Carbon Offsets For Flying

September 4, 2017

photo by Henrik Prüzelius

If you’ve read the About Me page you know I love two things: conserving resources and traveling. Unfortunately, the high carbon impact of air travel can make the two hard to reconcile. However, options do exist, and they are getting better and better due to pressure from environmental groups.

According to Peter Miller, senior scientist with the Energy & Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, “early offset programs generally erred on the side of being too flexible and not standardized.” However, in the past few years things have changed. Airlines have begun to partner with environmental groups to offer worthwhile carbon offset programs that have been shown to make a difference. And if, like me, you thought it would be prohibitively expensive to offset your carbon footprint when you fly, think again. I recently purchased carbon offsets for two people to fly from New York to Idaho for just over $25.

photo by Stefan Hofecker Photography

Although air travel emissions only account for about five percent of global warming right now, that number is expected to rise significantly since the volume of air travel has been steadily increasing and flight fuel efficiency has not kept pace.


Delta Airlines, the first U.S.airline to offer carbon offsets, has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to offer its customers the option to make donations to one of three Nature Conservancy projects; the Clinch Valley Conservation Forestry Program in Virginia, the Rio Bravo Climate Action Project in Belize or the Valdivian Coastal Reserve Project in Chile. On Delta’s website you will find a carbon calculator as well as links to these programs for donating either dollars or miles.

United Airlines has two programs to which you can donate: Sustainable Travel International’s Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm in Texas or Conservation International’s Alto Mayo Forest Carbon Project in Northern Peru. Like Delta they have an online carbon calculator to help you out and they accept dollars as well as miles.

photo by Virgil Telmo

As Geoffrey Heal, professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, recently stated in a Smithsonian article by Natasha Geiling, “If you’re a traveler and you’re greenhouse gas conscious, then this is a legitimate way of creating an offset. There’s nothing bogus about it. It makes sense. It works.”



Improve Your Junk Mail Karma

September 1, 2017

Is your mailbox (your real mailbox, not the one on your laptop) inundated with catalogs you flip through for a minute and then toss? Coupon books? Fliers? Credit card offers? I don’t have to tell you a lot of that discarded paper ends up in a landfill. I also don’t have to tell you that you probably don’t have the time to contact each of these companies to cancel your subscriptions. While there are some web sites like DMA Choice and CatalogChoice that give you contact information for catalog companies the information is not always complete and usually requires some leg work on your part.

PaperKarma is an app that makes unsubscribing from unwanted catalogs pretty painless. Once you have set up your profile, which takes about a minute, you take a picture with your phone of the logo or address of the company whose catalog you want to give the heave-ho, upload the image, and hit unsubscribe me. You get four unsubscribe requests for free but you do have to pay to keep using the app after that. A month of unlimited unsubscribes is $1.99 and a year’s worth is $19.99.

Download for iOS here

Download for Android here

The American Society Of Landscape Architects has produced this video showing how construction materials from a torn down building can be reused for a park. Very Interesting

Some Grog For My Fuchsia

September 12, 2012

Some Grog For My Fuchsia

I found this on Sprout,  American Nurseryman’s newsletter.

Taken by Kristin Candler, this photo shows The Prospect Of Whitby, London’s oldest riverside Inn. It is, reportedly, where the Fuchsia was introduced to London when it was traded for a noggin of rum.

To sign up for Sprout go here.

pale fuschia

pale fuschia (Photo credit: kumquatgirl)

3 batches of Maple Syrup

3 batches of Maple Syrup (Photo credit: astanleyjones)

Just a quick post about an article in the Wall Street Journal I found interesting. According to the article, written by David George-Cosh, thieves recently made off with about 10 million lbs of maple syrup worth an estimated 30 million Canadian dollars or US$ 30.4.

As a way to protect producer’s harvests The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers keeps a certain amount of maple syrup in reserve.

Go here to read the full story in the Journal

Artichoke and Euphorbia in Brooklyn Garden

To me this image says Urban because it combines an ornamental plant, Euphorbia, with an edible plant, Artichoke. It is an example of how, even in a small urban space, we can plant gardens that are both interesting, unique, useful and practical.

Purple Clematis

I planted this Clematis to wrap around the iron fence in our front yard when we were living in Brooklyn. This week it is my Weekly Photo Challenge entry.

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