Give green this year-- e-certificates that reduce someone's carbon footprint while supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects that help fight global warming. You choose the amount you want to give, or offset the average annual carbon footprint of someone with a ZeroCarbon™ Individual or ZeroCarbon™ Family gift. This year, Carbonfund.org also offers a tree & Chico Bag bonus. For every $20 donated, Carbonfund.org will plant a tree in your honor, and for every $50, get a Carbonfund.org Chico Bag, which is a reusable, lightweight bag for shopping or carrying items around.pnglogo The holidays don't have to mean getting stuff. It's a great time to get something meaningful for someone at a price you can afford. Visit Carbonfund.org's holiday page to start shopping! Check out these other green gift ideas as well at Planet Green.
Thursday, 05 August 2010 16:02

Creating Harmony Between Building and Landscape

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All too often, we place heavy emphasis on the interior of a space and can neglect exterior aesthetics. Anne Penniman Associates, LLC shows people the inherent potential of an area’s surrounding landscape. For residential projects, Anne Penniman Associates strives to create organic extensions of clients’ homes. The company also works with private organizations, institutions, and communities to revitalize neighborhoods and public domains. With each landscape design project, Anne Penniman Associates translates its clients’ vision into balance between form and function. As an extension of its core business, the company is committed to sustainable and low-impact design practices. For each site design, the company’s landscape architects utilize local contractors and local materials when possible, and consider biodiversity aspects in plant selection. Their commitment also extends to the office and beyond–from energy-efficient lighting to employee car pooling, to offsetting carbon emissions through Carbonfund.org in support of third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Learn more about how you as an individual or business can take steps to reduce your own carbon footprint.
craftsmanThe Craftsman Bed and Breakfast is a great model of our "Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can" motto here at Carbonfund.org.  This bed and breakfast located in Pacific City, Oregon is housed in one of the area's oldest buildings which was restored into the beautiful home you see today. They are located about an hour and a half southwest of Portland on the beautiful Oregon coast. Before offsetting their carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org, The Craftsman Bed & Breakfast reduced their climate impact as much as possible.  From using reusable canvas bags for shopping, composting organic food waste, using rain barrels for landscape watering needs, to double-paned energy efficient windows installed in the B&B. To learn more about their environmental initiatives or to book a visit, please visit The Craftsman.
Costco.com now sells the world’s first CarbonFree® Certified carbon neutral paper shredder, made by GoECOlife™. The paper shredder has earned Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Certified Label, the world's leading carbon neutral product label and the first in the U.S. To earn the CarbonFree® Product Certification, the GoECOlife™ SOHO 8-Sheet ULTRA-QUIET™ Paper Shredder underwent a rigorous product life-cycle assessment performed by WSP Group to determine the carbon footprint. In addition to using energy-saving technology, GoECOlife™ reduced the remaining carbon footprint through support of Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. “We put our shredder through Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Product Certification because of its rigor and third party life-cycle assessment,” said Sam Lee, spokesperson for GoECOlife™. “The Certification provides a credible way for consumers to differentiate products that minimize their impact on climate change and the environment.” The personal GoECOlife™ shredder utilizes an energy-saving technology that prevents vampire energy waste when the shredder is not in use and plugged in. The shredder is manufactured with materials that meet Restriction of Hazardous Substances standards (RoHS-compliant) and is packaged with recycled, partially recycled and/or biodegradable materials. The shredder is available at this link on Costco.com (online only); also, Costco.com is running a promotion through February on the paper shredder! The promo includes a $20 instant rebate, a 12-pack of CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ Lubricant Sheets, an “Envy Green” Reusable Canvas Tote and a “Green Facts” Mouse Pad. You can also learn more about Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Certified Label and Product Certification by visiting www.carbonfund.org/products.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 20:25

Coral Reefs Could Be Gone by 2100

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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.
Friday, 18 December 2009 15:05

Copenhagen Update: The Waiting Game

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I have spent my career thus far fighting global warming. From standing up to big coal in Virginia to helping businesses and individuals fight global warming now with Carbonfund.org - all I have thought about for years has been global warming. The UN COP15 climate meetings in Copenhagen should have ended by now, and probably should have ended in the failure to produce a global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But, as the New York Times has put it, our world leaders are heading into overtime to try and strike a last minute deal. Nobody wants to leave Copenhagen without a deal - that just looks bad for all parties involved. And as Eric Carlson, Carbonfund.org's President and Copenhagen attendee stated, "It is normal for these types of negotiations to be tension filled and prolonged." But I am sitting here in agony (metaphorically speaking), waiting for what could amount to either be one of the most important announcements of my lifetime or another huge let down. Climate stability is too important for our world leaders to leave Copenhagen empty handed. I am anxiously awaiting a statement of victory - a deal has been reach and emissions will be reduced. Follow Carbonfund.org on Facebook and Twitter for updates and news from Copenhagen!
Thursday, 10 December 2009 16:07

Copenhagen Update: Save Tuvalu!

