Wednesday, 04 August 2010 21:50 Written by Ivan Chan
Washington, DC is noticeably one of the greener cities today, with a recent boom in energy-efficient building and renovation, shoppers using reusable bags and restaurant menus with organic or sustainably produced fare. Founding Farmers, the city's first LEED-certified restaurant for greener design and a Carbonfund.org partner offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, has won a Mayor's Environmental Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Restaurant. A restaurant that is succeeding in operating greener and serving up great food is a big accomplishment and an example for others given the city's very competitive restaurant scene (and many foodies). The District Department of the Environment is making a case study of Founding Farmers available at its website. The city notes that Founding Farmers "focuses on sourcing food and products that have been grown and harvested through sustainable agricultural methods, from the meats, poultry and produce, to the beverages, spirits and wines. Just six months after opening, the restaurant was named a Certified Green Restaurant™ by the Green Restaurant Association for daily operational practices to reduce waste..." The city also notes that Founding Farmers offsets its remaining business carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org. The offsetting supports third-party validated projects that are reducing carbon emissions, such as clean, renewable energy. Founding Farmers will be accepting the award presented by Mayor Adrian Fenty's office on Thursday. You can view the other award winners here. Stay tuned to our twitter feed for more on this news!
At Marstel-Day, LLC, new employees sign an agreement, as part of their offer letter, to keep Earth Day as a “set-aside” day each year, reserved for company-sponsored environmental service events in their community. It might sound a little unorthodox, but for this Virginia-based environmental consulting firm, it’s just business as usual. With Earth Day swiftly approaching, members of the Virginia offices are gearing up for projects that include lending a hand to Tree Fredericksburg in their efforts to reforest Fredericksburg’s urban areas and parks, helping out the non-profit Downtown Greens at their community park, and also sponsoring other Earth Day events in the community. Over on the west coast in Oakland, California, office-wide projects include participating in a cleanup of Lake Merritt, as well as tree-planting and native gardening projects. Each year since the company’s inception in 2002, Marstel-Day employees have participated in a wide variety of Earth Day activities, such as building rain barrels, planting trees, installing native plant gardens, and working in local gardens in the communities surrounding their office locations. Marstel-Day is a woman-owned, HUBZone certified small business founded by company President and Harvard-educated entrepreneur Rebecca R. Rubin to further the protection, enhancement and preservation of natural resources. Marstel-Day is an idea-driven, value-based environmental company providing sustainability consulting to the public and private sector. “Our goal is to identify, adopt, and promote progressive environmental standards and practices that demonstrate our commitment to sustainable energy, natural resource conservation, habitat and open space protection, and overall environmental excellence, and to incorporate this knowledge and information into the advice we provide to our clients,” said Rebecca. The consultants at Marstel-Day provide clients with concepts, strategies and plans of action for landscape-scale conservation of natural resources, climate adaptation plans, ecosystem services, energy planning and “net zero” strategies, water security, smart growth and transportation, and the management of issues relating to encroachment pressures on government lands, open space and habitat. Their track record of award-winning performance demonstrates the consistent excellent results they achieve for their clients. The firm incorporates climate adaptation and ecosystem services into most of its studies and analyses. Marstel-Day assists federal agencies, local governments, and private companies realize the ways in which ecosystem services save costs and help meet their federally mandated climate adaptation objectives. Internally, the company is devoted to “greening” practices. In addition to the Earth Day service requirement, Marstel-Day manages its own recycling, practices composting throughout the warmer months, and has installed a native plant garden. Marstel-Day also partners with Carbonfund.org to offset its office energy usage and employee business travel emissions. A firm that that truly “walks the walk” on Earth Day and every day, Marstel-Day is the consulting firm of choice for eco-conscious companies seeking the best in environmental advice.
Monday, 22 February 2010 10:41 Written by Paul Burman
Cycling is the world most energy efficient means of travel. If one compares units of energy to units of energy and mile for mile, estimates of of bike MPG are almost always equivalent to hundred(s) MPG - meaning that a bike can take you farther with fewer global warming causing carbon emissions (and other pollutants) - and that is a good thing. Biking also helps to promote good health which keeps society's costs of health care down. It reduces burden on over-crowded streets and public transportation. Helps to improve mental health. Improves safety of neighborhoods. And creates healthy and sustainable habits that can last a lifetime. But the biggest problem that cyclists face is safety. Let's face it, you are exposed to the elements on a bike - road conditions, weather, and crazy traffic patterns can all affect cyclist safety. For that reason, it is important for cities, municipalities, states and the federal government to prioritize development of cycling infrastructure that helps to improve cyclist safety and encourages participation in this sustainable means of transportation. A big step towards improving cyclist safety was taken as the US Department of Transportation awarded a $23 million grant to help complete part of the East Coast Greenway in the Phila., Pa. region. The East Coast Greenway is a developing bike trail system that spans 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. The grant will help to create or preserve about 1,000 jobs as it helps to make the region a more bicycle friendly area by building trails, bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure to encourage participation. Cycling in cities is normally the quickest way to travel and does amazing things to improve local air quality and minimize urban congestion. When complete, the East Coast Greenway will provide cyclists of all skill levels a safe way to see the east coast and navigate our nation's largest cities. While not all of us will be able to make it up and down the full 3,000 mile route, having such an accessible bike route near tens of millions of Americans will benefit us all.
Monday, 30 November 2009 11:44 Written by Ivan Chan
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. 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 Written by Michelle Lam
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.
Monday, 22 June 2009 09:47 Written by Jason Fitzgerald
The 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.
Thursday, 04 February 2010 07:49 Written by Ivan Chan
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.
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.