Category Archives: carbon footprint

5 Benefits of Solar Panels for Schools and Universities


For most people, solar panels are synonymous with residential and commercial use. People put solar panels on their homes to cover electric bills, and augment their commercial buildings to draw new business and “go green.” But what happens when solar panels are added to the layout of schools or universities? Today, solar panel installations in schools are becoming more popular.

As it does, it’s decreasing the environmental impact of these institutions and making them greener and more eco-friendly. In many cases, eco-friendly universities may also see increased enrollment and greater interest levels across the student base.

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Thanks to these perks, it’s a trend solar installers, students, teachers, and citizens alike can expect to see much more of.

Why Should my School go Solar? 5 Smart Reasons

Solar panels for schools have many benefits. In addition to decreasing an institution’s carbon footprint, solar panels also generate a great deal of power. Here are a few of the most significant benefits of solar panels for schools:

1. Solar Panels Work Well on Most University Roofs

Most residential homes have pitched roofs, which can make adding solar panels difficult. Universities and schools, on the other hand, typically have flat, expansive roofs made of materials that are ideal for solar panel installation.

In addition to providing plenty of open, unshaded space for solar panels to work to their highest potential, these roofs are also unlikely to feature sensitive materials, like wood shingles, which can make solar installation more challenging. Since roof angle and material have a major impact on the effectiveness of solar arrays, this is excellent news for any college or university that wants to install panels.

2. Solar Power Will Reduce Operating Costs for the School

Electric prices have risen over the past ten years. Because they use a great deal of electricity, schools and universities have been some of the primary victims of these price hikes.

Fortunately, solar power is a free source of energy, found in abundance throughout the world, and advanced technology and skilled installers have made it even more accessible for institutions.

In fact, colleges and universities have access to some of the least expensive (in terms of cost-per-watt) systems available. As systems get larger, their cost per watt price falls. This means colleges and universities can enjoy affordable power without the guessing game of the grid.

3. Solar Power Could Help Boost Enrollment

Solar power is cutting-edge and attractive to eco-minded students, teachers, and supporters. As such, a college or university that installs a solar panel system could easily see an increase in enrollment.

This is especially true in competitive areas, where having solar panels on a building could be the factor that distinguishes one university from its competitors in the eyes of potential enrollees.

When modern students choose schools, many of them look for options that offer environmentally-conscious practices, renewable power, and eco-friendly facilities. As such, some colleges and universities have even established Sustainability Offices designed to drive the institution’s green initiatives forward.

When these things all come together at a single institution, it’s easy for that school to gain a reputation for innovativeness and creativity.  Not only do solar panels produce energy, but they also stand out as a unique social and cultural symbol.

4. Solar Power Provides Unlimited and Reliable Energy

For universities, schools, and residences alike, solar power systems offer a dependable source of unlimited energy. While fossil fuels are a finite source of energy, solar power is not. Designed to work on cloudy days, in part sun, and even in wintery environments, solar panels can generate a significant amount of power for universities and schools that install them.

5. Solar Arrays at Colleges Helps Drive Solar Power Forward

To invest in solar panels, people need to see them at work, first. Since universities are busy public places, campuses that install solar panels do the important work of driving the solar industry forward by providing greater exposure for solar arrays. This is especially true for universities that install large, campus-powering systems.

Unless people have the opportunity to see solar panels at work, they can feel relatively strange and alien. Luckily, students, faculty, and visitors who come into contact with solar panels on university campuses have the opportunity to learn how the arrays work. This helps familiarize people with the panels and, hopefully, inspire them to invest in solar energy on their own accords.

What About Solar Panels for School Grants?

When residential owners want to install solar panels on their homes, they’re eligible for grants from the federal government to help cover the cost. Luckily, the same is true for colleges and universities. Today, there are many different federal programs available to schools that want to install solar arrays.

For example, the Department of Energy introduced the SunShot Initiative in 2011, which supports research and development surrounding solar energy, and establishes projects designed to reduce the cost of obtaining it. In fact, the initiative’s primary goal has been to make the price of solar energy comparable to that of fossil fuel-based electricity by 2020.

Programs like these can go a long way toward offsetting the price of solar installation for schools and universities and making them that much more accessible for establishments that are interested in exploring them.

The Future of University Solar Installs Looks Bright

Today, colleges and universities have a great deal to gain when it comes to the installation of solar panels. Ideal for reducing energy bills and cutting costs associated with powering a school’s facilities, solar panels are an eco-friendly addition that can also have wide-reaching social and cultural impacts, and companies like Sandbar Solar are installing more and more of them.

