Tuesday, 15 February 2011 16:00

How Cool is Your Roof?

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When it comes to roofing, sure it's hip to be "weatherproof " and "sans leaks," but if you want your roof to be really cool then you need to consider the hue. PPG Industries launched an online tool that helps architects and building owners select the best cool roof coating color based on reflectance. A highly reflective paint job means more of the sun's rays are bouncing off the house, keeping it cooler and requiring less air conditioning. By cranking down the A/C, you're reducing the amount of energy your house is consuming while also shrinking your utility bill. Pretty neat. Many of the colors in the Cool Colors Database have even been many registered with ENERGY STAR or the Cool Roof Rating Council, which is an EPA-recognized certification body for the ENERGY STAR program. “We understand how difficult it is for architects and specifiers to sort through manufacturers’ catalogs and industry listings to find the right colors and products for their projects,” said Scott Moffatt, PGG’s director of marketing for coil and extrusion coatings. “This tool enables them to expand the search process and accelerate it at the same time.” Tres cool.
Thursday, 21 April 2011 09:59

Cool California : Cool Small Business!

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Tropical Traders Specialty Foods, LLC- the company behind the Royal Hawaiian Honey brand- is a 2011 recipient of a CoolCalifornia Small Business Award, administered by the California Air Resources Board. The program recognizes small California businesses (under 100 employees) that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and taken action to reduce their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions and made notable, voluntary achievements towards reducing their climate impact. Royal Hawaiian Honey is certified CarbonFree® by Carbonfund.org.  In order to qualify for this certification, Tropical Traders commissioned a rigorous product life-cycle analysis on its Royal Hawaiian Honey line to determine its carbon footprint. This calculates how much energy is consumed in the production, shipping and distribution of all of the components that go into each container of Royal Hawaiian Honey; including glass jars and plastic tubs, the production and printing of its label, the amount of energy used in bottling the honey, and shipping from the Big Island to markets on the U.S. mainland all the way to product use and disposal phase.   Once this figure was determined, the energy used is mitigated through the support of Carbonfund.org’s portfolio of certified carbon offset projects. By taking responsibility for its carbon footprint and neutralizing its emissions, the Royal Hawaiian Honey label is working within its industry to make a difference. The Royal Hawaiian Honey brand is comprised of three single-origin varietals, all harvested on the Big Island of Hawaii: Organic Christmas Berry Honey, Organic Lehua Honey, and Macadamia Nut Blossom Honey. The honeys are available is 12oz. glass jars and 44oz. PP containers. Royal Hawaiian Honeys are:
  • 100% raw
  • Certified organic
  • Certified CarbonFree®
  • From a family-owned and operated apiary, 100% Hawaii-made
  • Single-origin varietals- honeys are from particular blooms and distinctive in color, flavor and aroma.
The honeys are available nationwide at  http://www.shop.royalhawaiianhoney.com
True Liberty® Bags provides all-purpose home and garden bags and accessories to any type of gardener or homemaker. With the smell-proof and freezer-to-heat safe bag material, which upholds to water, grease, oil, and fat, these bags are extremely versatile.True Liberty® Bags are produced from FDA-approved food-grade, absolutely BPA-free material, and are all made in the USA.  In the kitchen, Liberty Bags are perfect for use with baked goods, bulk foods, herbs, meats and produce. You can bake, boil, freeze, microwave, line your rice/slow cooker, or contain spoiled food odors. In the garden, Liberty Bags are great for seed germination, plant pollination, fertilizer or pesticide storage, plant protection from pests or extreme weather, and storage of harvested crops. True Liberty® values serving a grassroots community of advocates and businesses who share a ‘think global and act local’ mindset. From the purchasing of supplies, to the shipping of products, True Liberty® is constantly making eco-friendly decisions. True Liberty’s office, warehouse, shipping, and website are carbon-neutral through an emissions offsetting program with Carbonfund.org. Being carbon-neutral is another way to demonstrate a commitment to reducing environmental impact, and enables customers to share in that commitment. True Liberty® also uses UPS Carbon Neutral shipping for all product shipments, and uses digital files rather than paper whenever possible for administrative functions. This choice saves on time, space, energy, and other natural resources, especially trees! All brochures and media documents are made from recycled paper content as much as possible, and products are packaged in Forest Stewardship Council-approved paper-board boxes that are printed using soy-based ink. Discover what commercial organic farmers, food storage experts, and hobby veggie growers are using to keep their foods fresh, healthy, and delicious, with all the aroma and flavor locked right in!  Shop online today for your supply of eco-conscious and versatile True Liberty® Bags.  
Monday, 10 January 2011 13:07

