Thursday, 27 August 2009 16:58

Camping: Your Low Carbon Vacation

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georgian bay at sunsetLife is hard and filled with technology, people and all sorts of things that seem to all too often stress me out. That is why when I take a vacation the best thing for me, if I want to relax, is to get as far away from everything as possible. Camping is a great way to recharge your battery, vacation on the cheap, experience nature, and maintain a small carbon footprint. My favorite camping trip to date was when I piled some supplies in a canoe and paddled aimlessly through the Georgian Bay, looking for the perfect island to camp on. The waters were clear (and cold!) and the weather was perfect. All I needed on that trip to make me happy was some easy to make food, a cheap bottle of wine and some pieces of driftwood to make a fire. My carbon footprint was small, but my satisfaction was great. When traveling, much of your carbon footprint comes from getting you to and from your destination. So when picking your camping location, consider some place close enough to drive. Sites like trails.com provide a quick reference for camping locations near where you live. Also, consider supporting Carbonfund.org's CarbonFree® Partners, like Mountain Plus, when looking to gear up for your trip. Also, where ever you may roam, offset the car or flight emissions that got you there. This Labor Day, if you are looking for a real break from life, pack a tent and some food and make a b-line for the wilderness. Camping keeps your carbon footprint small, won't break the budget and it might be exactly what you need to recharge your battery.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this Thursday, April 22, the Earth911 news site is running a Twitter contest with a chance to win great prizes like the CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ SOHO 8-Sheet ULTRA-QUIET™ Paper Shredder. In the 20 days leading up to Earth Day, Earth911 has been giving 2 tips a day as to how people can lead a greener lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, replacing one's incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is a simple step that reduces energy consumption by up to 75 percent. Contestants must have a Twitter account and need only to Re-tweet the Earth Day Channel as new tips are released to be entered for a chance to win eco-friendly prizes. Up for grabs are, among other things, an Interactive Boxed Set of stationery courtesy of Ecosaurus, eco-friendly T-shirts courtesy of Earth911, and the Carbonfund.org CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ shredder. Winners of the contest will be announced April 23. What are you waiting for? It's a win-win situation: learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, share what you learn with others, and be entered for a chance at a prize!
California is again the nation’s leader in the realm of energy efficiency. This is even more impressive when we consider that California is the nation's fourth largest producer of electricity and is the leading importer of electricity. The conclusions are by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Improvements to energy efficiency include modernized building codes, energy-efficiency targets and advancement of energy-efficiency programs. Moreover, California is the undisputed leader in renewable energy production. However, Massachusetts has been rapidly gaining on California in the last several years by increasing investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The American Southwest made the biggest improvements in energy efficiency. New Mexico, Utah and Arizona are all climbing fast in the rankings. The region is quickly becoming the go-to area for energy efficiency in the country. The states in the Southwest are in the top half of states in terms of energy efficiency. Already 27 states have fixed energy-efficiency targets and these states account for over two-thirds of America’s electricity. This is double the number of states from four years ago. You can learn more about these states here.
If you live in the south bay area of Los Angeles and have been thinking about private aircraft pilot training, you’re in luck. CalAir Aviation is south bay’s finest flight training center and rental facility, located at Torrance Airport behind South Bay Aviation, and specializing in the innovative, safe, and technologically advanced Cirrus Aircraft. Training is offered for a variety of ratings and certificates, as well as Cirrus transition courses. Whether you’re starting out at zero time, or an advanced pilot looking to hone your skills, CalAir will help with up-to-procedures, innovative techniques, and the kind patience that every student deserves.  At the heart of the facility is a student center with LA’s only Cirrus specific simulator and resources that welcome students and encourage them to take an interactive approach in flight training. The CalAir instructional staff has years of experience in Cirrus and has the patience and perseverance to work with any student on any topic and through any plateau. Founder Jonathan Lucas developed a love for flying from his grandfather, a retired bird colonial from the U.S Air Force. After graduating high school, Jonathan joined the California Air National Guard and served 6 years as an Air Transport Journeymen with the 146th Airlift Wing located at Point Mugu. When he completed his CA National Guard service, Jonathan was approved to attend the Delta Connection Academy in Florida and was one of the first students to complete the newly implemented scenario based FAA FITS Private-Instrument combined and commercial syllabus. He returned to California and worked for a flight school in the LA area for a couple of years, honing and developing his teaching style and technique. CalAir Aviation offers a full range of training programs, including private, instrument, commercial, CFII, and VFR/IFR Cirrus transition courses. The Cirrus Aircraft used by Cal Air Aviation is known as the most technologically advanced general aviation aircraft in the market. And CalAir has taken the step to create a flight emissions offsetting program with Carbonfund.org, so that all pilot and student flights are fully offset through donations to Carbonfund.org to support  our mission and our projects. “In our business, it’s hard to find where you can “cut back” or even be that much more environmental friendly.   With the advancement of low lead fuels or alternate fuel sources for general aviation aircraft, we’re hopeful that more “tools” will come our way.  The next best thing we’ve found thus far has been being able offset our consumption,” says CalAir founder Jonathan Lucas. To learn more about how CalAir can help you achieve your dreams of flying, please click here.  
Monday, 11 January 2010 17:37

