The New Year is a great time for individuals and businesses to reevaluate their recycling efforts and overall carbon footprint and seek to reduce their impact every day. Currently less than 35% of US households recycle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides great information about how to increase recycling efforts in your everyday living, and how your efforts will help your community.
Paper Culture, a Carbonfree® Business Partner for the past seven years, and online retailer of personalized cards, gifts and wall décor, evaluates and optimizes reductions in their carbon footprint on a regular basis. Through its seven-year participation in the Carbonfree® Business Partnership, Paper Culture has neutralized operational emissions equivalent to the carbon dioxide sequestered by planting 12,615 tree seedlings, then growing those trees for ten years.
They make sure that all of their business practices fall under their four pillars for sustainable operations (aka T.R.E.E):
1. Trees – Plant a tree with every order
2. Responsibility – Offer only eco-friendly products
3. Ethos – Operate sustainable business practices
4. Education – Help through community outreach and teaching
After evaluating the packaging in which products were sent to customers, the folks at Paper Culture felt there was an opportunity to engage and reinforce the importance of recycling and the power of planting one single tree. With most of their customers being parents with young kids, they also wanted it to find an interactive approach.
As a result, they came up with the ReversibleBox. The outside of the box is printed with eco-friendly water-based inks and is much more than just pretty typography; it's a reminder of the true impact of trees, from the air we breathe to the natural habitat they provide. On the reverse side of the box is a tree pattern with the recommendation that customers reuse the box the next time they need to send a package, store old photos or any other use they can imagine. In addition, the box contains tree seed packets with planting instructions.
Since the company plants a tree with every order, Paper Culture wanted their customers to be able to plant a tree of their own so they could enjoy and teach the benefits to the next generation.
Paper Culture CEO & Co-founder Christopher Wu says, "We are in a fortunate position to be able to connect to the future generations through our customers. We loved the idea of parents and their kids planting trees together, which creates both a teaching moment and the appreciation for one of earth's finest gifts."
Since the inception in 2009, Paper Culture has been providing modern and eco-friendly products, including personalized holiday cards, birth announcements, birthday invitations, gifts and wall decor. Carbonfund.org appreciates Paper Culture's ongoing commitment to reducing and neutralizing its operational emissions through its support of Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects around the world.
Like many of us who’ve had the opportunity to travel to other countries, Scott Leonard was profoundly affected by his trip to South America back in 1993 where he encountered the priceless beauty of clothes produced by local artisans. The richness of the culture and the amazing knitting techniques prompted him to bring back more than a souvenir to his Northern California home. He returned with a vision to pioneer a new business model. He would invite customers to wear ethically made clothing—fashion that demonstrates a commitment to those who created the designs, as well as to the environment that supports us all.
Together, Scott and co-founder Matt Reynolds have helped form a scalable artisan network through the INDIGENOUS clothing line that reflects a commitment to sustainability, social entrepreneurship and responsible actions by consumers and business alike.
By designing clothes made with organic cotton and natural fibers, Scott and Matt hadn’t just made a smart move for the planet; they were making a savvy business decision as well. After all, organic clothes will never go out of fashion. That’s because organic clothing supports people and planet, keeping toxins off our bodies and out of our environment.
This year, INDIGENOUS expanded its environmental stewardship by joining the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program. Through Carbonfund.org’s carbon reduction and clean air projects, INDIGENOUS is able to neutralize its operational emissions while supporting innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy and forestry preservation projects.
Earlier this spring, INDIGENOUS was recognized for its positive overall social and environmental impact, receiving a “best for the world” scoring in the top 10% among Certified B Corporations.
Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds, along with their passionate tribe of “style ambassadors” and fair trade artisan partners, strive to transform the often opaque fashion industry into one respected for producing beautiful and trendy clothes through transparent, ethical and eco-friendly methods. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with INDIGENOUS in its effort to lead the fashion industry towards sustainable business practices.
Spring is here – weekend warriors are out in droves, trying to create a special oasis in their back yards. Homeowners in the greater Boston area with a yen for natural and easy-care landscaping have an advantage – they can have their own "everyday getaway" with the help of Land Escapes Design Inc.
