Monday, 01 November 2010 17:23 Written by Ivan Chan
Keep the climate in mind this Election Day. How do you know where your candidates stand on fighting climate change? The nonprofit, nonpartisan Project Vote Smart has launched an interactive tool, VoteEasy, that matches you with candidates based on your view of climate change and other current issues. Enter your zip code and get a local report of your candidates' positions. You can use VoteEasy at http://votesmart.org/voteeasy. No doubt this election will affect how the nation addresses climate change at home—where Congress has yet to pass comprehensive climate legislation—and abroad, with the next major round of U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico later this month. As The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin notes, the U.S. could be in a bind should Congress become further deadlocked on the issue of climate change, despite the fact that the administration says it is not backing away from the pledged 17 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions vis-a-vis 2005 levels. The elections will affect whether or not, and how, Congress or the EPA acts, and how the administration will act in the international arena. If you care about climate change, know how your vote affects the issue and be sure to get out and vote.
Monday, 01 November 2010 13:31 Written by Greg Taylor
Carbonfund.org Partner GreenEcoSavers has now added GreenQuest, a free personal energy information website that combines information on energy spending, weather data, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use for your building. Developed in conjunction with EnergyCAP, their GreenQuest tool also calculates a home or facility’s carbon footprint (remember to offset with Carbonfund.org what you can't reduce). GreenQuest from GreenEcoSavers is providing tracking up to 3 meters (electricity, water and gas) for free with the help of green sponsors. By using the GreenQuest energy information website, homes and businesses can benefit by setting goals and benchmarks. Depending on your home or business location, GreenQuest will tell you how your energy usage compares with your friends and neighbors and help you get on the right track to saving money and energy. You can easily aggregate all of your energy usage data and as an option, obtain an ENERGY STAR building rating (for commercial buildings). You can also share your results on a public, read-only website to showcase your energy conservation efforts. I signed up my downtown DC condo this afternoon–it just takes a few minutes once you have your utility bills. I can see how my energy usage changes over time and how it interacts with the weather. I’m excited to add my first energy savings project (which can run the gamut from changing your lightbulbs to adding solar panels) and see how fast I earn my investment back!
Friday, 29 October 2010 15:52 Written by Harrison Walford
California is again the nation’s leader in the realm of energy efficiency. This is even more impressive when we consider that California is the nation's fourth largest producer of electricity and is the leading importer of electricity. The conclusions are by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Improvements to energy efficiency include modernized building codes, energy-efficiency targets and advancement of energy-efficiency programs. Moreover, California is the undisputed leader in renewable energy production. However, Massachusetts has been rapidly gaining on California in the last several years by increasing investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The American Southwest made the biggest improvements in energy efficiency. New Mexico, Utah and Arizona are all climbing fast in the rankings. The region is quickly becoming the go-to area for energy efficiency in the country. The states in the Southwest are in the top half of states in terms of energy efficiency. Already 27 states have fixed energy-efficiency targets and these states account for over two-thirds of America’s electricity. This is double the number of states from four years ago. You can learn more about these states here.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 16:45 Written by Greg Taylor
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="297" caption="Click to Download the App"][/caption] Wish you could donate more to charity but find it difficult in the economic downturn? Well let me tell you a secret that over 100,000 iPhone and Android users have already found out: You can donate to Carbonfund.org with a click of a button from your phone! Once you download CauseWorld’s award-winning smartphone app, check in at your favorite stores–grocery stores, hardware stores, department stores and many more that you visit on a regular basis anyway–and you earn karmas (no purchase necessary). Put these karmas to good use by supporting Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated reforestation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy carbon reduction projects. Carbonfund.org is continuing to lead a nationwide movement to fight climate change now. As we experience record temperatures, suffer devastating natural disasters and see the consequences of continuing to be dependent on fossil fuels, it is more important than ever to shift to cleaner energy sources, reforest the planet, and improve the way we do business. And with CauseWorld it’s now easier than ever. Download the CauseWorld app directly from Carbonfund.org’s front page. If you’re a business owner and want to help your customers fight climate change, sign up here.93QCVGPN3W4S
