Monday, 19 October 2009 17:02

Mississippi Group Files Global Warming Lawsuit

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I was looking through the news today and I noticed an interesting story about how a group of people in New Orleans are suing oil and gas companies because of the role global warming played in Hurricane Katrina. The WSJ summed it all up pretty well (read the whole article for more, obviously):
The suit was brought by landowners in Mississippi, who claim that oil and coal companies emitted greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming that, in turn, caused a rise in sea levels, adding to Hurricane Katrina’s ferocity.
The premise behind the suit is basic - since oil and coal companies willfully caused the emissions of billions of tons of CO2, they are at least in part responsible for the damage of the ferocious hurricanes of 2006. While people will certainly argue with the science, there are many models and predictions out there that state that warmer ocean temperatures caused by global warming create fiercer hurricanes (see the IPCC). So it is not like the plaintiffs are grabbing for straws. In my non-legal opinion, it seems unlikely that this suit will actually be something that will in and of itself shake the foundation of our nation. But the implications could be great due to the precedent that this is setting. Is it right to sue a company (or group of companies) for their greenhouse gas emissions? What grounds does anyone have to sue an American company over a Chinese one? A start-up polluter vs. a company that emitted millions of tons but went out of business 30 years ago? Thoughts? Comment below. Pls. remember to offset your carbon footprint, such as through our program, Live Climate, here.
Friday, 16 October 2009 19:04

Give the Gift of Carbon Offsets for Sweetest Day

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candybagSaturday October 17th is Sweetest Day!  This holiday is rumored to have originated with a candy company employee looking to start a philanthropic tradition of giving out boxes of free candy in Ohio.  Today it is celebrated as an opportunity to give small gifts to people in your life to show them that you care.  Why not make some Domino® Certified CarbonFree® Rock Candy? Domino Certified CarbonFree Sugar is available in select markets and has a net-zero carbon footprint after a rigorous life-cycle assessment of its carbon footprint and balancing it with clean renewable energy production and supply. Or, buy some candy and then make the wrappers into a cool bag like this one.  Or just show your loved ones you care by giving the gift of a carbon offset!  I think that's pretty sweet.

100 years ago, the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Northeastern Louisiana was a wetland ecosystem that supported 22 million acres of forested habitat. After decades of land conversion for agriculture this region now supports less than 20% of that forested habitat. With help from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Trust for Public Land, Carbonfund.org is working to restore some of this area to its original splendor. tensas2The Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Reforestation Project will restore approximately 1,870 acres of native bottomland hardwood forest that will re-establish habitat for an estimated 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish including threatened and endangered species such as the Louisiana Black Bear and the Florida Panther. The newly forested area will also benefit the local community by providing suitable areas for hiking and biking, a destination for school groups and an opportunity for nature photography. Reforestation and forest preservation carbon offset projects are part of the global warming solution. Forest-based carbon offset projects fight climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere in trees and soil and have many co-benefits for the community and local wildlife. Forest preservation creates jobs, maintains and expands wildlife habitats, protects biodiversity, and improves local environmental quality. This project was the first reforestation project in North America to be validated to both the Voluntary Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards. To learn more about this and other Carbonfund.org carbon offset projects visit www.carbonfund.org/projects.

Friday, 16 October 2009 15:46

Wedding Photos with Dreamtime Images

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CarbonFree® Partner Dreamtime Images is a wedding photojournalist organization.  Run by magazine and newspaper photojournalist dreamtime_images_largeNathan Welton, their style ranges from energetic and adventurous to chic and youthful.  Nathan first learned to capture life's most fleeting moments by shooting world-class rock climbers, Tour de France cyclists, and Olympic-caliber equestrian riders.  His work has appeared in Backpacker, Natural History, Scuba Diving, Practical Horseman, and many others. Besides doing the everyday things like using rechargeable batteries, electronic proofing, and recycling, Nathan decided to take the extra step and offset Dreamtime Images in order to take that important step forward.  He encourages every couple to offset their wedding with Carbonfund.org to help our transition to a clean energy future. Dreamtime Images proudly belongs to the Wedding Photojournalist Association, which hand-selects the finest documentary wedding photographers in the world (the organization only admits 5% of its applicants). The organization has awarded the studio's photos numerous awards.  After spending some time on their website, I'm truly amazed at the depth of the photos.  Planning a wedding?  Check them out.
Thursday, 15 October 2009 14:12

New Bedford Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

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The New Bedford Landfill Gas-to-Energy project is a renewable energy project that helps reduce the amount of energy we need to produce from dirty fuel sources like coal and oil.  The benefits of this project are two-fold: not only does it flare methane, which is about 23 times more potent as New Bedforda greenhouse gas at capturing heat, it provides fuel for four reciprocating internal combustion engine-generators.  The project produces both power for the regional electricity grid and also reduces the amount of methane released into our atmosphere. The destruction of methane from these types of projects is important in the fight against climate change because methane is far more efficient as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. One of the real concerns about climate change is that as the frozen tundra of areas such as Siberia and Northern Canada melt, an enormous amount of methane - which was previously trapped in the permafrost - will be released into our atmosphere. The specific environmental benefits of the New Bedford Landfill project are significantly decreased methane and carbon dioxide emissions, waste management, odor control and less localized air pollution, reduction of local water pollution, and clean energy production. This third-party verified carbon offset project meets American Carbon Registry / Environmental Resources Trust’s Monitoring, Reporting & Verification Protocol and the Chicago Climate Exchange standards.  To learn more about our renewable energy projects, please visit them here.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 11:23

#ClimateTuesday is Here!

