The 2012 International CES, the world's largest tradeshow for consumer technology, ran this year from January 10th through January 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year the show welcomed more than 3,100 companies on a show floor that exceeded 1.85 million net square feet of exhibit space. Among those exhibitors three companies featured Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree Certified label, signifying that their products are offered to consumers as carbon neutral. This means that the products underwent a rigorous lifecycle analysis determining the product carbon footprint from cradle to grave and further offset the impact of that footprint by supporting one of Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated carbon reduction projects. CarbonFree Certification is a transparent, meaningful label that distinguishes products that have undergone this rigorous third-party certification process. LG Electronics – LG is the first in industry to distribute home appliances, solar panels and various consumer electronics with the CarbonFree® sustainability label, many of which were debuted at CES this year. This marks the first time that CarbonFree-certified LCD TV, LCD monitor, refrigerator, clothes washer, vacuum cleaner, air conditioner, LED lamp or solar panel products will be available to the public. These products also have agressive internal carbon reduction plans to ensure that every year LG manufactures them, they are decreasing their footprint more and more. In addition to the LG CarbonFree certification, the products will be ENERGY STAR® qualified. Other products certified by LG include two mobile phones, also available to the public in 2012.  Learn more at www.lge.com ECO Alkaline from LEI Electronics - Looking for an eco-friendly, better priced battery that performs as well as the same old brands?  Here they are. Last year these batteries received an “Innovations In Engineering” award at the Consumer Electronics Show.  This year they were at CES again as the only and first carbon neutral battery currently on the market. In addition to carbon neutrality these batteries are also more consumer friendly than their competitors for a couple of reasons including Zero Lead/Cadmium/ or Mercury (they are actually landfill safe), have a 5 year shelf life, have a patent pending leak -resistant seal on the battery, and are offered at retail prices that are competitive to the other major battery brands. Today, environmentally friendly Eco Alkalines batteries are available in US and Canadian supermarkets, department stores, toy and hobby retailers, colleges and university stores, and hotel chains.  http://www.leiproducts.com/eco-alkalines GoEcoLife by INTEK America – Again at CES this year, the GoEcoLife, which is the world’s first CarbonFree® Certified carbon neutral paper shredder, showed its product to show attendees.  Under the GoECOlife™ brand, INTEK has been dedicated to producing environmentally-preferable, smart every day devices and products that ultimately contribute to their overall commitment to sustainability. They manufacture certified biodegradable/compostable products and utilize recycled and RoHS-compliant (lead-FREE) materials both in products and packaging whenever possible, as well as proprietary energy -conserving technologies. Also, the personal GoECOlife™ shredder utilizes an energy-saving technology that prevents vampire energy waste when the shredder is not in use and plugged in. Recently, the GoECOlife™ Platinum Series™ Paper Shredder (GXC120Ti) was one of four shredders “RECOMMENDED” by Consumer Reports in their recent paper shredder review.  This is a smart choice for the earth and for consumers. To learn more about the GoECOlife™ please click www.goecolife.com. To learn more about these products and the CarbonFree Certified label from Carbonfund.org, please visit www.carbonfund.org.
Delegates from around the world are traveling to London for the First International Conference on Ethical Certification, which begins today. Event organizers at InSource have teamed up with Carbonfund.org to mitigate the environmental impact of this important conference entitled Certification, Consumption and Change (CC&C) for thought-provoking discussions on the future of product certifications. The CC&C conference will be a carbon-neutral event, supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Carbonfund.org supports several projects around the world from forest conservation in the Amazon to the Nez Perce Reforestation Project in the United States that reduce emissions and help protect the environment and biodiversity. A few weeks ago a HuffPost article listed London as one of the most polluted cities of the world. So this is a great start, hopefully one that other events and conferences follow toward a healthier, cleaner planet.

Central Coast Outdoors, one of our CarbonFree® Small Business partners, is an adventure travel company based in San Luis Obispo County, California that provides outdoors tours on California’s Central Coast region, including Paso Robles wine country vacations. Their trips focus on kayaking, bicycling and hiking and they specialize in small group travel, although they have hosted large groups.

Central Coast Outdoors has a very complete environmental initiative that is highly impressive. They use a 2008 Toyota Prius for smaller trips that need vehicle support and estimate this will help to reduce their annual fuel consumption and carbon emissions by over 50%. Additionally, they have installed solar electric panels at their home/office. Combining the usage of solar panels with more energy efficient appliances, they anticipate being able to reduce 70-75% of their electrical use.