Land Escapes brings a passion for the natural world to environmentally friendly, low-maintenance landscape designs and custom cutting edge floral inspirations. They’ll help create an "everyday getaway" in your outdoor living space, a sanctuary where you can unwind, relax, entertain and enjoy your natural surroundings.
Land Escapes is serious about its commitment to the environment, for client landscaping designs and for its own business operations. A Carbonfree® Business Partner for the past five years, Land Escapes makes an annual donation to Carbonfund.org each year to neutralize the carbon footprint from its operations. Over those five years, Land Escapes has mitigated the impact of almost 350,000 pounds of carbon emissions, the amount of greenhouse gases sequestered by 4000 tree seedlings planted and grown over a ten-year period.
“Carbonfund.org has helped us achieve our sustainability goals in two ways. The first is by ensuring that our donation goes toward worthy necessary causes to heal our planet and help offset our portion of the damage done,” explains Trevor Smith, Principal of Land Escapes Design. “The other is by helping us assure our clients that we mean what we say and practice what we preach. By having the Carbonfund.org logo on our site and literature clients and potential clients alike can be sure they are making a wise choice and choosing a company with a conscience, concerned with the role they play in the world. Having the Carbonfund.org logo also helps us set the bar for our peers and competition as well causing them to rethink their roles.”
Land Escapes specializes in landscape design, water features, rain harvesting systems and rain gardens, living wall and living roof systems, as well as complete event design for all occasions and seasonal decorating.
Land Escapes Design partners with its landscaping clients to design unique “everyday getaways” and partners with Carbonfund.org to ensure that its own operations do no harm to the natural environment it seeks to enhance.
David and Victoria Byrnes have worked with organic and fair trade producers for over 12 years, helping other brands launch their products nationally. After seeing there were so few organic snack options on grocery shelves for their own family, they decided to launch their very own brand. With hard work and perseverance, and a focus on organic and Non-GMO Verified products, they launched Good Boy Organics in 2012, featuring BOPS (Baked Organic Potato Snacks), Organicasaurus corn puffs, and Yellow Barn Biodynamic® sauces.
As part of their commitment to environmental sustainability, Good Boy Organics focuses exclusively on certified organic products. Organic agriculture helps capture and retain carbon in the soil through the use of cover-cropping, green manure and compost. The use of petroleum-based fertilizers is prohibited in organic farming systems. Organic agriculture’s focus on soil-building improves soil moisture, so less energy is expended to water crops. Good Boy Organics’ Yellow Barn pasta sauce products are also certified Biodynamic®, an agricultural practice in which all inputs and outputs must be grown and re-used on the farm. This reduces carbon emissions from transportation and fosters self-sufficiency.
Despite all of these benefits of certified organic products and Biodynamic® agriculture, Good Boy Organics recognized that its own business operations produced harmful greenhouse gas emissions, including office space energy consumption, product shipping and business-related travel emissions. To enhance their environmental commitment, Good Boy Organics joined the Carbonfree® Business Partnership to neutralize those annual operational emissions they could not eliminate.
“I chose to partner with Carbonfund.org and their Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, because their values to environmental sustainability most closely match our own. They are well-known for their efforts helping companies like mine reduce and offset carbon emissions.” David Byrnes, Founder, Good Boy Organics
At Good Boy Organics headquarters, they maintain a recycling program for cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, and cans. All materials are printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. Their office uses energy-efficient lighting and low-heat strategies in order to save energy. These measure help to reduce the carbon footprint from their operations, and the Carbonfree® Business Partnership ensures that remaining emissions are mitigated through the support of Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects.
Two of the key benefits of the Carbonfree® Partnership Program are its affordability for businesses of all sizes and its applicability to businesses of all industries. Despite best efforts, no business can identify and neutralize all of its operational emissions without the help of carbon offsets.
