Tuesday, 05 October 2010 12:49 Written by Ivan Chan
The White House announced today that it will soon have solar panels and a solar hot water heater. The installations will be part of a Department of Energy solar energy demonstration project. “President Obama has said the Federal Government has to lead by example in creating opportunity and jobs in clean energy,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “By installing solar panels on arguably the most famous house in the country, his residence, the President is underscoring that commitment to lead and the promise and importance of renewable energy in the United States.” Solar power has had an on-off relationship with presidents. President Carter's 1979 solar installation at the White House was removed by President Reagan in 1986. Then, the first President Bush put in place a system to provide electricity to a maintenance building and heat the pool. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “This project reflects President Obama’s strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home. Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come.” Today's announcement is part of the administration's stated commitment to clean energy investment, jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department has not lifted a ban yet on deep-water drilling, is expected to announce approval of two large solar collection systems in the California desert and further plans for offshore wind power in the Atlantic. Learn more about reducing your own carbon emissions and support renewable energy projects here.
With fall here, the days of 8:00 p.m. sunlight are over. These extra hours of darkness in the evening are responsible by some estimates for the equivalent of billions of gallons of fuel used to light our homes, offices and shops. So how can we keep our energy usage low and reduce our carbon footprint? Our partner Exterior Solar Lights has some suggestions. Their well-stocked shop of green, solar lights can help you slash your electricity bills throughout fall and winter and make use of the available daylight. Their solar lights require no electricity and can last up to 20 years thanks to LED bulbs and modern solar panels. From stainless steel solar garden lights to designer solar lamp posts, Exterior Solar Lights has the products you can use to enjoy the outdoors during the wintertime while cutting your energy usage and carbon footprint. As a benefit to the Carbonfund.org community, Exterior Solar Lights is offering 10 percent off your next purchase of $150 (plus shipping is free). Use promo code ThankYou10. How else are you cutting your carbon footprint as the seasons change? Add your suggestions in the comments below.
Monday, 04 October 2010 16:45 Written by Greg Taylor
Transportation Management Services, one of the leading transportation experts, excels in business by excelling in sustainability. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, TMS has again proven its model of measuring success by its environmental as well as bottom line performance. In February, the Maryland-based company earned accolades for successful execution of transportation plans for this year’s NBA All-Star game in Dallas, TX. Despite record low temperatures, even snow and large crowds, TMS maintained its high level of punctual service for the event. On Earth Day, TMS built upon its successful green roof planting last year by adding a vegetable garden to its Maryland headquarters. The company even planted seedlings for its employees to take home and start their own gardens. By encouraging behavioral change among their employees and clients, TMS maximizes its emissions reductions. On the road, TMS monitors vehicle conditions to ensure tires are inflated, idling is minimized and fuel caps are fitted properly. TMS also operates one of the most advanced fleets in the world, using ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel whenever possible. In the office, TMS requires all of its offices to recycle all paper, use recycled office materials, install energy efficient equipment and reduce energy usage. TMS is part of a growing trend where transportation companies are developing and implementing sustainability initiatives to address their environmental impact and differentiate their offerings. Carbonfund.org is working with leading travel and transportation partners, large and small, to help achieve their sustainability goals. Also, TMS has been awarded the 2010 EcoLeadership Award by The Alliance for Workplace Excellence. This honor is bestowed upon leading companies in the Washington, D.C. area that maintain sustainable workplaces. TMS also makes a priority of serving green companies, including the US Green Building Council, Solar Power International and the American Wind Energy Association. By continuing to lead the transportation industry in a sustainable direction, TMS is able to do well by doing good.
The video on-demand and hi-tech conveniences that were predicted for home living rooms are more often found aboard airplanes today. You can watch a movie, catch the latest music video, order a meal... even reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting your flight. Travel writer Paul Eisenberg notes in his FoxNews piece that Virgin America is the first airline to offer its guests the ability to offset in-flight using their seatback entertainment system. Virgin America partnered with Carbonfund.org to make offsetting possible to fliers either at the end of their ticket purchase or in-flight. The donation supports third-party validated carbon reduction projects, including the Chino Basin Dairy Farm Biodigester which captures heat-trapping methane from farm waste and helps protect groundwater. Carbonfund.org is working with travel and transportation companies in different industries to fight climate change and reduce the climate impact from being on the go. You can learn more about our partnership or calculate and offset your Virgin America flight by visiting www.carbonfund.org/virginamerica.