We are always thrilled to see a company following our organizations’ motto of “Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can’t” and Central Coast Outdoors is an example of a company making a difference in their green efforts.

On September 27th at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in association with leading business groups, NGOs, development agencies, and government ministries, will convene a one-day conference entitled Forests Indonesia: Alternative futures to meet demands for food, fibre, fuel and REDD+. The event will provide a platform for 800 leaders from all sectors to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by the country in the sustainable use of its forests. The conference will feature agenda-setting keynote speakers and a series of engaging forums under two themes: Trade and investment: Implications for forests, and REDD+ in transition to a low-carbon future. Registration is free directly through www.ForestsIndonesia.org and simultaneous translation of the addresses and discussions into Indonesian and English will be provided. For the conference's program, complete list of speakers and other information, visit the website or write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The Center for International Forestry Research is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity, and Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with CIFOR. CIFOR’s work is particularly critical for many of the forest projects that Carbonfund.org supports, and we are pleased to support their mission. Operating around the world, and primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, CIFOR provides important analysis to help policy makers improve forest management techniques from the viewpoint of the people whose livelihoods depend on forests for agriculture, infrastructure, and trade. We encourage everyone to follow the important work of CIFOR, which is now easier than ever with three new Facebook pages: one in English that is focused internationally, one in Spanish focused on Latin America and another in French focused on Africa. Likewise, they have launched three new Twitter feeds in English, French and Spanish. To learn more about the important forestry issues affecting our world today, check out the thoughtful and informative articles on the CIFOR blog. And, if you can please join the September 27th Conference.
Spring has sprung and we're already starting to hear the thump-hop-thump of the Easter bunny bopping into town. For everyone who wants to celebrate Easter but skip the drug store junk, we've got just the ticket for you. A host of Carbonfund.org partners are sharing products and deals on everything from Easter fashion,  flowers and candies. Best of all, by purchasing from a CarbonFree® business partner, you know your gifts come from a company that values sustainable materials and enviro-savvy practices. So this year, share some Fair Trade chocolates, dye your eggs a pastel green and celebrate the fun and values of Easter and the Earth at the same time. For those celebrating Easter and seeking the perfect bonnets and bows, check out the adorable children’s fashions at CrabAppleKids and receive a 20% discount on Easter styles. For the unique and innovative woman, be sure to view the creative eco-luxury spring designs at annieandjade by annie le.  Take advantage of a special 15% discount just for Carbonfund.org friends and fans for the next two weeks (through May 1st).  Enter "Carbonfund" in the promotion code field to receive the discount. Also check out the whimsical styles of SoulFlower and the classic fashions at Reformation Clothing. If it’s sweet treats you seek, try to contain yourself as you peruse the selections at Drexelius Chocolates, and be sure to see “Taste Temptress” Molly’s Easter recommendations. Have a riotous time finding just the right treat from sweetriot.com. Their globally responsible mission and fair trade products make their treats an easy choice. To send flowers, always the perfect gift, we recommend partners Bloom Nation, Flower Petal and Organic Bouquet. You can select the type of flowers and bouquet design that best conveys your message to the friend or loved one. There’s still time to select and send your celebration gifts and outfits. Log on and use envirosearch.org to find your selections and generate revenue toward Carbonfund.org projects like reforestation in Haiti while you e-shop with our recommended partners.