When students see a university taking steps to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, it could easily impact the student’s attendance decision and result in higher enrollment numbers for the school.

What’s more, since tax rebates and credits are available for schools that want to install solar panels, it’s an affordable option that will pay off down the road.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

18 Eco-Friendly Home Projects to Complete in 2018


Do you have any home improvement projects on the radar in 2018? Why not make them eco-friendly? Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly are those products that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Environmentally conscious updates to your living space can save you money and help preserve the environment.

With just couple of days left for new year to set in, let’s start this new year with some easy and eco-friendly projects that have minimum impact on the environment. Here are 18 eco-conscious home improvement ideas for 2018.

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1. Start Composting

Instead of tossing organic waste into the trash, start a compost pile in your backyard. The EPA estimates nearly 25 percent of the waste dumped into landfills each year could have been composted. Additionally, composting improves soil quality and decreases erosion.

Composting also helps deter pests in your garden. You’ll save cash on pesticide costs, increase your produce yield and grow healthier, more organic food for your family.

2. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Are you in the market for a new kitchen? Instead of trashing your old cabinetry and drawers, try re-purposing them and changing their layout. Refinishing old cabinetry and changing out fixtures, knobs and handles is an environmentally friendly way to get a new look without breaking the bank.

3. Upgrade Your Flooring

New flooring can brighten and completely change the look of a room. Make your new choice eco-conscious by choosing linoleum over vinyl. Vinyl flooring can emit VOCs over time, which can degrade indoor air quality and lead to respiratory illnesses. Choose linoleum flooring instead. Linoleum is nontoxic and won’t leach noxious gases.

4. Repaint Your Home With No- to Low-VOC Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make any room look cleaner and more open. While color is important, so is paint quality. Choose a paint brand that won’t emit VOCs, or at the very least, emits them in low concentrations. Standard paints often release toxic VOCs, similar to vinyl flooring. You’ll improve your indoor air quality and your health.

5. Switch to Geothermal Heating

Geothermal systems use the Earth’s stable ground temperature to maintain a comfortable climate in your home. A pump sends liquid 300 feet beneath the Earth’s surface and returns it to a geothermal heater, which then distributes the temperate liquid through the flooring in your home. In the hot summer months, heat is drawn from the air and deposited back into the Earth.

On average, geothermal systems use 80 percent less energy compared to traditional heating systems. Additionally, they don’t require fossil fuels to operate. It’ll take approximately 10 years before your geothermal investment pays off.

6. Purchase Used Furniture

Consignment shops, antique stores and garage sales often offer excellent deals on high-quality, gently used furniture. Purchasing preowned furniture limits the amount of waste that may make it into landfills and usually costs less than newer options.

7. Add Larger Windows

Are you looking for a more drastic change? Add larger windows to your home or change their layout. Optimizing the natural light that enters your home can help lower your energy bill by reducing heating and lighting costs. Larger windows will also help improve air circulation throughout the year, which can help improve indoor air quality.

8. Install Solar Panels

The cost of installing a solar energy system is on the decline, thanks to technological improvements and solar energy becoming a more mainstream option. Additionally, many state governments, in addition to the federal government, offer tax incentives for homeowners interested in converting to solar energy.

Before you make the jump, have an expert or industry professional analyze your home to determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels. Factors to consider include your local climate, the slope of your roof and tree cover.

9. Reinsulate Your Home

New insulation won’t change the overall look of your home, but it will change the overall feel. Insulation degrades over time, leading to gaps in coverage. Poor insulation will allow air to escape from your home and can dramatically increase your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Some insulation can last up to 100 years, but leaking roofs, punctures, animals and other factors can drastically reduce this timeline. Review your home’s history and energy bills to determine if your home can benefit from new insulation.

10. Perform an Energy Audit

Hire an energy professional to perform an energy audit in your home to determine where you can make the most impact. Energy auditors review your home to see where you may be losing energy and provide recommendations on where to make the most impact. Energy auditors can help homeowners can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on their energy bill.

11. Invest in Energy Star Appliances

Appliances account for up to 30 percent of home energy usage. Switching the appliances in your home to those with the Energy Star label can save you money on your energy bill and help preserve the environment.

The government backs Energy Star appliances and guarantees they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operate more efficiently compared to non-Energy Star competitors. When shopping for replacements, check to see whether an appliance has the government-certified Energy Star label.

