The trend towards “farm-to-table” dining is everywhere, and locavores “rule” in many parts of the world. But how can you tell if a restaurant truly “walks the walk” and is not just “talking the talk”? An inspiring example is CarbonFree® Business Partner Founding Farmers, with locations in Washington, DC and Potomac, MD (with Tysons Corner, VA slated to open in Summer 2014). Since September 2008, the award-winning Founding Farmers has been one of the country’s leading restaurants to offer farm-inspired “American True Food & Drink” in a modern, casual setting.
Founding Farmers is a business that is fully committed to preserving, protecting and enhancing the earth with a “Triple Green Approach” to bringing great food from Farm to Fork. The menus at Founding Farmers are based on regional and sustainable agricultural resources whenever possible, and the freezers on site are for ice cream only!
For the fifth consecutive year, Founding Farmers is proud to be an official CarbonFree® Business Partner, supporting global climate-friendly renewable energy projects and the Carbonfund.org mission of education, offsets and outreach. Founding Farmers is 100% carbon neutral by offsetting its CO2 emissions annually with Carbonfund.org.
"As Washington DC’s greenest restaurant, and one of the greenest in the country, our business model is earth-friendly from the inside out. It was logical, affirmative and natural for the restaurant to partner with Carbonfund.org,” explains Dan Simons, PR Advisor for Founding Farmers. “We believe in setting an example as a leader in the green/LEED restaurant category, and partnering with Carbonfund.org allows us to share in the mission and share what we’ve done with others."
Secondly, the restaurant operates with the earth in mind, by sorting and recycling all non-food products, processing used cooking oil into bio-diesel, composting all organic waste products, using an in-house super water purification system to eliminate water bottle waste, and cleaning with earth-friendly and chemically neutral products. Even the menus are printed on recycled papers with soy-based inks.
Finally, the architecture and design of the space itself meet the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold design standards and criteria, with the use of reclaimed and recycled materials for the floors, surface finishes and fabrics; with high-efficiency lighting, HVAC and general energy use.Beyond the building itself, Founding Farmers is a Certified Green Restaurant™ as recognized by the Green Restaurant Association for eco-friendly operations.
A collective of American family farmers owns the flagship restaurant, where products are sourcedfrom family farms, ranches, and fisheries across the United States. They celebrate and share the longstanding connection between farmers — the first to lead the green movement — and their historic stewardship of natural resources. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Founding Farmers in achieving sustainability leadership in the restaurant industry.
Environmentally-responsible business entrepreneurs come by their inspiration through a variety of experiences. For Michelle Garcia, Founder and President of Pure&True, a natural and organic beauty and skin care products company based in Oahu, the inspiration began with researching the requirements for LEED building certification. Through the process, Michelle learned of the many toxic ingredients contained in home and personal care products. Her continued research led her to develop Pure&True as a cosmetic company devoted to pure, natural and organic product ingredients and with a strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility.
As a company, Pure&True cares about the choices the business makes and how those choices impact customers’ health and the environment. They believe it is possible to indulge oneself with skin and beauty care products while making a meaningful difference in the world. Six years ago, Pure&True made the decision to offset the carbon emissions from its business operations and product shipments by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program and supporting our global reforestation and sustainable energy projects. As a CarbonFree® Partner, Pure&True has neutralized over 430,000 pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to the quantity of carbon dioxide sequestered by over 5000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
“As a cosmetic company, I believe that Pure&True should be a vehicle to making a difference in the world – through the products it creates and the support it lends to environmental and social charities,” explains Michelle. “This is the vision that sparked the birth of Pure&True, and I look forward to developing this vision as the company grows.”
In addition to maintaining its CarbonFree® operations, Pure&True also donates 5% of the profits from each product sale to selected social and environmental charities. Pure&True makes it possible for their customers to support their products while making positive contributions to protecting and preserving the environment, and improving lives of women and families around the world.
The view from a small aircraft brings environmental problems into focus. Long-term CarbonFree® Partner LightHawk is devoted to assisting environmental protection efforts through the unique perspective of flight. LightHawk provides aerial services as a tool to help protect land, water and wildlife in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and parts of Canada to a wide variety of organizations working on conservation issues.
As part of its commitment to environmental protection, LightHawk has maintained CarbonFree® operations for the past six years, neutralizing the emissions from all business travel and the fuel consumed by LightHawk flights. As a CarbonFree® Partner, LightHawk has neutralized over 3.3 million pounds of carbon emissions, equivalent to the quantity of carbon dioxide sequestered by over 38,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.
"Based on LightHawk’s commitment to the environment, we feel it is our responsibility to adhere to sustainable practices in our emissions, including all flights done by our volunteer pilots,” explains Rudy Engholm, LightHawk’s Executive Director. “LightHawk believes that by partnering with Carbonfund.org, we are truly making a contribution towards removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."