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#ClimateTuesday is here and we’re taking over facebook and twitter. Today is the day to invite your friends and supporters to get involved in a 350 event. Can we make #climatetuesday a trending topic? Can we double our registrations for the event? I think we can! On October 24, events are happening in over 150 nations across the world. In Botswana, the Maru-a-Pula school will be hosting a Green Drive “to change attitudes and lifestyle of our students and our community.” They will be launching a new recycling center, promoting their organic garden and a strong treaty in Copenhagen. In the Maldives, a country whose citizens will lose their homes and way of life if we don’t reach this goal, a team of divers will build an artificial reef shaped like the three numbers: 3, 5 and 0. (They've produced an awesome video.) In Washington DC, local leaders and activists will be marching to the White House to call on Obama and the nation to get a strong international treaty. Not half-measures or baby steps, but a comprehensive global deal on protecting the earth’s climate. Find an event in your area, and help us spread the word! If you are in DC and reaching out to DC folks, here’s the DC event: http://bit.ly/381tFG DC tweet: RT @Carbonfundorg: #climatetuesday action: join @350 on facebook & join events around the world on Oct. 24th ! http://bit.ly/381tFG #green #climatebill For those outside of DC, here’s the main 350 event: http://bit.ly/1pUcwZ National Tweet: RT @Carbonfundorg: #climatetuesday action: join @350 on facebook & join events around the world on Oct. 24th ! http://bit.ly/1pUcwZ #green #climatebill People talking about #climatetuesday on Twitter
Today, Venom Power announced the release of its new Eco Alkaline™ batteries. These eco-responsible batteries feature:
  • Zero mercury
  • Zero cadmium
  • Zero lead
  • Zero carbon footprint, courtesy of Carbonfund.org's product certification program, featuring the first carbon neutral label in the US.
The Venom Power Eco Alkaline batteries have been certified carbon neutral after a detailed product life-cycle assessment. The assessment tracks carbon emissions, identified areas for emissions reductions, and offset the emissions that could not be avoided - like emissions generated in the manufacturing process. Venom chose to support our Paso Pacifico Return to Forest reforestation project. Validated by the Rainforest Alliance to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards with Gold Distinction, the Return to Forest Project is helping to reforest as well as reconnect critical biological corridors along Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. The project also brings economic opportunities to local communities while sequestering about 170,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Venom’s Eco Alkaline batteries are progressive, high quality consumer batteries with dependable performance. The batteries will begin shipping to retailers throughout North America during the fourth quarter this year. To learn more, please visit: www.venom-group.com. Read more about our product certification program here.
Friday, 09 October 2009 11:10

Vote Ends Monday! Vote for Clean Air Lawn Care

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One of our business partners, Clean Air Lawn Care, is up for an Entrepreneur of the Year award. They're a very cool business--they use electric mowers, organic fertilizers and recycle all their clippings. Please take a second and vote for them! The Emerging Entrepreneur Award from Entrepreneur Magazine selects innovative startup businesses who stand out among their peers. After being chosen as a semi-finalist, the winner must be selected by the online community at http://www.entrepreneur.com/e2009/vote/emerging.php#432 The winner will be featured in the January ’10 and December ’10 issues of Entrepreneur Magazine. It’s a tremendous honor to be working with a company that has been selected one of the 5 semi-finalists for this award. We hope you will join us in helping to push them to the top! The contest ends on Monday, so vote now! And for those of you on twitter, please tweet this: RT @Carbonfundorg Vote Ends Monday! Help innovative green business win prestigious #Entrepreneur Award http://bit.ly/om3ao #green #eco Read the press release:
Clean Air Lawn Care Nominated for Emerging Entrepreneur 2009 Fort Collins, CO – Clean Air Lawn Care CEO, Kelly Giard, has been nominated to be Entrepreneur Magazine’s Emerging Entrepreneur of 2009! This is an incredible honor for all of Clean Air Lawn Care and a testament to the changing face of business – a commitment to being green, setting high ethical and environmental standards, and being an example to others. Clean Air Lawn Care is a lawn maintenance business that uses clean electric and biodiesel powered equipment. The vehicles hauling this equipment have mounted solar panels which charge the electric equipment during the workday. The equipment is clean and quiet; the fertilizer is organic; the business is carbon neutral. Clean Air Lawn Care is the pioneer of sustainable lawn care franchising. In the October 2008 print issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Clean Air Lawn Care was identified as one of the top 5 green franchises in America. The January 2009 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine showcases the Franchise 500 and Clean Air Lawn Care again is listed as one of the major players in a green franchise movement. The sustainable company has been receiving other national attention as well. In May of this year, the company graced the cover of Turf Magazine, an indication that change is indeed coming to the lawn care industry. Noting the sustainable methods used by Clean Air Lawn Care, the magazine stated, “Clean Air may have a jump on competitors who are clinging to traditional techniques.” Why Sustainable Lawn Care… • 5-10% of the nation’s air pollution comes from gas powered lawn equipment. • In one hour, one gas lawn mower can pollute as much as an SUV driven 23,600 miles. • The company saves $10,000 a year on gas and spends less than $500 to charge the equipment through renewable energy. • Electric lawn mowers cut noise emissions by 50%-75%. Through the use of electric equipment powered by renewable energy, Clean Air Lawn Care removed 32,000 pounds of air pollution equaling over 1,000,000 vehicle miles in 2008. The positive impact of Clean Air Lawn Care’s business is parallel with growth. The company’s growth equals a larger reduction in national air pollution. The online vote is taking place at http://www.entrepreneur.com/e2009/vote/emerging.php#432 Watch the video and learn how Clean Air Lawn Care is starting a revolution in lawn care and changing the way America mows the lawn.