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12. Do a Little Spring Cleaning

Set aside time to dig through the attic, your closet and the other areas in your home where you’ve been storing unused or unwanted items. Instead of throwing things directly into the trash, donate them to a local thrift store or hold a garage sale to earn some extra cash. Repurposing unwanted items helps keep them out of landfills.

13. Greenify Your Living Space

Houseplants can help improve indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide and absorbing airborne toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. Not all plants are created equal, however. Spider plants, snake plants and rubber trees are among some of the easiest plants to grow with the best indoor air quality benefits.

14. Switch to Energy-Efficient Windows

Poorly sealed or aging windows can decrease your energy efficiency dramatically. Consider investing in a more energy-efficient option to improve your home’s overall comfort and reduce your energy costs.

If new windows aren’t in your budget, try repairing or updating your existing ones. Improving the caulking around window seals, installing storm windows and adding treatments can also help reduce your overall energy consumption.

15. Install a Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets use 25 to 50 percent of the water used by conventional toilets per flush. Over one year, the average family of four can save up to 22,000 gallons of water, which translates to nearly $100 in savings on your annual water bill.

A variety of options exist depending on your budget and the type of toilet you’re looking for. Some systems recycle greywater from your sink, leading to further water conservation and even lower water bills.

16. Update Your Landscaping

Adding native plants to your yard can provide additional habitat for local wildlife and reduce your water bill. Local plants are better suited to your environment and won’t require the same amount of water or fertilizer to flourish.

Excess fertilizers can wash off plants and soil in heavy rain events and into local waterbodies. The excess chemicals are harmful to marine life and can lead to an overabundance of algae and other plants, which reduces oxygen levels in the water.

17. Invest in Rain Barrels

Rain barrels capture excess stormwater from your rooftop for future use. They are relatively inexpensive to install and provide a free source of water for use on your lawn or garden.

Additionally, rain barrels prevent excess rainwater from contributing to stormwater runoff. Water flows faster over hard surfaces and can lead to more instances of flooding.

18. Install a Rain Garden

Properly installed rain gardens act as small wetlands. They reduce excess stormwater runoff while the plants neutralize pollutants in the water. When stormwater runoff flows over hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants from oil and gas spills and fertilizers. Rain gardens prevent these contaminants from making their way into water bodies.

With a little effort, you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint and make your 2018 a little bit greener.

Image credit: pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

New York Takes a Leap on Renewable Energy Sources


New York is taking a leap to divest from fossil fuels. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo together with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released separate proposals to divest the pension funds of the state and the city from fossil fuel companies such as oil, gas, and coal.

The state is planning to divest almost $400 billion from the industry with the goal of de-carbonizing pension funds. It’s a huge yet risky move for New York since the state’s Common Fun is the third largest in the United States.

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Different environmentalists and environmental organizations are celebrating this major progress in the global movement for the divestment of fossil fuels. After five years of powerful advocacy from many environmentalists and climate activities, the state and the city have already moved to involve themselves in such proposal.

It is worth noting that these proposals are not just mere assumptions. A study from the Carbon Tracker Initiative states that the Earth can only burn 800 more gigatons of carbon equivalent in order for the Earth to linger under its two-degree Celsius limit.

Another study by the Oil Change International shows that the world would burn around 982 gigatons of carbon equivalent should everyone burn all fossil fuel resources. From both of these studies, one thing remains for sure: the burning of fossil fuels must be stopped as soon as possible if we want to stay under the two-degree Celsius limit.

In a statement, Governor Cuomo said that New York has already made immense strides in securing a clean and renewable energy for the state. With their nation-leading clean energy standard including the development of offshore wind energy and the aggressive investment in the clean technology economy, he continued, moving the Common Fund away from investments on fossil fuel industries will help protect the retirement saving of the people of New York.

Governor Cuomo further mentioned that he was already working with New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in studying how the $200 billion Common Fund can stop important investment in fossil fuels so that they can further reinvest in renewable sources of energy and a low-carbon economy.

It is worth noting that the pension fund of New York holds shares in more than 50 oil and gas companies. The ExxonMobil alone has been invested with nearly $1 billion. Divesting from various pollution entities like these fossil fuel industries can help achieve the clean energy goals of New York.

