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 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.

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 GrooveTickets.com 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.
Carbonfund.org'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 Carbonfund.org 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.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009 10:16

American GHG Registry in the Works?

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Today, the EPA proposed a plan that will account for and report Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) for all major US emitters. The plan would cover up to 90% of all US based emissions and would serve as the basis for any proposed cap-and-trade emissions reductions system. As reported by the Washington Post:
"If adopted by the end of the year [2009], the new rule could produce greenhouse gas statistics by the end of 2010. The EPA requirements would apply to large industrial sources that emit 25,000 metric tons or more a year, including oil and chemical refineries; cement, glass, pulp and paper plants; manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines; and confined animal feeding operations."
Setting the bar for inclusion in this mandatory reporting at 25,000 metric tons means that virtually all small and medium sized businesses would not be required to report their emissions. Carbonfund.org, for example, estimates that many standard businesses with less than 20 employees are responsible for about 140 metric tons of CO2 a year. Businesses range in size and activity, but one can reasonably assume that most small and medium sized businesses not engaged in industrial practices would be under the reporting limit. A GHG reporting system is yet another step in the right direction for American action on global warming. By understanding our nation's carbon footprint, our government will be able to intelligently devise a cap-and-trade system that will produce real world emissions cuts. To better understand your carbon footprint or to estimate your business' GHG emissions, go to Carbonfund.org.
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