Consumer Electronics Trend Toward Sustainability

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For anyone who's ever bought an item sealed in plastic clamshell packaging, it's no secret how difficult it is to open. The shocker is that some manufacturers are finally heeding our frustration and ditching the clamshell -- not just because it's annoying but largely due to the significant cost savings and reduction in environmental impact. When electronic toothbrush manufacturer Philips switched to recycled-cardboard packaging, plastic mass was reduced from 60g to 2g, shipping became "much less expensive," and the company saw a 60% improvement in approval ratings. This is just one trend highlighting the shift in private business to rework products to be more sustainable, as reported in the Consumer Electronics Association 2010 Sustainability Report. The document showcases the best in business when it comes to consumer electronics practices and offers case studies from manufacturers and retailers that focus on energy use, packaging, e-waste and other environmental issues the industry needs to tackle. The report holds up the CarbonFree® Certified Motorola CITRUS™ smartphone as an example of sustainable product design. The CITRUS features a housing made from 25% post-consumer recycled plastic, which saves 20% of the energy needed to make the phone housing when compared with standard plastic. It also results in less landfill waste and encourages more recycling by creating a market for used materials. Positive environmental impacts measured in the report include:
  • U.S. sales of EPEAT-certified desktops, laptops, and displays grew nearly 10 percent in 2009, to a total of 48.5 million units.
  • Currently, more than 27,000 consumer electronic product models meet ENERGY STAR specifications set by the EPA and Department of Energy.
  • In 2009, CEA estimated that the electronics recycling efforts of manufacturers and retailers in the U.S. diverted more than 200 million pounds of electronics from landfills.
  • In 2009, the 10 largest CE companies by global revenue donated $882 million, in both cash and products, to support activities that enhance local environments, social well-being, and/or economic development.
The growing commonality of sustainable practices in business is an undeniable win for the environment but, as Greenbiz.com editor Matthew Wheeland explains, "These changes -- which are taking place across the electronics industry -- are not happening because of their environmental benefits, but because of the business benefits. And that makes the green improvements even more likely to continue."
Here’s a inspiring concept for the new year – a consumer finance company that is committed to its customers and to the environment! Euroloan Consumer Finance OYJ, based in Helsinki, Finland, provides instant consumer credit to customers throughout Europe. The company is an innovative market leader with a vision to be the most valuable service provider in the instant consumer finance business in Europe. The company’s business model provides a fully automated, web-based service that improves the loan process and offers customers the possibility to choose their own payment plan. Euroloan has been very successful in establishing and expanding its market position, with services currently available in 38 European countries. The management and personnel of Euroloan Consumer Finance Oyj are committed to protecting the environment, and they “walk the walk” in the following ways:
  • Minimize travel and maximize the efficient use of electronic communication
  • Use public transportation as much as possible
  • Reuse, save and recycle and use environmentally friendly  supplies
  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water
  • Allocate money from each product sold for environmental protection
As an extra step, Euroloan has committed to donate $1 to Carbonfund.org for every ten loans granted to support environmentally-beneficial projects, including planting trees in deforested areas of the world. “We have found this complements our endeavour for a better environment and hope other companies will follow,” a bold stride and part of the Euroloan  environmental commitment.  Indeed – we at Carbonfund.org agree with our friends at Euroloan. If we all “walk the walk,” our efforts will have a significant collective impact on improving the health of our environment.
nika_logoCarbonfund.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.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 15:44

Ecocamp Patagonia Praised in Responsible Tourism Awards

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CarbonFree® Partner Ecocamp Patagonia was awarded the label “Highly Commended” in the Best in A Mountain Environment category by the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2009. This year the whole world learns what we at Carbonfund.org knows– Ecocamp Patagonia is one of the best, most environmentally responsible ways to tour South America. Certified as a leader in environmental management, Ecocamp Patagonia incorporates “leave no trace” principles into its design. Working with Carbonfund.org, Ecocamp Patagonia has calculated and offset their entire carbon footprint for two straight years. We’re inspired by their leadership in creating an incredible vacation while being eco-responsible.
Friday, 02 April 2010 12:49

Consumers Demand Green Goods Despite Economy

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Despite the recession, consumers will still pay more for 'green' goods. This according to a survey done by Mintel, an international market research firm. Mintel's 'green' living survey showed that more than 35% of US consumers will pay more for environmentally-friendly products. Also, the market for 'green' products outperformed the economy as a whole in 2009. Renew phOne product category, green electronics, showed substantial growth in 2009, most likely do to the increased availability of environmentally friendly electronics like the CarbonFree® Certified MOTO W233 Renew mobile phone. However, the growth of the most frequently purchased green products, household cleaners and paper products, declined slightly. Natural and organic foods was also a strong product category with 28% of the survey group reporting that they buy as much, or more organic food then before the recession and only 21% claiming to have cut down on or eliminated their organic food purchases. This survey would logically lead to the assumption that consumers are becoming more educated and savvy about the purchases they make and how they impact the environment and their personal health. It suggests that buying 'green' is becoming a core lifestyle choice for many of today's consumers.