Summer is here, and the “weekend warriors” are out in force, perfecting their manicured suburban lawns. Each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year and producing tons of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for up to 5% of the nation's air pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas powered lawn mower produces as much volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions air pollution in one hour of operation as eleven new cars each being driven for one hour.
Environmentally-responsible lawn care companies are innovating ways to reduce and eliminate the harmful emissions associated with meticulous lawn maintenance, and new CarbonFree® Business Partner Gone Green Maui is leading the way.
Gone Green Maui is committed to offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional landscape maintenance. They offer all natural control applications for weeds, insects, diseases and fungus. All fertilizers and soil amendments are made from natural products to prevent the pollution to the water supply. And now, Gone Green Maui has taken a further step by neutralizing its remaining operational emissions through the CarbonFree® Partnership program.
"Gone Green Maui is committed to reducing the carbon footprint associated with landscape maintenance and is happy to have become a member of Carbonfund.org to offset the carbon we are unable to reduce currently," states Sean T. Woods, Owner of Gone Green Maui.
By supporting Carbonfund.org’s global forestry projects, Gone Green Maui mitigates its own emissions while contributing to important forest preservation and restoration efforts, thus leading its industry in environmentally aware actions.
Most Corporate Social Responsibility programs include Scope 3 employee business travel and commuting in annual operational carbon emissions calculations. Often, a review and audit of business travel patterns and choices reveal options to reduce the resulting business travel carbon emissions, and sometimes reduce the costs of business travel.
Since 1978, CarbonFree® Business Partner Topaz International has been a leader of audit and support services to the corporate travel industry, with the mission to deliver world-class customer service to its clients, including over half of the Fortune 1000 companies located in over 80 countries.
In 2007, Topaz International implemented several initiatives to streamline its operations and reduce its carbon emissions. Topaz became a 100% virtual organization, eliminating all office space and employee commuting, and joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in order to neutralize its remaining carbon footprint and become a zero impact company to the environment. 2013 marks the sixth consecutive year that Topaz International has maintained this commitment to a CarbonFree® environment by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency and renewable energy technology projects, and reforestation projects around the world.
“This is our effort to make earth a better place to live today and in the future. Each person and company must do their part to improve our environment for our children and working with Carbonfund.org is a great place to start,” asserts Bradley Seitz, President and CEO of Topaz International.
A great example of following our motto, “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, Topaz International leads the corporate travel audit services industry by practicing what they preach to their clients and by operating CarbonFree®.
Five years ago, the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists approached the Carbonfund.org Foundation to create a unique program to neutralize the emissions from the wedding gown cleaning and preservation services offered by its members. ZeroCarbon™ gown preservations became the first carbon-neutral wedding gown cleaning and preservation program in the wedding services industry, and it ensures that the beauty of each wedding gown is preserved while safeguarding the environment. ZeroCarbon™ wedding gown preservations are endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants and Green Bride Guide.
Carbonfund.org helped to calculate the carbon footprint of the gown cleaning and preservation process and created a per-gown treatment emissions level to be neutralized. Each Certified Wedding Gown Specialist™ makes a separate per-gown preservation donation to Carbonfund.org, which helps to support reforestation projects that reduce carbon emissions worldwide. To date, the ZeroCarbon™ wedding gown preservation program has mitigated over one million pounds of carbon emissions, the equivalent of the total emissions absorbed by 11,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists created a flyer about the ZeroCarbon™ preservation program printed on recycled paper in soy ink for their members to use, and they’ve added the ZeroCarbon™ text to the complimentary care labels supplied to wedding gown designers.
“My own experience with the ZeroCarbon™ labels has been very positive,” explains Sally Conant, Executive Director. “At my personal company, which is also a member of the Association, brides inspect their gowns before they are packed in acid-free wedding chests. When the gown is packed I explain that the ZeroCarbon™ label means we have offset all of the carbon emissions with a donation to Carbonfund.org to support reforestation projects."
"About a quarter of the brides say they chose my company because we do green gown preservations, and the rest are pleasantly surprised to hear about the program when they come for the gown. One bride recently told me it was very reassuring to know that she could care for her gown without damaging the environment. If it is a relative of the bride who comes to collect the gown, about a third of them say something such as ‘She will be so pleased. She cares about our environment.’"
The electronic delivery of software applications, rather than mailing physical DVDs and CDs for manual installation on computing networks and workstations, is an important component to reducing operational emissions. Recent studies have calculated that replacing traditional distribution of DVD/CD disk kit software with Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) can result in at least an 83% reduction in carbon emissions.
CarbonFree® Business Partner Kivuto Solutions offers green software distribution solutions through ESD, enabling users to download software and avoid the carbon emissions attributable to product packaging and shipping. Previously known as e-academy, Kivuto seeks to maximize software availability for organizations by reducing the total cost and environmental impact of software distribution.
But Kivuto decided it was important to do more and wanted to join the national movement of businesses and organizations that are leading the fight against global warming. Recognizing that its own operations still created a significant carbon footprint, Kivuto took the proactive step to calculate its annual operational emissions. Kivuto then chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to mitigate its emissions by supporting Reforestation and Forest Preservation projects that absorb carbon emissions now and for years to come.
Electronic software delivery may be part of a lower carbon world, but IT systems use a tremendous amount of electricity. Carbonfund.org encourages companies to follow examples set by business partners such as Kivuto to take the next step towards operational sustainability by supporting carbon sequestration projects, energy efficiency innovation and renewable energy source development.