Founded in 1979, LightHawk is a nonprofit organization that provides donated flights through a network of volunteer pilots to more than 250 partner conservation groups throughout Central and North America each year. The aerial view provided by LightHawk flights lends itself particularly well to issues that benefit from a large-scale perspective, particularly protection of wildlife migration corridors, monitoring illegal uses of protected lands, and species-specific scientific research and protection efforts. Carbonfund.org congratulates LightHawk on achieving its sixth year CarbonFree® and for continuing its important work in providing donated flight services to environmental protection and conservation groups.
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.
Throughout 2013, Carbonfund.org will be recognizing our business partners who are reaching their fifth and sixth years as CarbonFree® Partners. Part of this recognition includes special tree-plantings, 10 for each partnership year, by Carbonfund.org in honor of each of these anniversary Partners.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership and this special tree-planting commemoration augment the environmental responsibility that many of our business partners exhibit in their ongoing operations. One such partner, LATHER, producing skin care products that inspire a healthier more radiant life, maintains various sustainability initiatives as part of their environmental commitment.
LATHER offers its customers an in-store packaging recycling program and has pursued more environmentally sustainable plastic packaging made with EcoPure, an organic compound that accelerates natural biodegradation in plastics.
Since 2008, LATHER has partnered with Carbonfund.org to offset the carbon footprint of their corporate office. To date, LATHER has offset over 40,000 pounds of CO2 emissions through projects supporting renewable energy, methane destruction, and reforestation. This equates to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered each year by almost 16 acres of US forests.
When notified of the 50 trees planted for their 2013 CarbonFree® anniversary, our friends at LATHER pointed out that the traditional five year anniversary theme is wood.
LATHER acknowledged the benefits of tree planting efforts and the wide range of ecosystem services that trees contribute, including their ability to:
- Produce oxygen - without which life would not be possible
- Absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to mitigate climate change
- Improve local air and water quality by filtering pollutants
- Restore biodiversity while providing habitat and nutrition for wildlife
- Control flooding by minimizing runoff and topsoil loss
- Protect against storms such as Southeast Asia’s monsoons and hurricanes in the Caribbean
- Help regulate water and nutrient cycles (e.g., phosphorous and nitrogen)
- Create jobs managing tree nurseries, planting and care
- Provide various aesthetical, spiritual and cultural benefits to local communities
We're proud to partner with LATHER to help them continue their commitment to environmental sustainability and to helping others lead a more radiant life.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program attracts companies of all sizes that are committed to environmental responsibility in their operations. The Carbonfund.org motto of “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t®” resonates with our business partners, who take deliberate steps first to lower their operational emissions before neutralizing those they cannot eliminate.
A new CarbonFree® Partner, Born Custom Guitars, was attracted to the program for this very reason. Born Custom Guitars already maintains sustainable business practices within their custom-made electric guitar manufacturing processes. Their mission is to build the highest quality instruments available while being stewards of the environment and their community.
The folks at Born Custom Guitars believe that music has the ability to create positive change in the world, so they set out to ensure that their guitars do the same by providing their industry with an example for how to manufacture guitars in a more sustainable manner. To achieve this goal, Born Guitars are built only with woods that are either salvaged, reclaimed, or sustainably sourced, and are finished with natural oils or water-based lacquers. Their manufacturing methods were designed to minimize the amount of wasted wood during manufacturing.
Despite these efforts, Born Guitars recognized that they still create carbon dioxide emissions through the shipping and manufacturing of their custom guitars. In order to neutralize their remaining operational emissions, Born Custom Guitars joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
“While our sustainable sourcing and manufacturing initiatives alone can’t completely neutralize our company’s impact on the environment, our purchasing of carbon offsets and partnership with Carbonfund.org gets us as close as possible,” explains Campbell Davis, CMO and Co-Founder of Born Custom Guitars. “We chose to partner with Carbonfund.org because they are a third party audited, non-profit organization that maintains transparency in all facets of their operation.”
Carbonfund.org welcomes Born Custom Guitars to the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, and we commend their commitment to sustainable custom-made guitar manufacturing.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation industry continues to contribute approximately 28% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Yet, transportation services are a necessary part of commerce, recreation and daily life for most. While fuel efficiency standards and gas conservation driving techniques help, emissions from the transportation sector likely will be impossible to eliminate.
Leaders in transportation services recognize the importance of maintaining environmentally responsible programs to reduce operational emissions. Carbonfund.org’s business partner Event Transportation Associates (ETA) exemplifies this leadership, reaching its fifth year as a CarbonFree® Business Partner.
