Friday, 03 September 2010 13:00

U.S. Affirms Plans to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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The Obama administration today reiterated its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and will rely on EPA regulation if Congress does not legislate to curb emissions. “I think EPA will be an important piece of the total equation, and there will be legislative progress also, though I cannot tell you when it’s going to be,” said U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern at a press conference following further international climate talks in Geneva. “I’m in no sense whatsoever writing off legislation over time, and I’m quite sure the president isn’t either,” he added. The administration might achieve an emissions reduction of 17 percent, compared with 2005 levels, by first implementing EPA regulations planned for next year that would set national limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
At any given time, half of the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people suffering from water-related illnesses. The average American uses about 100 gallons of water per day, according to NIKA, while those living in poverty use less than 5 gallons per day. NIKA also mentions that an investment worth $9 billion would achieve universal access to clean water and sanitation. That’s less than what Europe collectively spends on ice cream every year—shocking, right? Through the sale of its premium water product, NIKA hopes to bring a voice to the world’s poor who suffer without the basic right to clean water and simple sanitation. By donating 100% of profits to support clean water projects in impoverished countries, NIKA will provide the basic tools and critical assistance to help thousands of families improve their lives in a meaningful way and end the cycle of poverty. NIKA’s ethical consciousness does not stop at the community level. NIKA is certified CarbonFree® by Carbonfund.org and as a part of certification, the company supports the third-party validated Return to Forest reforestation project in Nicaragua.
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 18:32

A Smarter, Greener Way to Rent a Car

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Although hybrids are a popular green technology, it’s used today not only for Priuses and other smaller cars but in large vehicles getting less than half the miles per gallon (MPG) of those cars. Choosing an eco-friendlier rental car should be based on overall emissions rather than the technology. For example, Avis and Budget both offer EPA SmartWay® certified vehicles, meeting rigorous air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions standards. Each vehicle receives an Air Pollution Score and a Greenhouse Gas Score, on a scale of 1-10. A vehicle must receive a 6 or better on both scores, and have a total score of at least 13 for certification. A full 100 percent of Avis' economy, compact, intermediate and standard car classes and 85 percent of full-size cars are SmartWay® certified.  Similarly for Budget, all economy, compact and intermediate and 99 percent of standard and full-size cars are certified. Selecting a SmartWay® vehicle is easy. When I made a reservation at Budget.com, I was thrilled to see the SmartWay® certified cars, easily denoted with a leaf icon: You can also look up vehicle fuel-economy information and SmartWay® vehicles on EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide, which is updated through model year 2010. Where available, you can further reduce your emissions by opting for a GPS navigation system in your car to get where you need to faster (and avoid getting lost). Also, you can skip the lines at toll booths by choosing electronic toll collection when renting your vehicle; Avis offers eToll collection services in more cars and more cities than any other car rental company. Hybrid technology is a wonderful leap for cars and is driving new innovations and products. At the same time, we also need to keep our eyes on the prize of overall carbon reductions and climate protection rather than focusing on specific auto technologies. We feel similarly about not picking winners and losers in the green energy space; we need to focus on zero-emission energy without picking wind over solar, geothermal over biodigesters, and so on. Remember you can always reduce your trip’s emissions further, making it carbon neutral, by offsetting in support of Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated carbon reduction projects around the world. Visit www.avis.com or www.budget.com to offset your rental vehicle. Want to learn more? Please check out our Save Energy page for fuel-efficient driving tips.
Friday, 02 July 2010 16:11

A July 4th Show Not to Miss

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A July 4th show is one of the most patriotic and, for fans, exhilarating experiences when a great show's followed by fireworks. The Honey Brothers, a new-wave folk band, is bringing their brand of music to the nation's capital July 4th, playing a rooftop concert at the W Washington D.C. Hotel. For clarification, "With a respectful (awed, even) nod to the Beatles," the band says, "we’ll be performing on a rooftop, but this absolutely will not be our farewell concert." The Honey Brothers is New York-based and has worked with Carbonfund.org to reduce their carbon footprint as a band. Their green credentials is also represented by drummer and actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier, who has presented the Planet Green TV show Alter Eco on environmental themes such as organic foods and building greener. The band's show this Sunday will be at 7pm, before the fireworks. Please call (202) 661-2478 for info on tickets. If you're not in the Washington area this weekend, you can keep in tune with the band about the show and its plans at their facebook page. While you're at it, fan our page too.
Calling all college students: school will begin soon and there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the carbon footprint of your dorm room.
  1. Make someone else’s garbage your treasure. Browse Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for futons, desks, chairs, etc. instead of spending a fortune buying new furniture.
  2. Sharing is caring. Do you and your roommate really need separate mini-refrigerators and TVs?
  3. Think organic. Consider 100 percent organic cotton or bamboo linens and bedding.
  4. Take charge. Use power strips to easily manage your appliances and unplug whatever you aren’t currently using.
  5. Turn off the lights and all appliances when you’re not in the room. Encourage dorm-mates to do so in lounges or other dorm common areas too.
  6. Choose energy-efficient products such as CFL/fluorescent lightbulbs and Energy Star rated appliances.
  7. Invest in a reusable water bottle. It will cost less than $15, and some cafes give a discount when you use a reusable bottle for drinks.
After you have mastered your dorm room, encourage your university to go carbon neutral. Carbonfund.org partners with a number of colleges and universities to reduce their carbon footprint and support third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 11:01

