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

'Fresh Morning' Recycled Paper Dangle Earrings

‘Fresh Morning’
Recycled Paper Dangle Earrings

I’ve been wanting for a while to do a post about recycled things that are attractive. So many recycled products are not very pretty and, although we may want to buy them to support companies or artists who use recycled products we don’t buy them because we don’t actually like them.

So, here are some products made with recycled materials that, at least in the eye of this beholder, are esthetically pleasing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Twig Plant Markers

June 9, 2012

Twig Garden Markers

I saw these great  garden markers on Urban Gardens and just loved them. They are made by Jo in Edmonton and sold on her Etsy store.

Jo makes these from Manitoba Maple twigs she finds in her yard. The ink is heat stamped to make them okay for outdoor use.

You can also ask Jo to customize a set for you if you want different names on them.

Five are $20

Recently I was nominated by Shannon at dirt n kids for not one but two blog awards. So, first of all thank you to Shannon. If you haven’t yet visited her blog, you should. The first award is the Kreative Blogger. And the second is the Versatile Blogger.

The rules for both awards ask that you nominate seven other bloggers for the award and share seven fun or interesting facts about your self. Since I got nominated for two awards I am going to do 14. You may fall asleep.

Here we go… 14 fun filled facts about me.

1. I can spend about four or five days completely by myself before I get lonely.

2. I purposely keep my nails short so they are easy to clean after gardening.

3. I am a Sherlock Holmes junkie.

4. I have seen every episode of Bones at least three times.

5. My favorite poem is A Man Said To The Universe by Stephen Crane.

A man said to the universe:

“Sir I exist!”

“However,” replied the universe,

“That fact has not created in me

A sense of obligation.”

6. In high school I was on the Junior National Ski Team and was offered a spot on the U.S. Development Ski Team (which I declined).

7. I spent a semester abroad in Nepal and have traveled to India, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Guatemala, Montserrat, Kauai, Canada, Russia, Scotland, and England.

8. My family lived in England for a year when I was a baby.

9. I was recently asked to be the chair of the Austin Chapter of the National Association of Professional Women in Landscape and, yes, this is a blatant promotion of the group whose web site is napwl.org.

10. Before I became a landscape designer I did lighting for feature films.

11. After marrying into a family of cooks I have finally started trying to cook and found I don’t hate it. In fact, I kind of like it.

12. I once had a client in Brooklyn whose wife, while planting pansies in the back yard, found a gun buried there.

13. I can weld.

14. I have two cats I found as stray kittens living in the basement of the Trump Tower. I named them Osiris and Tamuz

Okay, on to the other bloggers for nomination. Here we go…

1. Sublime Palate

2. The Boxcar Grocer

3. Urban Roots

4. 222 Million Tons

5. Plant Select

6. Rantings of an Amateur Chef

7. Transplanted North’s Blog

8. The Garden Zealot

9. arignagardener

10. The Incredible Lightness of Seeing

11. The Soulsby Farm

12. wasteisblank

13. GRDNBKLYN

14. Vickster’s Vine

If you made it this far thank you for sticking with it. If you have a chance I highly urge you to take a look at at least a few of these blogs. Of course not everyone will like all of them but I bet all of you will like at least one enough to start following it.

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