The Cable Show 2010 Goes CarbonFree®

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CableShow2010 logoThe Cable Show 2010, the cable telecommunications industry’s premier annual conference, has gone CarbonFree®.  In addition to being the place to be for technology companies and content providers to exhibit the latest they have to offer, The Cable Show may well be one of the greenest places to be in Los Angeles in May.  By working with Carbonfund.org, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has calculated their conference’s carbon footprint and instituted a program toward offsetting that footprint. NCTA is offsetting The Cable Show’s emissions from employee travel, hotel stays, meals and the LA Convention Center. By supporting Carbonfund.org’s high quality third-party validated carbon reduction projects, The Cable Show 2010 has become an environmental leader among conventions.  Further, exhibitors and attendees can contribute to offset the carbon footprint associated with their Cable Show participation.  Attendees will have option as they register for the event. The Cable Show 2010, May 11-13 in Los Angeles, CA, will bring together leaders from the entertainment, technology and media sectors for three days of engaging panel discussions, cutting-edge exhibit displays, special conferences and exclusive events.  Last year over 12,000 people attended.  Next year, will you be there? Want to learn more about CarbonFree® events? Click Here!
givinggreenbacksLa Sportiva makes it easy to find stylish, high quality and sustainably produced shoes for all of your outdoor adventure needs. This spring La Sportiva will donate $1 to Carbonfund.org or other organization (the choice is yours!) when you buy a pair of La Sportiva Hiking, Mountain Running® or Approach shoes from any participating retailer. "By partnering with Carbonfund.org on Giving Greenback$, we will be able to offer our customers the chance to make a difference today, one dollar at a time," says Laura Fryer, Marketing Manager at La Sportiva N.A. Inc. "Each participating retailer’s number one priority is to provide a quality experience to our consumer base. In addition to offering great products from a great brand, Greenback$ provides our customers the chance to support quality organizations promoting environmental change directly." The goal at La Sportiva is to reduce the impact of running their business while increasing the positive impact they have on people, communities, and the environment. From switching to video conferencing and reducing air travel, using more recycled materials in their shoes, becoming a zero waste facility and changing their catalog production, they continue to work towards sustainability.  And perhaps most importantly, their products are designed to be durable, long-lasting and repairable - thus, keeping them on your feet longer and out of the landfill. To learn more about Giving Greenback$, please visit www.givinggreenbacks.com. To check out La Sportiva's shoes, visit www.sportiva.com. Happy shopping!
A new University of Melbourne led study has concluded that butterflies are changing their lifestyles and living patterns because of global warming. The study noted that butterflies are emerging 10 days earlier than they did just 65 years ago, a change that corresponds with rising temperatures and earlier springs. The earlier to rise butterflies in the Melbourne area have been casually linked to the measured rise in temperatures of 0.14°C per decade in Melbourne, and the warming has been shown to be human-induced (anthropogenic). Another recent study also has found that mountain butterflies in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California are moving up in elevation to flee from warmer temperatures. A big reason why scientists are extrapolating conclusions from the lives and habits of butterflies is because we have always looked at butterflies. Their beauty and elegance capture the attention of people, and therefore the records that have been kept regarding their habits have been very detailed for a long time. These changes in butterflies may seem small, but they are a great indicator of the larger changes going on in the world. Please do your part to reduce your own carbon footprint. You can visit www.carbonfund.org to learn more about reducing and calculating your carbon footprint.
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 10:10