ETA is a national transportation management company specializing in hotel shuttles, meet-and-greet services and VIP moves. ETA has designed and operated transportation systems for some of the largest international sporting, convention, and political events in the world. Their clients have included the World Olympics, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association All Star Games, Harley-Davidson, the Consumer Electronics Design and Installation Association, and various other corporate and association groups.
“ETA is committed to reducing our carbon footprint with the assistance of Carbonfund.org. As a small business in the transportation industry, we are proud of our partnership with Carbonfund.org and the opportunities they offer,” states Kelly Clark, Vice President of ETA. “Carbonfund.org's statement of reducing what you can and offsetting what you can't fits our corporate mission of being a responsible partner to the environment. As a leader in the transportation management industry, we feel it is our responsibility to limit our mark on the environment through positive programs such as Carbonfund.org. We are excited to work with Carbonfund.org on reducing the footprint of the transportation services we provide."
By supporting Carbonfund.org’s clean air technology and carbon reduction projects over the past five years as a CarbonFree® Business Partner, ETA has neutralized almost 450,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s equivalent to the emissions created by burning over 22,600 gallons of gasoline. This continuous commitment to environmental responsibility confirms ETA’s position as a clear leader in sustainable national transportation management services.
As June’s temperatures start to rise in Miami, visitors and locals seek out a respite from the heat. And with all the news reports of climate change’s impact on the heavily-populated cities along the US eastern seaboard, the environmentally-aware customers will choose to patronize area businesses that take responsibility for their environmental impact.
For the past four years, these eco-customers have had the option to visit the tea oasis at specialTEA Lounge & Café, created with the planet and people in mind. Owners Marilyn Morales and Chris Infante are extremely conscious of their impact on the environment. Since opening the café, Chris and Marilyn have been teaching through example about sustainability initiatives, selecting local and organic products, and being as earth-friendly as possible. They use local organic ingredients and materials whenever possible, use eco-friendly compostable containers and utensils, and choose paper products made with 100% post-consumer-recycled content. The café is equipped with energy-saving LED light bulbs, an energy-saving water-heater, a water-saving dual-flush toilet as well as an ExtremeAir® hand-dryer.
This year, specialTEA Lounge & Café took an important additional step in their sustainability plan by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership and mitigating their annual operational carbon emissions.
“No matter how eco-conscious we are in our decisions, there are still aspects of our business that are beyond our control,” explains Christian Infante, co-owner of specialTea Lounge. “For those reasons, we have chosen to partner with Carbonfund.org, a leader in carbon offsetting, to offset any carbon emissions we generate in the course of our business operations.”
SpecialTEA Lounge & Café patrons can enjoy a pot of tea or a cooling frappé with friends over a game of chess, relax with a book on the comfy couches, or use the free wi-fi while noshing on sweet or savory treats at the café. With over 60 premium fresh loose leaf teas, certified Organic Fair Trade™ and locally roasted coffee, frappés, bottled and hand-craft sodas, homemade pastries, desserts and an array of delicious made to order panini, salads and wraps, there’s something for everyone. And customers can be environmentally-assured, knowing that specialTEA Lounge maintains CarbonFree® operations and a commitment to sustainability.
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.
There’s only one chance to make a first impression, and product labeling is an important part of a product’s first impression. CarbonFree® Partner Label Impressions helps its customers make clear, strong impressions through a range of product labeling options while maintaining its own best first impression as an environmental leader in its industry.
Label Impressions is dedicated to keeping our environment healthy “one label at a time” by offering customers the most current information on eco-friendly products and materials. Their company vision is to set the standard for efficiency by being clean, lean and green. An important component of that vision is maintaining their CarbonFree® Partner status for the past five years.
"We’re setting a precedent in the label industry,” states Jeff Morrow, VP of Sales & Sustainability for Label Impressions. “Label Impressions has been focusing on environmental printing issues for years now and this is the culmination of those efforts.”
In the past five years, Label Impressions has neutralized almost 800,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency and renewable energy technology projects. That’s equivalent to the carbon emissions produced by burning 40,000 gallons of gasoline.
Label Impressions maintains CarbonFree® operations and is a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified label printer, offering a variety of environmentally sensitive label choices including soy and water-based inks, recycled and biodegradable labels, biodegradable adhesives, and their own tree-free and water-free waterproof labels made from natural stone. The FiberStone® labels combine the conformability, durability and toughness of a film label, the aesthetic qualities of a paper label, and the eco-friendliness of a 'green label' made from stone.
First impressions and first-in-industry environmental accomplishments are important to Label Impressions, and Carbonfund.org is honored to help Label Impressions celebrate these achievements and their fifth anniversary CarbonFree®.