Thursday, 19 November 2009 17:59 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 09:45 Written by Ivan Chan
In the DC metro area, it's Car Free Day, encouraging commuters to consider alternatives to driving. If more people biked, took transit or walked, not only would it free up some room on the highways and roads, it would reduce air pollution and encourage exercise. In fact, the DC metro area has some of the lowest air quality in the country. Although as a region DC has some avid runners and great trails, more people could take advantage of the area's outdoor offerings especially on weekends. The events are in conjunction with World Car Free Day, each Sept. 22. Learn more about the events around Car Free Day here. Also, you can offset your carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org in support of outstanding projects that are reducing carbon emissions in the US and abroad. Get started- calculate your carbon footprint!
Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:24 Written by Paul Burman
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="406" caption="Wind turbines in Europe viewed close up"][/caption] The Cape Wind renewable energy project has been approved by Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, clearing the latest hurdle for the project. Since 2001, Cape Wind - an offshore wind farm proposal located just off the Massachusetts coast - has struggled through multiple battles in the courtroom and in the media from local residents including some heavy hitters like members of the Kennedys. The privately financed project will feature 130 wind turbines spread over 25 square miles off the coast of Massachusetts that will generate up to 468 megawatts and average 182 megawatts of power over the course of the year. At its peak production, the turbines will power 700,000 houses - or about 75% of the electricity demanded at Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island. The project is expected to create several hundred construction jobs and cut carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by up to 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year. The controversy with the project has centered around the potential environmental and aesthetic impacts that the turbines will have on the historic Cape Cod area. Located 5 miles off the coast on a shoal, some residents including members of the Kennedys are concerned about views. Extensive underwater environmental impact assessments have been undertaken, with more to come; they have thus far determined that the turbine bases will have minimal impacts on the local environments. There's still no assurance yet that the turbines will be built as more lawsuits are expected; however, the Interior Department's approval is important news for US wind and clean energy development.
The Canadian Government has officially informed the United Nations (UN) that the country is committed to reducing emissions 17% by 2020. The UN requested that all participating countries at the climate meetings in Copenhagen commit to a 17% carbon emissions reduction target from a 2005 baseline. Canada's carbon footprint in 2006 was measured at 544,680,000 metric tons of CO2. Meaning that a 17% reduction would result in about 92,595,600 fewer tons of CO2 emissions every year for the nation of about 34 million. This is not the first time that Canada has made a strong commitment to emissions reductions to the UN. Canada signed on to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, committing the nation to CO2 reductions from a 1990 baseline. In spite of this commitment, Canadian emissions continued to rise to an extent. The US has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, though the commitment is contingent on passing legislation by Congress.
Monday, 13 September 2010 11:56 Written by Ivan Chan
About one-quarter of all the food prepared in the U.S. gets thrown out, according to the EPA. That's 31 million tons of food each year, much of which decomposes in landfills to produce methane—a heat-trapping gas about 23 times more potent than CO2. The foodservice company Sodexo is creating awareness about food waste among college students, linking waste to climate change. Sodexo's campaign, "Stop Wasting Food," is a follow-up to an Earth Day campaign in 2008 which resulted in 340 campuses eliminating the use of food trays. The current campaign urges students to take only what they can eat at campus dining facilities. Tom Post, Sodexo's president of campus services, said, "We are so careful to source and serve food for our customers in a sustainable way but if locally-sourced food ends up in a landfill then we're simply creating another environmental problem. The good news is that by simply thinking before we eat, we can trash our wasteful habits and dramatically reduce food waste today." In addition to methane from food waste, it entails disposal and therefore carbon emissions from transporting the waste. Food waste is also wasted resources. To reduce waste, Sodexo said it had helped National Geographic reduce water consumption by 18 percent in its cafeteria between 2006 and 2009. The company also assisted Cox Communications with improved recycling and composting, cutting waste by 80 percent. Learn more about how you can reduce your climate impact by visiting Carbonfund.org's Save Energy page: www.carbonfund.org/saveenergy.
Life is hard and filled with technology, people and all sorts of things that seem to all too often stress me out. That is why when I take a vacation the best thing for me, if I want to relax, is to get as far away from everything as possible. Camping is a great way to recharge your battery, vacation on the cheap, experience nature, and maintain a small carbon footprint. My favorite camping trip to date was when I piled some supplies in a canoe and paddled aimlessly through the Georgian Bay, looking for the perfect island to camp on. The waters were clear (and cold!) and the weather was perfect. All I needed on that trip to make me happy was some easy to make food, a cheap bottle of wine and some pieces of driftwood to make a fire. My carbon footprint was small, but my satisfaction was great. When traveling, much of your carbon footprint comes from getting you to and from your destination. So when picking your camping location, consider some place close enough to drive. Sites like trails.com provide a quick reference for camping locations near where you live. Also, consider supporting Carbonfund.org's CarbonFree® Partners, like Mountain Plus, when looking to gear up for your trip. Also, where ever you may roam, offset the car or flight emissions that got you there. This Labor Day, if you are looking for a real break from life, pack a tent and some food and make a b-line for the wilderness. Camping keeps your carbon footprint small, won't break the budget and it might be exactly what you need to recharge your battery.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 13:00 Written by Michelle Lam
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this Thursday, April 22, the Earth911 news site is running a Twitter contest with a chance to win great prizes like the CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ SOHO 8-Sheet ULTRA-QUIET™ Paper Shredder. In the 20 days leading up to Earth Day, Earth911 has been giving 2 tips a day as to how people can lead a greener lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, replacing one's incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is a simple step that reduces energy consumption by up to 75 percent. Contestants must have a Twitter account and need only to Re-tweet the Earth Day Channel as new tips are released to be entered for a chance to win eco-friendly prizes. Up for grabs are, among other things, an Interactive Boxed Set of stationery courtesy of Ecosaurus, eco-friendly T-shirts courtesy of Earth911, and the Carbonfund.org CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ shredder. Winners of the contest will be announced April 23. What are you waiting for? It's a win-win situation: learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, share what you learn with others, and be entered for a chance at a prize!
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.