Dead and blood thirsty are all the rage in Hollywood, and America is more than willing to spend $10 a ticket to watch the gorefest (or smoochfest, depending on the vampire movie). But what if this vampire costs you around $100 a year and stalks your home? Vampire energy, AKA standby power, is the phenomenon where electronics suck energy even when they're turned off. By leaving gadgets like your computer, television or even electric toothbrush plugged into the wall, they're still leaching power and represent 5-10 percent of an average home's power usage, or 1 percent of our global carbon dioxide emissions, according to a GOOD Magazine report. The top power wasters in most homes are cell phones, digital cameras and music players, power tools and other electronic devices. Rather than anointing your laptop with garlic, the best way to avoid vampire energy is by using a power strip. All electronics can remain plugged in and when you turn them off and flip the power strip switch, you know they're really off. There's no reason not to get a power strip—saving on energy and on your utility bill is just practical. Check out Carbonfund.org partner Ecostrip's site for more information and purchasing options.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 14:02 Written by Ivan Chan
From the latest green home innovations to technologies making work and life more climate-friendly, this year's Green Festival in the nation's capital had a climate focus. Carbonfund.org was on hand to help individuals and businesses reduce their climate impact, including speaking on the role of offsetting in solving climate change, and serving as the official carbon offset provider of the DC and upcoming San Francisco festivals. The festival in DC, held on Oct. 23-24 at the Washington Convention Center, drew thousands from the region and visitors from around the world. Many visitors were intrigued by the CarbonFree® Certified products, like the MOTO™ W233 Renew mobile phone—the first to be made from plastics comprised of recycled water bottles, requiring 20 percent less energy to create the phone compared to standard plastic processes. Carbonfund.org also held a popular guess the number of CarbonFree® Certified coffee bean contest. The actual number in the jar—over 2,800 beans—was nearly guessed by some lucky visitors at the Carbonfund.org booth, earning them some prizes like a ZeroCarbon™ Individual offset or a special edition T-shirt. If you're on the West Coast, Green Festival San Francisco is just around the corner, Nov. 6-7, at the city's Concourse Exhibition Center. While Carbonfund.org won't be on hand to exhibit there, you can calculate your carbon footprint and learn how you can reduce your climate impact by visiting our website 24/7 at www.carbonfund.org. You can learn more about Green Festival San Francisco by visiting: www.greenfestivals.org/sf.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 13:57 Written by Ivan Chan
Over 2,000 more products than last year are being sold with some kind of green attribute. It's critical to avoid greenwashing. Labeling helps, but labels should themselves be clear and credible. Credibility means being backed by transparent, accepted standards each step of the way. So that companies can relate their product's climate impact clearly and credibly, Carbonfund.org in 2007 established the CarbonFree® Certified product label. The label means what it says, that a product is carbon neutral, and is backed by a publicly available protocol based on accepted standards on how a product's carbon footprint is determined. The rigorous program requires a third-party conducted product life-cycle assessment and has an expert technical advisory board. By going carbon neutral, a product's footprint is reduced to zero in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects that are helping fight climate change today. Labeling can be the antidote to greenwashing, if it is clear and credible, which can be important also with regard to the FTC's proposed revisions to its Green Guides. For consumers, labeling also differentiates brands and products that have valid environmental benefits. This makes choosing and buying products that are better for the environment easier and encourages more companies to make better products. To learn more about how you can avoid greenwashing, view this user-friendly guide. You can also learn more about product certification here.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 13:09 Written by Greg Taylor
What do high school, music, a local cafe and climate change have to do with each other? When music teacher Phil Sheaff takes his students to play the blues every week at a cafe, he makes a special commitment to combat climate change. After covering basic costs for running a band, PH1LL and the Great Energy Transfer uses 100% of their profits to support worthwhile causes, including carbon offsetting with Carbonfund.org. From a one-time gig at a local Chicago cafï¿½, the band has now become a weekly fixture in the Chicago music scene.ï¿½ PH1LL formed the band as a creative way to teach his guitar students all the details of live performanceï¿½from equipment setup to the live performance anxiety not easily reproduced in a practice hall.ï¿½ A quick hit, the band expanded its mission to make a difference in the world.ï¿½ In fact, part of its name ï¿½The Great Energy Transferï¿½ refers not only to the rhythm and blues dancing off the instruments, but also to the energy transformation that needs to occur to avoid catastrophic climate change. The band has now committed to donating all of its profits to Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated renewable energy projects, which helps lead the economy’s transformation to a clean energy future. As the band’s success continues to grow, so have its ambitions. In order to further lead by example, the band is saving to purchase a bio-diesel van so it can tour without worsening the climate. They’re collecting donations through the nonprofit they’ve set up to purchase the van. To find out more about this initiative and the rest of their creative approach to music visit their website.