Veteran travel tours operator Toto Tours recognized this reality and took an important step towards improved sustainability by joining the Carbonfree® Partnership Program for 2014. Through their annual program donation, Toto Tours is supporting carbon reduction and clean energy projects around the world, while neutralizing a portion of their operational emissions.
Toto Tours provides worldwide adventure travel opportunities for the gay and lesbian community. Founded in 1990, Toto Tours hosts small groups of 10 – 20 participants to exciting global destinations. Their tour offerings change from year to year, and their customer tour satisfaction has yielded a repeat rate of 70% or higher on almost every tour.
The activity of travel and touring includes the unavoidable carbon emissions associated with airline flights, ground travel, hotel stays and dining, not to mention regular business operations like office space energy usage, IT services and mailings, and business travel.
"Toto Tours is pleased to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset the emissions generated as a result of our travel program business,” expressed Daniel Ware, President of Toto Tours. “We appreciate the tools you provide on your website to help our clients make environmentally conscious decisions regarding ways to offset their travel footprint. The carbon reduction projects you support are excellent!"
Airplane travel is one of the contributors to Toto Tours’ carbon emissions, so tour participants are encouraged to be aware of and actively participate in flight emissions offsetting for every tour.
Toto Tours also is committed to giving back to the communities they visit during travels around the world. Toto Tours staff have visited schools and made donations to charitable causes in Nicaragua, Bhutan, Honduras, and Kenya. These included the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where Toto Tours contributed to the elephant orphanage in Nairobi, a Masaai village in the Masaai Mara, and a giraffe sanctuary in the outskirts of Nairobi.
There were two special causes in Kenya that especially moved the staff of Toto Tours. The first is "The Brethren Concern," a group dedicated to serving homosexual men in Nairobi, and the second cause is a the Matanya Primary School, a remote school where 250 children depend for their early education and even their basic necessities on the generosity of those who happen to visit. Toto Tours will continue to support both of these causes into the indefinite future, and will continue to pursue ways to improve tour sustainability in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
Storing your wedding gown, vintage clothing, family heirlooms or military uniforms became more environmentally sustainable when Foster-Stephens joined the Carbonfree ® Business Partnership program last fall.
Foster-Stephens of Elk Grove Village, IL has been producing storage solutions including archival boxes, muslin garment bags and reusable/recyclable garment bags to preserve and protect wedding gowns and other family treasures since 1936. Their product line includes many styles and sizes of archival protection boxes and bags to anyone interested in preserving textiles and family heirlooms: dry cleaners, museums, designers, costume archivists, military personnel and individuals interested in preserving their heritage.
To improve their own operational sustainability and neutralize operational emissions, Foster-Stephens supports Carbonfund.org’s reforestation projects around the world that help to sequester carbon dioxide and reduce carbon emissions. They also maintain recycling programs in their office and warehouse, and select products made from recyclable materials.
"We are proud of our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint,” states Nancy L. Jones, President of Foster-Stephens. “Our partnership with Carbonfund.org allows us to maintain our commitment to providing the best products for protecting textiles for future generations while offsetting the carbon emissions required to provide these products."
Historical preservation is important, but it should be accomplished with minimal impact on our environment’s future. Foster-Stephens is helping to achieve this goal by carefully selecting environmentally-responsible preservation packaging products and mitigating its own business emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
The New Year is here, and progressive businesses are already launching their sustainability initiatives. New Carbonfree® Business Partner evolveEA is out of the blocks early with their Green Vision for Living Buildings in 2014.
evolveEA is a multidisciplinary architectural design practice committed to sustainability in the built environment, and ready to help individuals, communities, and organizations take strategic action towards sustainable practices. evolveEA looks through three lenses of sustainability: People, Process, and Place.
evolveEA is a carbon neutral, B-Corp certified company and won first place among small businesses in Southwest Pennsylvania in a 2012 competition judged on all aspects of a company’s sustainability footprint. After reducing emissions wherever possible, evolveEA chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to completely neutralize emissions from four years’ worth of annual business operations. Through the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program, evolveEA is supporting energy efficiency projects in order to mitigate its own operational emissions.
