When looking for collision repair services, most drivers will seek shops with reputations for honesty and dependability. Bay area residents can add CarbonFree® and environmentally responsible to their criteria, thanks to the steps taken by Selecta Auto Body.
Earlier this year, Selecta Auto Body made the decision to become a CarbonFree® Business Partner, neutralizing annual operational emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy and reforestation projects. This step followed careful decisions to reduce operational emissions and eliminate as much waste as possible in delivering auto body and detailing services.
"Our goal is to be the most reputable, dependable, honest, socially and environmentally conscious collision repair service in the United States and teaming up with Carbonfund.org is one way we can achieve it," states JR Hubbard, Owner of Selecta Auto Body.
Selecta is a Certified B Corporation and a member of San Francisco’s Clean and Green Program, meeting the high environmental standards that the community expects. The company places great emphasis on selecting the most environmentally-responsible products it can find, emphasizes proper handling, storage and removal of any toxic substances, and uses energy efficient equipment in its processes.
And Selecta Auto Body seized a unique opportunity to build their new shop from the ground up. As an earth-conscious body shop, Selecta set out to examine every aspect of its operations when relocating to their new facility. They maximized natural lighting, installed high energy efficiency lighting where needed, and installed a new spray painting booth that is one of the more high-end and high-efficient models on the market. The building’s electrical circuitry was updated to ensure safe and efficient operation, and the air circulation systems exceed building requirements to ensure employee and customer safety and comfort. In addition, the facility features many plants to boost the oxygen levels in the workplace and help offset the carbon dioxide and chemical air pollutants that a typical repair shop produces.
The cumulative impact of these environmentally-conscious decisions and processes enhance Selecta Auto Body’s “green” operations and position the shop as a clear eco-leader in automotive services in the San Francisco area.
Robinson Smile Center Creates Beautiful Smiles to Last a Lifetime and is Committed to CarbonFree® OperationsWritten by Linda
Yes, even your dentist can make a difference in the fight against the negative effects of climate change. Green dentistry is “a high-tech approach that reduces the environmental impact of dental practices and encompasses a service model for dentistry that supports and maintains wellness.” Green dentistry helps dental professionals protect the health of patients and the planet by implementing energy saving technologies that improve dental care efficiency and effectiveness, as well as improving the financial health of dental practices.
New CarbonFree® Business Partner Robinson Smile Center recognizes the opportunities to improve the sustainability of its dental practice, but also acknowledges the limitations.
“Dentistry is inherently wasteful due to the requirements for patient and employee safety. This makes it challenging but even more necessary to excel in other ways to be more environmentally conscious and active,” explains Jason Luchtefeld, DMD. “Carbonfund.org allowed us an avenue to offset emissions from some of the areas that are not currently available for us to change any other way.”
Robinson Smile Center offers general dentistry for the entire family and centers its practice on establishing patient relationships based on trust and respect. The practice utilizes energy efficient lighting throughout its offices. Next month, they will be installing a new DryVac system to reduce power and water consumption dramatically. The office maintains a strong recycling program for cardboard, plastic and paper, and uses recycled or biodegradable products when possible. These initiatives, along with CarbonFree® operations, place Robinson Smile Center in the forefront of green dentistry practices.
The first step in the path to sustainability is recognizing that you can make a difference. Each of us can reduce our emissions, whether in our personal or business life, and be part of the environmental solution. Leaders take additional steps to neutralize the emissions they cannot eliminate.
New CarbonFree® Business Partner DermaMed Solutions has done just this. DermaMed Solutions manufactures and distributes equipment designed for skincare professionals, including their flagship microdermabrasion product MegaPeel® and other natural skin care products and protocols, nutritional supplements and home care regimens. In their daily operations, they strive to find new ways of packaging or promoting products that are ecologically friendly, and they recycle whenever possible.
To address the remaining operational emissions, DermaMed Solutions has joined the CarbonFree® Partnership program to neutralize their carbon footprint by supporting clean air technology and carbon reduction projects in the US. It’s an important step towards ensuring a healthier earth.