Choosy (Green) Moms Choose Bum Boosa®

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Have a baby with a burning bum? Looking for eco-friendly baby bum products? Check out the healing qualities of bamboo silk powder and natural fibers found in Bum Boosa’s Baby Wipes, Diaper Rash Ointment and toilet tissue. Bum Boosa® Bamboo Products was launched by two women who care deeply for the environment and who believe strongly in the demand for safer, more environmentally preferable products backed by companies who believe that honesty is the consumer’s right.  The founders were interested in making a difference in the world by creating products to replace commonly used disposable products. Co-founder and President Sonja Sheasley had been researching the idea of creating baby wipes from a sustainable, bio-based material which led her to learn of all of the wonderful properties of bamboo. Armed with this knowledge and her experience studying aromatherapy and herbalism, she set out to create a formula that would be natural and safe for the planet and infants’ sensitive skin. She worked with an organic chemist to get the formula just right including a natural preservative system. Sonja and Co-founder and Vice President Polly Goddard released the first product, Bum Boosa® Bamboo Baby Wipes, in July 2009. The wipes are made with the renewable, sustainable material of bamboo and have a natural solution which includes pure grade essential oils of Lavender and Sweet Orange. The solution doesn’t have harsh chemicals or alcohol, unlike many other wipes on the market. With the wipes quickly gaining popularity across the country and beyond, Bum Boosa® Bamboo Diaper Rash Ointment, which employs the natural anit-oxidant properties of bamboo silk powder in the ingredients, was released as the next product. The ointment also includes a variety of herbs and essential oils known for their healing and soothing properties. Wanting to take its commitment to the environment to the next level, Bum Boosa® launched a reclaimed packaging program for its baby wipes. Because the plastic package is not recyclable in most places and they had yet to find an affordable, effective, biodegradable plastic that would work, they encourage wipes users to return groups of 24 empty wipes packaging to the Bum Boosa® office and receive a one-time use 20% off coupon. After months of collecting empty packages, a local crafter developed a means of up-cycling the empty packages into useable items such as diaper bags, available to customers through the Bum Boosa website. A commonly asked question is why they chose bamboo for their products. While not environmentally perfect, bamboo is a renewable, sustainable material. The bamboo that Bum Boosa® uses is grown on family farms in areas where other agricultural crops will not grow. It has a regenerative root system which means that after harvesting, it does not need to be replanted – unlike trees. Bamboo is the fastest growing grass on the planet and shoots up a yard or more a day and can be harvested in 2-4 years – unlike trees which require replanting and then often decades until the next harvest. It doesn’t require pesticides or insecticides and it usually thrives on rainwater. Bamboo is also biodegradable and with more than 90% of the wipes on the market being made with synthetics or a combination of materials including synthetics which are not biodegradable, it was essential to choose a material that would not contribute to the growing problems in landfills. The Bum Boosa website includes great information for environmentally-conscious consumers to learn more about their products, bamboo fiber manufacturing, packaging upcycling, product sales and distribution opportunities.  Visit Bum Boosa Bamboo Products to learn more and use the special purchase code of ECOBUM10 to receive a 10% discount on your purchase.