“evolve’s mission to advance sustainable systems and solutions for people, processes, and places has driven us to achieve and maintain carbon neutral operations since 2011,” explains Steve Hockley, Sustainability Process Manager. “While we have taken many steps to reduce our carbon footprint, Carbonfund.org has enabled us to reach net zero emissions by purchasing offsets for four years worth of greenhouse gas emissions from our office operations and travel.”
The impact of building sustainability can be seen in recent evolveEA projects, including the US Steel Tower’s LEED certification process begun in 2007. With the recent changes to LEED certification, businesses have additional opportunities and incentives to neutralize building emissions by supporting carbon emissions offsetting projects. evolveEA and Carbonfund.org look forward to partnering on future projects to help advance sustainable systems and solutions across the country through the design of green buildings and facilitation of carbon-neutral operations.
The summer travel season is around the corner, and exotic locations lure the most adventurous travelers to remote and environmentally sensitive areas to experience their wonders. When planning these trips, environmentally responsible travelers will seek out sustainable tours that meet established ecotourism guidelines.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." CarbonFree® Business Partner Detour, The Adventure Travel Marketplace adheres to this definition and its guiding principles when selecting the local tour operators and outfitters for its online destination tours and travel adventures. Detour actively promotes sustainable tourism by offering trips operated by local ecotourism companies and promoting green certified hotels in the trip destinations they support.
As an important part of its sustainability mission, Detour minimizes it own operational carbon emissions then mitigates what it cannot eliminate in partnership with Carbonfund.org. As a virtual company, Detour follows Carbonfund.org’s motto to “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™” by maintaining only a small wind-powered office with some employees working from home. Detour handles all tour information and customer communications online, replacing paper and printing with electronic documents. And for the past six years, Detour has neutralized all remaining operational emissions through the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program. To date, Detour has neutralized over 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by 6000 trees over a ten-year period.
“As a company based on promoting small-scale tourism directly through socially and environmentally responsible local tour operators and outfitters, Detour is committed to protecting the environment and minimizing global climate change,” said Greg Findley, Detour’s CEO.
Working only with sustainable local travel companies ensures that the tours support the local economies. Detour selects tour operations that employ local people and provide economic incentives for local people to protect their natural and cultural resources. Traveling with local companies also gives travelers a window into the lives of the communities they visit. This inside knowledge can make the difference between being a tourist and thoroughly experiencing and learning about a destination.
Taking a trip, even the most sustainably-planned tour, has some negative environmental impacts, including the carbon emissions of airplane travel and on-site ground transportation. Detour advises its customers to become environmentally-responsible travelers by choosing a sustainable trip, taking fewer and longer trips, and trying to get direct air flights when possible. Finally, Detour encourages tour customers to purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions from their flights through Carbonfund.org. Join the ranks of eco-travelers by selecting leading sustainable tour operators like Detour and taking the extra steps to neutralize your vacation travel emissions.
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.
We’ve heard the phrase “think globally, act locally” associated with many environmental movements and causes. Our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program takes this call to action a step further by helping businesses of all sizes to “act globally and act locally.”
For the past five years, Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café in Silverdale, WA has heeded this call. They’ve maintained a CarbonFree® Business as an important part of their overall commitment to “remarkable customer service” and sustainable business practices. Monica and her team recognized that it was important to supplement their dedication to sourcing locally, and to eliminating waste and emissions wherever possible, by adding a global commitment to neutralizing all annual carbon emissions from their business operations.
"Because we know we are doing some things well and there are lots of things that we can do better,” explains Monica Downen, Owner and namesake of the bakery and café. “We love that we reduce what we can and offset what we can't!"
Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café offers a menu featuring local produce, dairy, eggs, coffee, honey, sodas, flour and grains, pickles, and poultry. The staff composts food waste, recycles, uses compact fluorescent light bulbs and subscribes to green power through the local utility. All of these efforts accompany their five-year commitment to maintaining a CarbonFree® operation.
Make sure your sustainable business plan minimizes your impact on the environment. Join Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Café in our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and support our carbon reduction and clean air technology projects around the world.