“DermaMed Solutions chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because we wish we could do more,” says DermaMed co-owner Mark Pinsley. “Finding alternative ways to accomplish sustainably is not always logistically and financially feasible. Carbonfund.org is a great way to make a difference. We are happy Carbonfund.org is here to help!”
Even in the world of high fashion, social responsibility and environmental commitments make a difference. Witness the example of Master & Muse, a fashion-forward lifestyle brand created by fashion icon and actress Amber Valletta to bridge the gap between high fashion and mindful manufacturing. The mission at Master & Muse by Amber Valletta is to offer customers socially responsible fashion that is stylish, exciting, desirable and accessible. To help achieve this mission, Master & Muse turned to Carbonfund.org to neutralize annual operating emissions by supporting clean air and carbon reduction projects.
“I have always believed that substance and style do not have to be mutually exclusive,” states Amber Valletta. “The partnership between Master & Muse and carbonfund.org illustrates that we can have both at the same time.”
Today, Master & Muse by Amber Valletta exists as an online store on Yooxygen.com, which offers a selection of curated stylish clothes and accessories that are designed, sourced and produced responsibly. The criteria used to vet the brands that are sold on www.masterandmuse.com ascribe to the core values of Awareness, Innovation, Collaboration, Integrity and Creativity.
The themes of environmental and social sustainability run through all of these core values. Each brand in the shop is taking steps to improve how fashion is designed, sourced and produced. Ultimately, Master & Muse by Amber Valletta promotes that “It’s Fashion Forward to Buy Better.” Buying better means buying more consciously, which in turn is better for our planet.
Scientists predict that in 50 years we’ll have lost almost 70% of our natural reefs. “Which is quite a heavy statistic,” says environmentally inspired artist, Jason deCaires Taylor. He is the focus of a documentary named, Angel Azul, exploring the weaving of art with an important environmental solution; the creation of artificial coral reefs.
You may be asking yourself why coral reefs are important to humans. The fact is that they’re important for several reasons. The first is that they provide us with resources and services worth many billions of dollars each year; namely through food, protection and jobs. Coral reef ecosystems support commercial and recreational fisheries and are tourism-related destinations that inject billions of dollars to local economies. Furthermore, healthy coral reefs are a natural shoreline buffer helping to protect us from waves, storms and floods. Lastly, coral reef plants and animals are important sources of new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, heart disease, viruses and other diseases.
"As humans continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the climate is … on the threshold of a new regime, with dire consequences for reef ecosystems unless we get control of climate change," said Richard Aronson, a biology professor at Florida Institute of Technology. He continues to add, "Local issues like pollution and overfishing are major destructive forces and they need to be stopped, but they are trumped by climate change, which right now is the greatest threat to coral reefs."
Taylor founded the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA) in Cancun, Mexico, installing 400 life-like cement statues made from plaster molds of a diverse selection of human models. The documentary is named for a sculpture of an angel with outstretched arms and Gorgonian coral wings that gently flutter with the tide. The hope is that the Angel Azul will symbolize a guardian of the reef, protecting and nourishing the aquatic life around her. This kinetic sculpture is the first to be installed underwater.
Angel Azul the movie also features Paul Sánchez-Navarro, Director of The Ecological Center in Akumal, Mexico explaining the fragile state of the Yucatán's coral reefs and proposing solutions for their survival. The documentary’s narration is provided by actor, writer and social activist, Peter Coyote.
“Obviously this type of work is quite different from normal art projects. Because the main objective of it is about conservation; making an artificial reef, increasing the biomass underwater, creating habitat areas, aggregating fish” says Taylor.
Coral reefs are resilient. They can recover and re-grow, but only if climate change can be mitigated or reversed. We need to examine our lifestyles and find ways to reduce energy use. It will help our wallets and the environment.
Is it possible to be stylish while remaining environmentally responsible? This is one of the key questions that online luxury retailer ETHICA set out to address, and they’ve incorporated many components into their sustainability initiatives in order to achieve it.
Becoming CarbonFree® was an early step along the sustainability path for ETHICA. Through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, ETHICA’s donations neutralize their annual operational emissions while supporting carbon emissions reduction projects around the world. ETHICA also offers eco-friendly packaging and carbon-neutral shipping with every order.
