The Environmental Working Group released a new Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health that explains the relative benefits, both for health and for the environment, of eating more legumes and vegetables and less meat. The report recommends some simple actions that everyone can take to reduce the impact of the human diet on the environment, and perhaps shed a few pounds and improve heart health along the way. The main tenets of the report to achieve a healthier and more environmentally sustainable diet are very basic: eat less and waste nothing; eat more plants; eliminate meat and cheese at least once a week, and substitute sustainably-fished seafood or poultry for beef or lamb whenever possible.
One diet that rates highly in environmental sustainability is the macrobiotic diet, an ancient diet proven to be effective for healthful living. Originally from Japan, the principle behind the macrobiotic diet combines tenets of Zen Buddhism with a Western-style vegetarian diet. The word "macrobiotic" comes from the Greek and essentially means "long life" or "great life." If you're drawn to the concept of eating a natural, organic, plant-based diet and embracing a Zen-like spirituality in both your life and food selections – and lowering your diet’s carbon footprint along the way -- then a macrobiotic diet may be for you.
But a macrobiotic diet requires time to prepare and diligence in sourcing the proper ingredients. This time and effort requirement has made it difficult for many to pursue a macrobiotic diet lifestyle, until now.
CarbonFree® Business Partner Macro-Mediterranean Holistic Nutrition provides a simple solution – they offer nationwide meals home delivery service of their 100% vegan meals, incorporating traditional Mediterranean foods and spices, and utilizing macrobiotic principles of food preparation. And Macro-Mediterranean Holistic Nutrition has taken an extra step to enhance the sustainability of their operation by making the commitment to be a CarbonFree® business. They’re neutralizing all annual operational emissions while recycling and composting over ninety percent of the waste generated by production en route to becoming a “zero waste” company.
Delivery to the Boston area is free and they offer economical and carbon neutral shipping options to the rest of the country.
“We have partnered with Carbonfund.org to help us achieve the goal of having a positive effect on the planet that sustains us by working with them to calculate our carbon footprint, and then donating in excess of that amount to help fund Carbonfund.org's carbon reduction projects that invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, reforestation and avoided deforestation,” explains Jeremy L. Hayward-Thomas, President of Macro-Mediterranean Holistic Nutrition. “Through these donations, we try to do our small part to help support Carbonfund.org in their initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions at a global scale, and feel like this way our efforts can go beyond just what we could achieve on our own.”
Evaluate the carbon footprint of your weekly diet and consider making some changes that will reduce the carbon emissions from your meal choices and may well improve your health along the way.
The Internet is flooded with green buying guides and “Ask Angie” referrals and recommendations for all types of customer goods and services. But how do you decide upon a reliable source? Direct experience and expertise certainly makes a difference, and one of our new CarbonFree® Business Partners provides just that when it comes to selecting the best and safest products for the family dog.
Pet Expertise is a small family-run business owned by Jessica Rollins, who was inspired to create Pet Expertise in order to help her dog training clients make informed product choices for their pets. Jessica is a certified positive dog trainer through the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She personally tests each dog product for quality then creates thorough and detailed descriptions to help you select the right product for your dog.
Pet Expertise specializes in dog supplies that are safe and effective, and this year, Jessica took the additional step to make her business CarbonFree®. This measure is an important component to Pet Expertise’s environmental focus and part of their “brag list”, which also includes reusing shipping boxes and packaging, purchasing biodegradable shipping materials, and sourcing products that are made in the USA of natural materials.
“We love the earth and all of its creatures and do our best to make the world a better place in all of our activities through Pet Expertise,” states Jessica.
Pet Expertise claims a leader-in-the-pack position for dog products and training by including a strong environmental sustainability component to its overall operations and becoming a CarbonFree® business.
Earth Day is a universally loved celebration day. It is not narrowly defined as religious, nationalistic, familial, war-related or governmental. Rather, it is globally recognized day to celebrate the wonders of Mother Earth that we all share, with more than one billion people around the world expected to take part in some form of commemorating the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. It is also a day intended to encourage everyone to stop, reflect on the state of our Earth and the environment, and consider what each of us can do to improve, enhance and preserve our world.
Carbonfund.org is proud to acknowledge our many business partners that are doing their part to honor Earth Day and helping to protect our natural environment.
We lead off with global IT services leader CA Technologies and its significant commitment to host the annual CA World event, its largest global gathering of customers and partners, during Earth Week as a completely CarbonFree® Event.
“Sustainability is integral to our business and we believe it’s important to lead by example,” explained Cynthia Curtis, chief sustainability officer, CA Technologies. “Ensuring CA World 2013 is a carbon neutral event demonstrates to customers, partners and employees that we are serious about our sustainability commitment. We believe that sustainability isn’t just the right thing to do -- it’s smart business.”