Friday, 01 October 2010 11:59 Written by Alterra Hetzel
Carbonfund.org spent the day at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday, September 25th as Virgin and IMP event productions presented Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2010. The festival started at Noon, with 21 artists playing on 3 different stages, all in one day! In addition, the day was filled with fun packed activities including a Ferris wheel, a Playstation tent, evening fireworks and all the festival food anyone would ever want. Our educational booth, alongside others like Virgin Unite and Music 4 More, let concertgoers learn how to reduce their climate impact and support carbon reduction projects. To illustrate what festival attendees are doing to reduce where they could, Carbonfund.org offered a large canvas. Here are some favorite quotes from the canvas: "Use natural sunlight during the day." "Bike everywhere." "Unplug electronic devices that are not in use." "Recycle." "Did you know you can run a diesel engine on waste vegetable oil?" "Use public transportation." "We borrow the earth from our children. We don't own it." "Hire locals." "Reuse your drink cups at Virgin Fest." "Nature rocks my socks." The festival was great and Carbonfund.org thanks everyone who came by to support us. And a huge thank you to both Virgin Mobile and IMP for having us. See you next year. Please remember to reduce what you can, offset what you can't.
Thursday, 30 September 2010 14:59 Written by Ivan Chan
There's no doubt computer and video games are preferred entertainment for a growing number of youths and young adults. Competitors now even meet Olympic style. The World Cyber Games (WCG) kicked off a four-day, final competition at the Los Angeles Convention Center today. It marks the 10th anniversary of bringing together the top computer and video game players. This year, the Grand Final is a carbon-neutral event for the first time. 450 of the best ranked gamers from 60 countries are gathering this weekend to compete for more than $250,000 in cash, prizes and the honor of being named the global champion. Samsung, the Games' worldwide partner, has made the Grand Final a carbon-neutral event, balancing the event's carbon footprint with support of the third-party validated Reclaiming America's Heartland carbon reduction project in the Dakotas. The project's goal is to conserve ecologically vital grasslands and wildlife habitat in North and South Dakota, including the endangered Whooping Crane and numerous species of geese and ducks, while preventing the release of CO2 emissions over the project's lifetime. Carbonfund.org will also present a Corporate Climate Leadership Award to Samsung at the WCG. Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org remarked, “Making the World Cyber Games Grand Final carbon neutral for the first time shows Samsung’s strong commitment to taking positive steps that help the climate and all of us. Carbonfund.org is proud to recognize Samsung’s sustainability initiatives by presenting this Corporate Climate Leadership Award.” To learn more about the WCG, click here. Visit www.carbonfund.org/business to learn more about our work in helping businesses achieve their sustainability goals and reduce their climate impact.
Did you know that coral reefs affect over 500 million people? While these majestic ocean structures only cover 0.1% of the sea floor, they provide important goods and ecosystem services, such as supporting fisheries, food supplies and tourism. Recent estimates, though, put the demise of coral reefs at less than a century. Coral reefs and their constituent organisms, corals, are threatened by climate change. If coral reefs collapse, some countries could face economic hardship and hunger. Over 100 nations currently protected by wave-resistant reefs will be more vulnerable to storms and flooding. It all comes down to warming sea temperatures. "The increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations since the industrial revolution has driven increases in the average tropical ocean temperature by nearly 0.5°C, a sea level rise of 17 cm, and an increase in surface ocean acidity..." This according to a study published by the Institute of Physics (IOP). As a general rule, the thermal threshold for corals occurs at approximately 1°C above the long-term summer maximum for a region. Damage to corals have already been observed in the form of coral bleaching, which is most commonly caused by stress from temperature change. Here's an example of bleached corals: Global temperatures are continuing to rise. In fact, between 2000-2005, it's been estimated that greenhouse gas emissions grew four times faster globally than the preceding 10 years. Click here to learn how you or your business can reduce emissions today.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 10:46 Written by Manvi Drona-Hidalgo
Delegates from around the world are traveling to London for the First International Conference on Ethical Certification, which begins today. Event organizers at InSource have teamed up with Carbonfund.org to mitigate the environmental impact of this important conference entitled Certification, Consumption and Change (CC&C) for thought-provoking discussions on the future of product certifications. The CC&C conference will be a carbon-neutral event, supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Carbonfund.org supports several projects around the world from forest conservation in the Amazon to the Nez Perce Reforestation Project in the United States that reduce emissions and help protect the environment and biodiversity. A few weeks ago a HuffPost article listed London as one of the most polluted cities of the world. So this is a great start, hopefully one that other events and conferences follow toward a healthier, cleaner planet.