Five years ago the CEO of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, claimed that news coverage of climate change in his media outlets would improve gradually. However, a recent study indicates that not only has that not happened, but that the preponderance of climate change information on Fox News primetime and in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page is overwhelmingly misleading.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a science-policy nonprofit, analyzed six months of global warming discussions on Fox News primetime programs (February 2012 to July 2012) and one year of Wall Street Journal op-eds (August 2011 to July 2012). UCS found that climate science was inaccurately covered in 93 percent of Fox News primetime programs and 81 percent of Wall Street Journal editorials.
The analysis found denial that climate change is caused by humans, dismissals of climate science as a legitimate science, and derogatory comments about select scientists. The worst part is that this misleading coverage encourages scientific distrust and portrays climate change as a left-wing idea, rather than based on scientific facts.
How many people are misled about climate science by these media outlets? Well the number is in the multi-millions. In 2011, Fox News Channel (FNC) was the United States’ most popular cable news channel. During prime time, FNC reaches a median of 1.9 million people plus. The Wall Street Journal has over 2 million daily readers and the largest circulation among American newspapers.
There is nothing wrong with fully examining and debating the merits of policies aimed at addressing climate change. However, it is ludicrous and irresponsible to deny the overwhelming body of scientific evidence that climate change is man-made and happening right now.
The analysis shows that sadly these media groups continue to waste time and effort that could be put to better use in combating climate change. Readers of this blog already know that global warming is man-made and many are putting their energies toward what they can do about it by supporting organizations such as Carbonfund.org. These climate change leaders seek out quick and affordable ways for individuals and businesses to calculate and offset the carbon emissions they generate.
The science is clear. Invest in renewable energy sources and support reforestation projects because the time is now to build a clean energy future.
A recently published study out of the University of Michigan examined Generation X’s views on climate change and found them to be largely unconcerned with the issue.
The Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY) releases a quarterly research report and has followed the same 4,000 people for 25 years. Originally, in 1987, 5,900 students were selected from a national sample of 7th and 10th graders in 50 U.S. public school systems.
Generation X now comprises 32-52 year olds who are the most well-educated and scientifically savvy generation in U.S. history. However, the LSAY shows dwindling interest in climate change as it is a complex and long-term issue. The study compared responses from 2009 and 2011 and found that a scant two percent of those aged 37 to 40 follow climate change "very closely". This was a 50 percent drop from 2009 results. Over half said they follow climate change "not closely." More than 40 percent say they have only a "moderate concern" about global warming.
The most disturbing part of the report points to a disregard for future generations. Most do not see climate change as an immediate problem that requires their attention to address. A large percentage, 66 percent, said they aren’t sure that global warming is happening. About 10 percent even outright deny global warming is actually happening.
Why is Generation X disengaged, disinterested, or even openly disbelieving regarding climate change? The answer is as multifaceted as global warming itself. Disinterest in climate change is surely due in part to a massive and unprecedented disinformation campaign by oil and gas interests and conservative media outlets spanning more than a decade, even as the overwhelming scientific record points squarely to climate change. Some experts theorize issue fatigue may be the cause when a problem is long-standing. Others point to the complexity in understanding the underlying causes and potential solutions for climate change as a barrier to engagement with the issue. Still another potential answer is the distraction by other timely public policy issues. For example, interest in the economy experienced an upsurge following the Great Recession that began in 2008 to the detriment of environmental issues.
Whatever the reason, there is something every person in all generations can do to help save our planet. One easy and fast way to protect the environment is to switch your Internet browser to www.envirosearch.org. You'll be contributing to renewable energy, reforestation, and energy efficiency projects through you regular, daily Internet search activities. Another simple step is to use an emissions calculator to determine your personal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Then reduce your carbon footprint, plant a tree, or offset your carbon emissions.
Download and read the entire study here http://lsay.org/GenX-4.pdf.
Everyone has heard the saying that children are our future. Well, this week, a child spoke out about climate change and how the path we are on “with the earth warming, emissions and sea levels rising, our future here is questionable.”
Tcktcktck.org, the Global Campaign for Climate Action, offered young people around the world a chance for a Date with History by asking them, “If you had two minutes to tell the world's leaders what kind of future you want, what would you say?” The organization received nearly 200 video entries and thousands of votes. The winner was 17-year-old Brittany Trilford of New Zealand.
This eloquent young lady addressed heads of state from more than 130 nations on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 and spoke for the world’s approximately 3 billion children, roughly half of the Earth’s population, at this week's U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference is also called Rio+20 to mark the 20th anniversary of the initial Earth Summit.
“Our future is in danger. We are all aware that time is ticking and we are quickly running out” said Miss Trilford voicing many parents’ fears.
“The people [20 years ago] at the [first Earth] Summit knew there needed to be change… They made great promises... These promises are left, not broken, but empty.”
“We, the next generation, demand change; demand action, so that we can have a future.”
Watch Brittany Trilford’s moving speech on climate change here http://youtu.be/karQQb-B8Uk and click here to see The Future I Want: her winning entry for the Date with History contest http://youtu.be/hpxsvZ4eqZk.
Climate change mitigation is possible. Carbonfund.org provides a number of ways for individuals to make a difference and reduce their impact on climate change, including reducing emissions by supporting reforestation projects. Get involved now so we can build a sustainable world and ensure our children’s future.