CarbonFree® Business Partner Solosso Pte LTD of Switzerland, offering beautifully custom-designed men’s dress shirts to the world’s executives, chose Earth Day 2013 to launch a new campaign to plant a tree for each shirt purchased by its customers.
“As a clothing company, we want to lead the way to sustainability in an industry that is infamous for its carbon emissions,” says Jan Klimo, Head of Business Development at Solosso.
The International Legal Technology Association has planted 1500 trees this Earth Day, in honor of its membership, expected to eclipse 1500 this year.
Nextiva, a leading unified communications and business VoIP service provider, and a CarbonFree® Business for the past five years, is planting a tree for each of its customers this Earth Day.
“We feel the tree planting activities align perfectly with our goal of being a “green” organization. We have a strong commitment to providing great customer service, so we are honoring our customers with tree planting certificates as “thank you” notes to recognize their loyalty to Nextiva,” explains Kambria Nagy, Marketing Communications Manager at Nextiva.
MaMa Organic Market of Bethesda, Maryland has launched a program to plant one tree for every customer purchase. This is an important initiative intended to honor the store’s namesake, who they lost at a young age, and whose commitment to nature and the world’s less fortunate creatures inspires the company’s dedication to sustainable operations and customer service.
Carbonfund.org business partner Nice Touch Communications (NTC), based in New York City, was an early leader in charitable giving programs with its Telecom for Charity Every Day is Earth Day initiative. NTC is a sales and consulting firm that has been providing voice and data solutions for over 15 years, and they launched Telecom for Charity in 2008. NTC works with businesses, non-profits, charities and other organizations to provide top tier telecom services while also donating 5% of each customer’s monthly telecom bill to their selected charity through the Telecom for Charity program.
"We wholeheartedly believe in what Carbonfund.org is doing; and feel our program can be a great way to generate support with minimal effort for a long time to come," says Jay Frank, Program Director for Telecom for Charity.
These are but a few examples of the ways that Carbonfund.org is working in conjunction with our loyal business partners to help them honor the environment on Earth Day and beyond.
If you haven’t taken action for Earth Day, it’s not too late.
Plant trees for your customers, clients, family, friends, neighbors, network as part of our Million Tree Challenge – we’re over halfway there!
Support our clean energy and carbon reduction projects around the world.
Join in the global celebration of Earth Day and help us hasten the transition to a cleaner energy future.
In 2010, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second largest contributor of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions after the electricity sector. It is a fact that vehicle fuels will be used – and the resulting carbon emissions released into the atmosphere – by fleet drivers across the country. No matter how fuel-efficient the vehicles or how fuel conserving the driving routes and techniques employed, fleet drivers contribute considerably to transportation-related emissions. To address the issue, innovative CarbonFree® Business Partner 360Fuelcard.com is helping fleet drivers across the country by providing the ability to save money on their fuel, support local business, and help to reduce their fleet’s carbon emissions.
While many companies want to do their part to help the environment, it is not always possible to find a simple and a cost effective solution. 360Fuelcard has teamed with Carbonfund.org to offer an easy way for all environmentally conscious company fleets to make a difference. When commercial vehicle fleets use the 360 Fuelcard to purchase fuel, 360Fuelcard.com will donate 10% of all profits to Carbonfund.org to help offset the CO2 produced by fleet fuel emissions.
360Fuelcard.com was founded by veterans of the fleet card industry with over 60 years of combined experience. They understand the needs of the merchants who accept their cards and the fleets that come to their sites. And they take their own environmental responsibility seriously. For the past five years, 360Fuelcard.com has taken the additional step to neutralize its own annual operational emissions as a CarbonFree® Business Partner, supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects.
“When we started 360Fuelcard we knew we wanted a program that gave something back to the community,” explains Steve Fowler of 360Fuelcard.com. “Understanding that our program helps people purchase a necessary product that causes harm to our environment made a carbon offset offering an obvious choice. We reviewed several companies and our decision to choose Carbonfund.org was an easy one. Five years later, we are sure we made the right choice – honest people offering real programs that make a difference.”
It’s spring – time to get outdoors and enjoy all the beauty and adventure that nature offers. For the past ten years, Central Coast Outdoors has arranged kayaking, biking and hiking tours in the California Central Coast region, and for the last five of those ten years, Central Coast Outdoors has neutralized its own operational emissions as a CarbonFree® Business Partner.
"Our company goal was to lower our emissions and impacts as much as we could and use carbon offsets and other mitigation measures to address the impacts that remained,” explained John Flaherty, co-owner of Central Coast Outdoors with his wife, Virginia. “We feel Carbonfund.org works hard to offset and repair environmental damage for organizations that advocate for a sustainable future."