March is National Women’s History Month.   To celebrate, Grounds for Change CarbonFree® certified coffee is offering special pricing on their unique and delicious Cafe Femenino coffees.   The Cafe Feminino project is interesting and inspiring: With the help of organic and Fair Trade premiums, much has been  accomplished in the rural communities of coffee-producing countries, from improvement in the local economies, better diets, improved sanitation and new wet-processing mills for green coffee beans. However, the marginalization of women in these rural communities continues. In the urban areas of Peru, for example, the abuse rate is estimated at 40% and in the rural communities the rate is far greater. With little money to count on, a coffee family generally prefers to invest available resources in educating the sons. The daughters stay home and devote themselves to chores around the house and watching over the farm. They usually marry between 12 and 16 years of age and until now, women have only been allowed to participate in the domestic work of the home. If they were allowed to join work groups, it was only in a passive role. In 2003, the first conference of Women Coffee Producers was held in Northern Peru. The concept of separating these women producers' coffee from the rest of the Fair Trade co-op's production was a new idea, developed by the Fair Trade co-op, their organic coffee trading partners, and the women themselves, searching for ideas that would improve their living conditions. The women's conferences focus on building self-esteem, leadership, and sharing experiences. The women's response to these organizational activities has been amazing, as has the support offered by community leaders. There are currently well over 1,000 women coffee farmers involved with the Cafe Femenino Coffee Project in Peru. The women farmers participate in all farm activities: preparing the terrain, nurseries, and the compost to fertilize the soil; preparing bio-fertilizers, as well as harvesting, de-pulping, fermenting, and drying the coffee. It is very rare for women to participate in selling coffee or in deciding how the money from coffee sales will be used - all of which they do with Cafe Femenino. Once the coffee leaves the co-op, all sales contracts for Cafe Femenino must be signed and committed to by a woman, and a woman must participate in the sales and marketing of this coffee. An extra two cents per pound above the Fair Trade price for green coffee is paid by the US importer of Cafe Femenino, and these funds provide income that goes directly to the women producers - the use of this money is for them alone to decide. Grounds for Change donates an additional 10 cents for each pound of Cafe Femenino sold directly back to this women's coffee growing project to fund annual grants requested by the members. This year, they funded a dental health grant for several rural communities in Northern Peru that aims to improve dental education and provide toothbrushes for local children. We hope you take this concept to heart, share the story and the coffee, and be a part of something that can change the lives and futures of many women. Cafe Femenino started in Peru and is now also available from a women's co-op in Chiapas, Mexico.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a report analyzing the costs and revenues of the Waxman-Markey global warming bill. They found that within the first decade that the bill gets enacted, the US Treasury can expect to make $24.4 billion in revenue. Darren Samuelsohn of ClimateWire reports the following income and expenditures: Income:
  • The distribution of allowances via an auction would generate $254 billion for the Treasury between 2010 and 2014, and about $858 billion over the next 10 years;
  • $25 million and $50 million per year starting in 2012 from companies who do not meet their compliance obligations on-time.
Expenditures:
  • Giving credits away for allowances will cost about $693 billion from 2010-2019;
  • Tax breaks for the poorest individuals and families to help offset higher energy prices ($161 tax credit for a single person earning less than $23,000 and about $359 for a five-person household);
  • $19.3 billion will be credited into a new Treasury account to help the Energy Department and U.S. EPA with reductions in HFCs through better appliance purchases, as well as recycling and reclamation;
  • $5.3 billion would go into a Treasury fund for national resource adaptation activities;
  • $900 million gets sent primarily to the Department of Health and Human Services to assist health professionals as they gear up for the challenges associated with climate change;
  • $4.3 billion from 2011-2019 for a new Labor Department benefits, job training and health insurance program to help workers who lose their jobs because of the climate law.
Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/06/08/08climatewire-house-climate-bill-would-trim-budget-deficit-83573.html “The Waxman-Markey bill will get our planet out of the red, while helping to put our budget back in black,” said Rep. Markey in a statement released yesterday. “Waxman-Markey is a win-win for America’s economy and environment.”
cwscreen1Looking for the next big "app" for your iPhone or Android phone? CauseWorld lets you donate to charities of your choice, including Carbonfund.org, for free while you shop! CauseWorld enables users to accumulate "karmas" when visiting various stores which can then be used for donations. No purchase is required. The mobile phone application is free to download and use via Apple iTunes here or via the Android Market on one's phone. With grants from Citi and Kraft, CauseWorld is able to distribute funds to the charities that users select. The updated app includes a social layer, meaning you can now sync it up with Facebook to share your experiences and donations you're making with friends. Also, Procter & Gamble (P&G) is sponsoring a way for users to earn extra karma points by scanning barcodes on individual items with one's iPhone. The app helps connect users with products they may be interested in, while earning karmas that they can then use for donations. The app has been lauded by TechCrunch, featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, and was recently highlighted at the popular South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival in Austin, Tex. There, TechCrunch and CauseWorld teamed up to offer attendees double karmas when one checked in with the app at any of over 50 venues around the city including the Austin Convention Center. To learn more about the app, or download the updated app now for your phone, please visit www.causeworld.com.