Thursday, 19 November 2009 17:59 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
The US auto market should have two electric cars to choose from in the near future - the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. These vehicles could start the revolution towards zero direct emission cars that are more efficient and less harmful to the environment. But questions are starting to mount over how far these cars can really take you. According to an article in the Washington Post, the Leaf has an all-electric engine that can take you 100 miles on one charge, and the Volt has a gas-electric engine that will take you 40 miles on a charge and then run off its gas engine. Even though many people drive significantly less than 100 miles per day (particularly in urban settings), the fear of having an empty battery with no where close to charge it can strike concern for some. To preemptively combat this fear, a coalition of forces is calling on the government to spend billions of dollars to help build the infrastructure to give drivers the ability to fuel their batteries on-the-go. Though most people will be able to get all the charge they need at home when the car is parked, an on-the-go infrastructure would certainly help. What do you think? Would you buy an electric vehicle even without a vast fueling station infrastructure? Image of the Nissan Leaf; also read this blog posting about the Volt when it was announced.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 17:31 Written by Greg Taylor
Carbonfund.org congratulates our partner Nika as the first business to win San Diego’s “Most Significant Impact by a Business” Stay Classy award presented in part by NBC Sandiego.com. Nika has taken bottled water and turned it into a social, environmental, and economic mission; they invest 100% of their profits into clean water projects in Latin America, Africa, and India. They report that over 20% of the world’s population does not have clean water available. On top of that, Nika is CarbonFree® Certified. They have undergone a strict life-cycle assessment of the carbon footprint of their product, from making the plastic bottles, to shipping the water, to recycling or disposal of the water bottles. They invest in reforestation to remove that amount of carbon emissions from the atmosphere. So again, congrats Nika! It couldn’t have happened to a classier company.
A new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience states that global CO2 emissions have risen 29% since 2000 and 41% since 1990. Moreover, in spite of the global economic downturn, emissions still rose 2% globally in 2008, the most recent year of record. The increase in emissions is attributable to many factors, but most notably the increased emissions of developing nations. The graph indicates that whereas developed nations emissions have basically plateaued over the last 19 years, developing nations emissions have risen dramatically. Emissions from countries like China and India have more than doubled since 1990. To contextualize some of the growth of developing nations emissions, a quarter of developing nations emissions can be attributed to increased international trade. Whereas most of this new study reinforces suspicions that we all already had (namely, we haven't done a darn thing to reduce emissions, so naturally they would rise), it also sheds light on a newly observed trend of the global carbon cycle. Terrestrial and oceanic carbon sinks are disappearing. 45 percent of the global carbon stocks are currently in our atmosphere - up from about 40 percent 50 years ago. This is probably the result of two factors:
- We are emitting more carbon, outpacing the land and ocean's natural ability to absorb CO2
- We are destroying natural carbon sinks like trees, meaning that there are fewer places for atmospheric CO2 to go
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 17:42 Written by Emily Pugliese
Now you can track the life of your t-shirt from the farm to the factory to your back, and everywhere in between! Anvil Knitwear, Inc. announced the launch of TrackMyT.com, a groundbreaking, interactive website that chronicles and brings to life the complete journey and environmental impact of a t-shirt, from cottonseed to consumer. The site, which specifically tracks t-shirts for youth ages two to 12, allows users to explore cotton farms, a gin and spinners, as well as Anvil's textile mill, cut and sew plants, and distribution facility -- all by inputting a unique tracking number printed on their very own shirt. Anvil Knitwear started the tracking process when they determined the carbon footprint of their AnvilRecyled™ tees while pursuing Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Product Certification. To meet rigorous standards of the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program, Anvil assessed the carbon footprint of the recycled tee throughout its lifecycle, from raw materials sourcing, manufacturing and transportation to screen printing, consumer use and disposal. Anvil made the tee carbon neutral by reducing emissions during the production process and by supporting reforestation projects. In keeping with Anvil's commitment to being an environmentally and socially responsible company, the TrackMyT.com site explores the differences between organic and conventional cotton farming, and calculates the carbon footprint of each step in the manufacturing process. Because many consumers are unaware that an average of 60 percent of a shirt's carbon contribution comes from a lifetime of washing and wearing (as opposed to its manufacturing), the site identifies ways the user can minimize his or her carbon footprint as a t-shirt owner. Anvil Knitwear, Inc., a socially and environmentally responsible manufacturer of sportswear and accessories, is a leader in the sustainable apparel industry with its AnvilOrganic®, AnvilRecycled™ and AnvilSustainable™ brands. Anvil was ranked as the world's sixth largest organic program for 2008 and the largest domestic purchaser of US grown certified organic cotton and transitional cotton (cotton in conversion to organic farming methods). Anvil offers 16 affordable eco styles made from a variety of fibers such as certified organic cotton, transitional cotton, recycled cotton, and recycled PET bottles and blends, as well approximately 70 traditional styles. Anvil's website www.TrackMyT.com offers educational information on the making of its youth tees. For more information about Anvil, please visit www.anvilknitwear.com or www.anvilcsr.com. You can also learn more about the CarbonFree® Product Certification Program and CarbonFree® Certified, the first carbon neutral product label in the US at www.carbonfund.org/products.
The effects of global warming will be far reaching and pervasive. But what does that really mean? Well, you can't really explain it in one blog post, but you can give a great example that will make you squirm: a warmer world means more pests. An AP article offers its insights on some of the bugs and bug-a-boos that may be more prevalent as the temperatures rise.
Ticks that transmit Lyme disease are spreading northward into Sweden and Canada, once too cold for them. Giant Humboldt squid have reached waters as far north as British Columbia, threatening fisheries along much of the western North American coast. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are now found in South Korea, the Papua New Guinea highlands, and other places previously not warm enough for them. Bark beetles reproducing more quickly in warming climates and expanding their ranges have devastated forests across western North America. In British Columbia they have laid waste to an area twice the size of Ireland. A microscopic parasite is spreading a deadly disease among salmon in Alaska and British Columbia. Researchers say rising water temperatures are partly to blame. The U.S. government warns that such invasive plants as the common reed, hyacinth and purple loosestrife are likely to spread to northern states.The big question that arises when you see a list like this is, why? The answer is that for some species, the changes in temperature, more specifically the extreme cold days in winter, act as a 'population equalizer.' With temperatures even a little bit warmer, fewer pests freeze and die naturally, leaving more to reproduce. This is particularly the case with bark beetles in Canada which also reproduce more rapidly in warmer temperatures. Fight global warming now. Reduce and offset your carbon footprint.
Friday, 13 November 2009 17:02 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
Thursday, 12 November 2009 22:19 Written by Ivan Chan
Thank you Bambeco for including offsetting one's holiday travel with Carbonfund.org as a holiday green tip. Bambeco is a stylish eco-retailer launched on Earth Day and has quickly developed a fan following. The company's mission is to offer an appealing, comprehensive selection of green products. Check out their seasonal and holiday home furnishings at www.bambeco.com. This holiday, and year-round, you can affordably and easily calculate your travel carbon footprint, or choose from preset options based on miles traveled. Whether you're traveling by car, train, bus or plane, you can calculate and offset your carbon footprint. Also, learn how you can reduce the carbon footprint of your travel with these energy saving tips.