Central Coast Outdoors has taken many additional steps to be an environmentally responsible tour company. They use highly fuel efficient hybrid vehicles for their tour transportation, installed solar electric panels on their office, use refillable water bottles and purchase produce and menu items from local farmers markets for tour meals. These efforts coupled with their ongoing commitment to maintaining a CarbonFree® business underscore Central Coast Outdoors’ dedication to being a truly sustainable tour operations company.
Get out there this spring – enjoy the outdoors, but be sure to choose tour operators that are truly dedicated to environmental responsibility like Central Coast Outdoors to plan your next adventure.
Spring is here and the lawn mowers are beginning to rumble. As you weigh your lawn maintenance choices, consider the following:
- Gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment contribute to 5% of the U.S.’s air pollution
- In one hour, one gasoline-powered lawn mower:
- pollutes the same as 40 late model cars
- emits the same amount of carbon dioxide as driving a new car 350 miles
- Almost 600 million gallons of gas are used in the U.S. for lawn mowers each year
- Hearing loss is possible at 85 decibels (dB) with gas-powered landscaping equipment operating between 85 dB and 110 dB.
For homeowners in the Montgomery County, MD area, there’s a cleaner new alternative to lawn care. New CarbonFree® Business Partner A.I.R. Lawn Care is an eco-friendly lawn care company that uses electric-powered lawn equipment charged with solar panels mounted on their trucks and trailers. A.I.R. stands for Atmosphere, Improvement and Renewal, and A.I.R. Lawn Care’s mission is to improve and renew the atmosphere while providing quality lawn care services.
To augment their sustainability and in recognition that they can’t eliminate all of their business-related carbon emissions, A.I.R. Lawn Care took the additional step to mitigate remaining operational emissions by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
“Being a member of the original “green” industry, A.I.R. Lawn Care has always had a commitment to take care of the environment. However, we strive to do this in the most responsible way. We challenge homeowners to do the same by taking the A.I.R. Dare™ and using eco-friendly lawn care,” explains Zack Kline, CEO and Founder of A.I.R. Lawn Care. “As part of being responsible, we chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset any carbon emissions generated from other activities of our operations. Carbonfund.org provides us the credibility to validate our carbon offsetting initiatives.”
We can all take steps to reduce carbon emissions by closely examining our daily activities and seeking out more energy efficient choices and cleaner energy solutions. Check your area for alternative lawn care solutions and environmentally responsible leaders in the lawn care industry like A.I.R. Lawn Care. Your family, neighbors, friends and the environment will all benefit.
The enduring premise of the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, and key to the program’s ongoing success, is the simplicity of the commitment: recognize and measure the annual operational emissions of your business, do what you can to reduce those emissions, and then support carbon reduction projects to mitigate the negative impact of the business emissions you can’t yet eliminate.
Hundreds of businesses around the world have joined the program, and many have maintained a long-term commitment to remaining CarbonFree®. It fits easily within their business strategies, environmental commitment and operational budgets.
A great example is Gaia’s Delights, a CarbonFree® Partner for the past six years, following its founder’s focus on the environment as underscored by the company’s name. Gaia was the goddess of Earth in ancient Greek mythology, and Gaia means “Mother Earth”. Gaia’s Delights is the parent company for a number of businesses known for their commitment to fair trade practices and to small independent herbal farms and farmers. Keith Cleversley started the company in the late 1990′s while at the peak of his record production career. With the resources that Gaia’s Delights has gathered over the past years, the company now devotes much of its time to helping worthy causes, doing important research, and engaging in activities that help to preserve and improve the world’s environment.
"When searching for more ways to enhance our efforts to help to save this beautiful planet of ours, Carbonfund.org was the obvious choice and a shining example of what grass roots determination can accomplish," explains Keith. His ongoing devotion to developing enterprises that provide healthy products from the herbs and extracts found in nature, while supporting local farmers and communities and maintaining fair trade practices, demonstrates Keith’s continuous commitment to environmental sustainability that exemplifies our CarbonFree® Partners.
For many of our CarbonFree® Small Business Partners, it’s important to balance their intentions to provide sustainably-produced products to customers while minimizing their operational impact on the environment. These goals often require careful choices and thoughtful decisions in order to achieve the right equilibrium and stay true to the mission and goals of the business. New CarbonFree® Business Partner Just Skin Food struggled with this balancing act until they reached the right approach.
Just Skin Food offers handmade organic and naturally synthetic-free “skin food” products that support, nourish and heal. All of the herbal oils, salves and balms are made by hand, by using various infusing methods of organic herbs with unrefined, steam-distilled and cold-pressed ingredients. Most products are vegan, and all products are cruelty free and GMO-free.