"As a retailer devoted to promoting ethical and sustainable fashion, we are naturally committed to minimizing our environmental impact and remaining a carbon-neutral business,” explains Carolina Cantor, Co-Founder of ETHICA. “SHOPETHICA.COM's corporate values align with Carbonfund.org’s mission and its efforts in the fight against climate change."
The company is based in a LEED-certified green building in New York City and carefully selects the designers it promotes to ensure that they are adhering to ethical and environmentally sustainable practices.
ETHICA’s featured designers focus on manufacturing locally to reduce the environmental impact of transporting materials. Most items are made by hand or in small batches in an effort to decelerate the “fast fashion” cycle, as well as to avoid the environmental impact of machine-driven assembly lines. They select quality materials and pay their producers fairly, which in turn contributes to more realistic prices that challenge the idea that fashion is disposable. Many of the fashion items found on SHOPETHICA.com are made using salvaged, reclaimed, recycled or upcycled materials, as well as natural and organic fibers that can be more easily recycled or that will decompose or biodegrade more quickly than synthetics. ETHICA seeks out designs that are timeless, quality products designed to have long life-cycles, rather than throwaway pieces to be discarded as part of a relentless trend cycle.
ETHICA is helping to drive the trend away from throwaway fashions towards designs with longevity and durability in mind, enabling those who own their products to consume less. Their leadership in sustainable business practices positions ETHICA in the front of fashion-forward and environmentally responsible luxury e-retailing.
In Hindi, the word “uchit” means “fair” or “just”. New CarbonFree® Business Partner Uchit Corporation believes that a fairer world should include people and the natural environment in which we live.
Uchit partners with artisan cooperatives – the majority of whose members are women - to offer fair trade, hand woven textile goods through its online store. Uchit was created for women’s empowerment and a majority of profits go towards supporting projects aimed at achieving that goal. As a registered California Benefit Corporation, Uchit is obligated to provide a general public benefit – a material positive impact on society and the environment. Uchit does so by practicing fair trade, following rigorous environmental policies and giving back to the society.
In order to achieve its environmental objective to keep its footprint on the earth as small as possible, Uchit sources only eco-friendly fabrics made using earth friendly dyes. Every aspect of Uchit is run with the environment in mind, and this is reflected in the product fabrics, labels, packaging and shipping. The additional step to neutralize all remaining operational emissions with Carbonfund.org completes Uchit’s commitment to being a fully sustainable business.
“Uchit believes in a fairer world – both for humans and the earth,” states Ruksana Azhu Valappil, President and CEO of Uchit. “Our commitment to the environment matches that of Carbonfund.org. It is only natural that we arepartners in our environmental objectives.”
Uchit offers a “fair deal” to the artisans whose products it sells, to its customers, and to the environment through attention to sustainable business practices and CarbonFree® operations.
The Shipwreck Rally is arguably the world's longest, most treacherous and totally unsupported rally – yet with a mission directly tied to charity. Each team must raise a minimum of $1000 for one of the two sponsored charities and must offset the carbon emissions from each team car for the year through Carbonfund.org
This endurance car and motorcycle adventure starts in New York City and ends in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego province, in Argentina, often considered the southernmost city in the world.
The rally is named after Cape Horn, which marked a hazardous trade route with strong winds, currents and large waves that turned many sailors' ships into shipwrecks. Shunning low airfares, pre-packaged vacations and all-inclusive destinations, the Shipwreck Rally harks back to a time when traveling meant adventure and getting lost – like really lost – but with the off-chance that you'd find something more precious along the way: yourself.
Founded by digital designer Stefan Minea, the rally is not a race - there are no prizes given and there are no checkpoints. The cars and motorcycles participating need to be everyday cars and bikes, and four-wheel drive is not allowed. There can be four participants per team, there's no designated route, and more importantly, it’s all about the journey – not the destination.
Start of the Rally: December 29, 2013 – New York, NY
Launch Party: December 31, 2013 – Austin, Texas
Finish: Arrive in Ushuaia by the end of February
Vehicles: Cars with a 2.0l engine or smaller; motorcycles 250cc and under
Entry Fee: $1085 (+$800 refundable vehicle deposit)