5 Ways To Make Your Summer Greener

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1. Avoid Air Conditioning Overkill Yes, I know, air conditioning provides respite from heat waves and dreadful humidity, but we should still take steps to avoid overuse. For starters, turn off the air conditioning when no one is home! It is a waste of energy and your money.  Also, turn the thermostat up a few degrees so that the AC comes on only when it is truly unbearably hot. It will go a long way towards saving cash and protecting the environment.

2. Keep it Local Enjoy local activities like going to the park or spending the day at the beach. Invite your family and friends to make the trip more fun and exciting! Reading a book and playing frisbee is much more environmentally friendly than say, taking a long road trip.

3. Barbecue in Green Style BBQs are a classic summer pastime, but did you know that propane burns much cleaner than wood or charcoal? Keep this in mind the next time you need to  invest in a new grill. Also, use reusable plates and utensils rather than paper or Styrofoam. This cuts down significantly on environmental waste and saves money if you tend to host a lot of BBQs. 4. Easy on the Water It can be tempting to take multiple showers a day during the dog days of summer, but why not cool off by taking a swim instead? If you don’t have your own backyard pool, many towns have community pools or beaches for residents to enjoy. While we’re on the topic of water, try using reusable water bottles as opposed to disposable plastic ones. 5. Travel in an Eco-friendly Way Vacations are a staple of the summer season. The carbon emissions produced from automobiles, trains, and airplanes can be substantial, however.  Here are two ways to plan your vacation to be as green as possible:
  • Fly with Carbonfund.org partners Virgin America or JetBlue
  • Take a train trip with Amtrak
  • Offset your travels on Carbonfund.org with preset or customized options to reduce your carbon footprint while supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects.
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 08:59

5 Reasons You'll Find Good Eats at Moe's...

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  1. All of the ingredients used in meals are free of trans fats and MSG.
  2. Each meal is made fresh to order (as opposed to pre-prepared and reheated).
  3. Moe’s Southwest Grill does not use microwaves or freezers in its kitchens, which cuts down its energy usage significantly.
  4. Keeping in mind that eating less meat can considerably reduce a person’s carbon footprint, Moe’s menu offers a variety of vegetarian options. In fact, Moe’s won the 2008 Proggy Award for Best Vegetarian Mexican Restaurant.
  5. Moe’s Southwest Grill has demonstrated its commitment to create a better environment by supporting renewable energy production with the purchase of Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) through Carbonfund.org.
Individuals can support renewable energy projects by clicking here. Want to find your nearest Moe's Southwest Grill? Check out Moe's restaurant finder.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 14:23

5 Reasons to Love Modern Eco Homes

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Modern Eco Homes collects what you need for your home and puts it at your fingertips. They can help you make your home more eco-friendly and furnish it in an economical, chic way. They also reduce their carbon footprint with Carbonfund.org and have been a CarbonFree® Partner for two years running. Here’s my list of five favorite things about Modern Eco Homes: hm11. Modern Eco Homes Blog to tell you about the newest green options for your home; 2. Modern Eco Homes Blog (part II) – Helped me come up with a great green idea for Mother’s Day (planting in her garden); 3. Their great collection of chic green furniture for my home in downtown DC – check out the Blow Up Bamboo Table or their Breeze Coffee Table. Stylish! 4. Eco gift ideas! Ideas for last-minute gifts that don’t cost a ton and have a smaller environmental footprint. 5. Eco-friendly apparel for those who mean the most in your life: your dogs! Check out the great fashion ideas for your pet. You can also stay connected with and follow Modern Eco Homes on their facebook and twitter pages.