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"Our islands are disappearing, our coral reefs are bleaching, we are losing our fish supplies. We bring empirical evidence to Copenhagen of what climate change is doing now to our states," -Dessima Williams, a Grenadian diplomat speaking for Alliance of Small Island States
Global warming induced seal level rise is already happening, and in all likelihood will continue for the foreseeable future. To many of us, this is an abstract concept with little everyday relevance - what do I care if the sea rises 3 millimeters a year? Well, 3mm is a lot when you live on an island small island nation that is barely above sea level. In Copenhagen, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) - a coalition of 43 small and extremely vulnerable Island Nations - has called for a new legally binding treaty that will cap temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C. The proposed agreements to date have focused on a 2.0 degree C temperature increase target. Holding temperature increases to 1.5 degrees would mean stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 at about 350 parts per million (ppm) - currently, concentrations are at about 387ppm and increasing every year. According to the International Energy Agency, the aggressive shift in the target will add about $10.5 trillion extra in energy-related investment by 2030 - a figure that is untenable to many Nations would would be asked to foot the bill. Many think that the 2.0 degree C temperature increase target is ambitious considering the current pace of action on the global scale. The small island nation of Tuvalu has been a vocal advocate of this aggressive target. This nation's emissions are tiny compared to total global output, and is essentially powerless to stop global warming without a global treaty. For Tuvalu, the issue of global warming and sea level rise is not abstract. It is real and it is happening now. There is a very real possibility that Tuvalu will be inundated and lost to the sea - sinking 3,000 years of history and culture forever. I have never been to Tuvalu and I didn't know where it was in the world before today. But the idea of losing it forever saddens me unspeakably, not only on behalf of the residents of the country and others like it, but also because I may never have the option to explore this tiny island nation. Global warming threatens to relegate nations, peoples, cultures, traditions, foods, animals and so many other things to the history books for good. I hope that our leaders in Copenhagen have the will and commitment to fight to save out climate and the rich diversity of life and cultures it supports. And I hope that as individuals, we are all committed to reducing our carbon footprints today to help make that process a little easier.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 12:24

Copenhagen Update: From Green to REDD

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“We do not have another year to deliberate, nature does not negotiate.” -Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
The pessimism in Copenhagen is growing as rifts between nations solidify. As the world watches and thousands continue to protest demanding action, the prospect of a binding treaty diminishes, seemingly by the minute. Rich nations want poorer nations to commit to verifiable and enforceable emissions reductions - a clause that developing nations are reluctant to agree to and is a provision that has not been included in other climate negotiation such as Kyoto and Bali. Developing nations may be more likely to act if the developed nations such as the United States, the world's leader in per capita carbon emissions, committed to binding emissions reductions targets first. But the US as of now refuses to commit to an international treaty until a bill is passed in Congress. Though I am remiss to trivialize the fate of our climate to this, it appears as though we are in the midst of a great global stare down. But there is hope of real progress coming out of Copenhagen in relation to how the world deals with biological carbon sequestration and trees. Deforestation currently accounts for over 20% of global carbon emissions. Preserving and managing forests can help to significantly cut carbon emissions and potentially help buy the world some time as we figure out how to actually reduce emissions from their dirty sources. A report from the New York Times states:
A final draft of the agreement for the compensation program, called Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD, is to be given on Wednesday to ministers of the nearly 200 countries represented here to hammer out a framework for a global climate treaty. Negotiators and other participants said that though some details remained to be worked out, all major points of disagreement — how to address the rights of indigenous people living on forest land and what is defined as forest, for example — had been resolved through compromise.
Though we all want comprehensive and binding agreements to come out of Copenhagen, that may not be in the cards this year. But through the proper management of our forests we can reduce emissions now as well as preserve biodiversity, improve local environments and support local communities. Laying the groundwork for the reductions of more than 20% of global emissions would be no small accomplishment - lets hope that, at a minimum that victory will be the legacy of Copenhagen. Want to support forest based projects that are reducing emissions today? Click here for more info.