs, use bleachless or recycled paper products, sprays rather than aerosol cans
  12. Use dishwasher and washing machine after 11:00 p.m.
  13. And, of course, he offsets with
Thanks Dad, and thanks to all the fathers out there who are helping to solve climate change and create a clean energy future. Happy Father's Day!

Ever wish you could decrease your jet lag?

flyrightlogIt's been sold in airports and onboard airlines and has also been offered through an American Express membership program and the FlyRight website. FlyRight's jet lag remedy contains an all natural blend of 12 herbs designed to boost the immune system, improve circulation, and offset travel fatigue.

Now, through a partnership with, a portion of the proceeds from sales of FlyRight Jet Lag Formula will support's efforts to help end global warming through's third-party verified carbon offset projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. Ted's Tinctures, Inc., makers of FlyRight is also offsetting the company's business office emissions.

Founded in 2007 by Ted Ray, Silicon Valley Licensed Acupuncturist and herbalist, FlyRight Jet Lag Formula is the first in a line of all natural herbal supplements that increase productivity and improve quality of life for business travelers worldwide. It was developed by Mr. Ray for his clientele of Silicon Valley executives and road warriors who sought a jet lag solution to keep them healthy and productive on the road. To learn more please visit the FlyRight website here.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a report analyzing the costs and revenues of the Waxman-Markey global warming bill. They found that within the first decade that the bill gets enacted, the US Treasury can expect to make $24.4 billion in revenue. Darren Samuelsohn of ClimateWire reports the following income and expenditures: Income:
  • The distribution of allowances via an auction would generate $254 billion for the Treasury between 2010 and 2014, and about $858 billion over the next 10 years;
  • $25 million and $50 million per year starting in 2012 from companies who do not meet their compliance obligations on-time.
  • Giving credits away for allowances will cost about $693 billion from 2010-2019;
  • Tax breaks for the poorest individuals and families to help offset higher energy prices ($161 tax credit for a single person earning less than $23,000 and about $359 for a five-person household);
  • $19.3 billion will be credited into a new Treasury account to help the Energy Department and U.S. EPA with reductions in HFCs through better appliance purchases, as well as recycling and reclamation;
  • $5.3 billion would go into a Treasury fund for national resource adaptation activities;
  • $900 million gets sent primarily to the Department of Health and Human Services to assist health professionals as they gear up for the challenges associated with climate change;
  • $4.3 billion from 2011-2019 for a new Labor Department benefits, job training and health insurance program to help workers who lose their jobs because of the climate law.
Read the full article here: “The Waxman-Markey bill will get our planet out of the red, while helping to put our budget back in black,” said Rep. Markey in a statement released yesterday. “Waxman-Markey is a win-win for America’s economy and environment.”
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. susannabikeLuckily 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'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, 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.

Last week, Hotel Carlton in San Francisco, CA announced that it had become the first hotel in San Francisco to achieve a special distinction from the US Green Building Council – the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Existing Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB O&M) Gold certification.

For Hotel Carlton, LEED-EB O&M Gold reflects an ongoing commitment to environmentally sustainable principles and practices. The Hotel Carlton was the first hotel in San Francisco to be 100% powered by solar energy and also offsets its carbon footprint as a part of our CarbonFree® business program. This level of commitment to eco-consciousness deserves our applause and we commend Hotel Carlton, and Joie de Vivre Hotels, for making a difference and implementing an amazing green program. You can learn more about Hotel Carlton’s commitment to the environment by reading their Environmental Policy Statement.

Monday, 08 June 2009 11:12

Purchase Concert Tickets the Green Way

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This spring, CarbonFree® Partner launched a new version of their software, leading the ticketing industry away from waste and towards a greener future.  Pioneering new technology such as paperless ticketing, integrated accounting, and social media, the new GrooveTickets gives customers and clients a great experience with minimal environmental impact. GrooveTickets' flexibility and desire to keep evolving and developing new technologies makes them unique.  From implementing a company-wide recycling program to using a green hosting service and using technological advances to minimize waste and increase efficiency, GrooveTickets is leading the way to a clean energy future. The new GrooveTickets isn't just a better product, it's a greener product. To learn more about GrooveTickets environmental initiatives, or to buy tickets for an awesome concert near you, visit GrooveTickets.'s newest CarbonFree(r) Partner, Modern Eco Homes, is kicking off summer with a new promotion: "Find the Keys tomeh_logo Sustainable Youth Contest!"  Contestants will participate in an online scavenger hunt for answers to a set of questions about Sustainable Youth, the sponsor of the promotion.  If you can correctly answer the questions, you win a Total Immune Performance Regimen Package.  This package consists of three anti-aging products valued at over $200 that will revitalize your skin. The prize package creams are all vegan and organic, so you can rest assured that you'll be winning environmentally-friendly products.  You're also supporting a CarbonFree(r) Partner by entering the contest!  If you like what you see, Sustainable Youth is offering a discount on all regularly priced items on your first visit - just use code 10modernecohomes during checkout.  The contest ends on June 11th, so visit Modern Eco Homes to learn the details and enter for a chance to win!
Thursday, 04 June 2009 12:11

New Forest Carbon Offsetting Survey

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The IPCC estimates that deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for 20% of global warming pollution; meaning any comprehensive solution to global warming must incorporate a way to reduce our emissions and keep trees in the ground. Emissions trading schemes like RGGI and CCAR already incorporate provisions that allow for forest based carbon offsets, and in the voluntary carbon market foresty related carbon offsets have been popular for years for a variety of reason. But what does the future hold for trees in the world of carbon offsets? A new survey seeks to shed light on exactly that question. A survey released by EcoSecurities, Conservation International (CI), ClimateBiz and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) entitled The forest carbon offseting survey 2009 overviews the entire background of forest carbon offsets and provides great insights on what the future might hold. The highlights and insights from the survey include:
  • Avoided deforestation (91%) and reforestation with native tree species (89%) were rated the most desirable forestry projects in regards to carbon results;
  • South America (78%), Africa (71%) and South East Asia (69%) are the three most desirable regions to purchase forest carbon credits;
  • The Clean Development Mechanism (64%) and the Voluntary Carbon Standard (60%) were rated as the most desirable standards when purchasing forest carbon offsets;
  • Participants highlighted the most important factor when purchasing forest offsets are carbon standards (91%), closely followed by experience and credibility (87%);
  • In comparison to Europe (19%), companies in North America (50%) are much more willing to pay up front for carbon credits that will be generated more than five years from now;
  • Benefits to local communities (89%) and the global scale of the problem (77%) have been the key motivational factors for adopting offsets from forest carbon projects.
This survey reinforces some of the anecedotal evidence that has been compiling from its donors for years. The forest based projects that our donors choose to support have strong community co-benefits, are validated to the highest third party standards (some are validated to two!), and produce real and additional reductions in global warming pollution. By recognizing deforestation's role in global warming and understanding the preferences of the people supporting these projects, we can work to develop more projects that meet environmental goals and appeal to donors. Fighting global warming will require a lot of wind turbines and solar pannels, but it will also require us getting dirty, planting trees, and helping communities in the process.
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