Just Skin Food was started by Gabriella Calvi-Rooney. When she first launched Just Skin Foods, she chose NOT to sell anything online – she felt that generating a larger carbon footprint through packaging and shipping small quantities of her products was counter-intuitive to the healing that she hoped her products would accomplish. As a result, her products were offered locally in the Cape May, NJ area or hand-delivered by Gabriella when she traveled to other areas.
In a very short time, customer demand was so great that Gabriella felt compelled to create a website to enable customers to order her herbal products online. Now Gabriella had to decide how to minimize the carbon footprint for shipping such small items.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was established to help businesses like Just Skin Foods address their impact on the environment. The program provides a simple, affordable means through which products and services can be delivered to customers while neutralizing operational emissions and supporting carbon reduction projects around the world.
Joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was an easy and affordable solution that neutralized carbon emissions from Just Skin Food's operational activities and projected product shipments. Gabriella also established a minimum online order size, reuses shipping boxes from vendors, and only ships twice weekly to reduce carbon emissions associated with post office trips and shipments. In addition, she chose to use organic freshly popped popcorn as packaging material, which can be fed to the birds.
If your business is re-evaluating its social and environmental responsibilities and needs to its reduce operational impact, consider the example of Just Skin Food and the solutions we provide through our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
Even the most environmentally sensitive businesses know that their annual operations contribute to the increase in carbon emissions in our atmosphere, but the businesses that are truly committed to operational sustainability are taking simple and affordable steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
For the past six years, CarbonFree® Business Partner Arbor Teas has neutralized its annual operational emissions and its product shipment emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org. Arbor Teas retails one of the largest selections of USDA-certified organic loose leaf teas from around the globe, most of which is Fair Trade, through its on-line store. In addition, Arbor Teas is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and has taken many steps to reduce emissions by offering only organic teas, reducing and “greening” its packaging and using renewable energy sources. However, their teas come from all corners of the world, so the shipping emissions are unavoidable. To mitigate these emissions, Arbor Teas has maintained a CarbonFree® Shipping program to offset the carbon footprint of annual product shipment emissions, and to offset all internal operational emissions, by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.
“It makes no sense at all to sell an organic product if the method of delivering it to our customers is environmentally harmful,” says Jeremy Lopatin. “Although we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re happy to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset what we can’t avoid… yet!”
Almost three years ago, Arbor Teas became the first tea company to deliver its full line of organic loose teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging. With the release of this next generation packaging, Arbor Teas advanced its environmental mission, continuing to lead the tea industry through its staunch commitment to sustainable business practices. For the first time ever, tea drinkers are now able to compost their tea leaves AND tea packaging together in their home composting system. This innovative packaging is composed of a cellulose film made from wood pulp sourced from sustainably-managed trees, and the films used for Arbor Teas’ new packaging breaks down in a backyard compost setting.
Carbonfund.org applauds Arbor Teas’ long-term commitment to maintaining its CarbonFree® Operations and Shipping programs, and to its continuing innovation in the areas of product packaging and sourcing.
The American Forest and Paper Association continues to make strides as an industry intent on leading the expansion of paper recycling. The success of their “Better Practices, Better Planet 2020” initiative will be partly dependent upon consumer preferences shifting to products containing fully or partially recycled paper. In order to help close the “recycling loop”, “green” consumers must continue to seek out businesses that offer eco-conscious products featuring recycled paper, in order to expand the practice of paper recycling and the manufacturing, marketing and price-competitiveness of products containing recycled paper. CarbonFree® Business Partner Paper Culture was led by its strong environmental focus, one of the foundations upon which the company has built its business, to develop its product line on 100% post consumer recycled paper and to take additional measures to neutralize the carbon emissions from its business operations.
As part of its ongoing environmental commitment, Paper Culture took the important step five years ago to neutralize its annual operational emissions and become a CarbonFree® Partner. "In choosing Carbonfund.org, Paper Culture wanted a partner that had a strong, auditable record of driving additional green house gas reducing projects,” explains Christopher Wu, Paper Culture Owner. “When we looked at their marquee list of partners that includes names like Staples, Discovery Channel and Virgin, when combined with the audit trail provided by Environmental Resources Trust to verify the various Carbonfund.org projects, our decision was made."
Over the past five years, Paper Culture’s CarbonFree® commitment has neutralized its own operational emissions by steadily supporting Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects around the world, which reduce carbon dioxide emissions through tree planting and forestry management efforts.
Paper Culture is an online stationery company offering modern eco-friendly personalized stationery and cards such as baby announcements, holiday cards, and baby shower invitations. All Paper Culture card and stationery designs are printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper, and Paper Culture plants a tree in a US national forest with every order. These steps, together with the long-term commitment to CarbonFree® operations, underscore Paper Culture’s focus on environmental responsibility and demonstrate their sustainability leadership within the paper products industry.