Governor Cuomo has cited several examples in recent times where divestment from fossil fuels was being planned out. Norway has intentions of divesting its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund in gas and oil holdings. Moreover, the World Bank announces that it will stop financing oil and gas exploration after the year 2019. These are huge steps, but they could really be useful in the long run should we want to reduce our carbon footprints.

Meanwhile, Comptroller Singer mentioned that the city of New York is planning to examine ways on how to de-carbonize its portfolio also. He further said that this examination includes divesting current holdings in fossil fuel companies, the feasibility of ceasing additional investment in fossil fuels, and increasing the investments in clean and renewable energy.

Bill McKibben, one of those who has helped launch the divest movement, said that New York has finally taken a huge step towards divesting from fossil fuels. This has been a product of great activism. Moreover, this movement will resonate loud and evident all over the world because such proposal came from the capital of world finance: New York.

It is worth noting that more than 800 institutions represent more than $5.2 trillion in assets have already committed themselves to divest. As a matter of fact, other institutions have already cut their ties with fossil fuel companies. These include Columbia University, American Museum of Natural History, and Barnard College.

Rachel Rivera also praised the governor and the comptroller for their plans. The New York Communities for Change member congratulated the lawmakers for making New York the leading state in the country to fight against climate change. She stated that investing public funds in sources of climate destruction such as fossil fuels does not only bankrupt the state morally, but it is also a bad finance.

Neither of the proposals has given an end date for the proposed 100 percent divestment. Stringer mentioned that his office will still be bringing his plan to the New York City pension fund trustees for the coming weeks for deliberation. Cuomo, on the other hand, said that he would partner with New York State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli to establish an advisory committee to create and design a de-carbonization roadmap.

Either way, it is worth noting that these two proposals will have a significant impact on New York and to the rest of the world.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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Ways to Reduce Your Holiday Carbon Footprint [Infographic]


The holiday season is a time for eating delicious food, visiting with loved ones, and exchanging gifts. It is also a time of excess that can take a toll on the health of our planet.

One night’s feast turns into the next day’s trash. Decorations that bring joy for a month can end up decomposing in a landfill for years. According to the EPA, household waste in the United States increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, totaling about 1 million extra tons of waste. The holiday season is also responsible for much of the 28 billion pounds of edible food discarded every year. In fact, Americans waste 33 percent more food during the winter holidays than any other part of the year.

This waste creates a number of problems for human and environmental health, including air and water pollution. Landfills produce harmful gases, including methane, that contribute to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. As the world’s population grows, so does the amount of discarded goods.

Though climate change can seem like an overwhelming problem to address, the actions of individuals make an impact. Adopting healthier habits is hard enough during your regular schedule. So how do you practice sustainability amidst the additional travel, events, shopping and food?

[email protected], the online MPH program offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, recently published a graphic with “11 Ways to Reduce your Holiday Carbon Footprint.” Some of these suggestions, including eating less red meat, reducing food waste, and shopping locally are strategies that can be used year round. This list is just a starting point. Be creative with your sustainable choices and choose the ones that work for you.

Environmental guilt doesn’t have to be the cause for you to miss out on seasonal celebrations. There are a number of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, even while you’re caught up in the holiday hubbub.

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Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Types, Importance and Examples of Ecology?


Ecology is a branch of biology concerned with understanding how organisms relate with each other and their environment. This branch of biology mainly deals with the relationships between the organisms, their relationships among each other, their relationships towards the shared resources, their relationships with the space they share, and even their relationships with the non-living aspects in the environment.

In understanding the given relationship, ecology encompasses aspects such as population growth, competition, symbiotic ecologic relationships (mutualism), trophic relations (energy transfer from one section of the food chain to the next), biodiversity, migration and physical environment interactions. Because ecology includes all the living organisms on earth and their physical as well as chemical surroundings, it is divided into several categories which bring about different types of ecology as discussed below:

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Types of Ecology

1. Microbial Ecology

Microbial ecology looks at the smallest fundamental levels of life, that is, the cellular level. It involves mainly the first two life kingdoms which are; Kingdom Monera and Kingdom Protista. Here, the connections are made between microbes and their relationships with each other and their environments.

Microbial ecology is particularly important in the analysis of evolutionary connections and events leading to existence (known as phylogeny). These connections help us understand the relationships shared among organisms. It is particularly interested in DNA and RNA structures as they carry most of the information passed along from organisms to their progeny, providing the data ecologists need.

2. Organism/Behavioural Ecology

This is the study of the organism at its fundamental levels and can encompass microbial ecology. In this type of ecology, the main goal is to understand the organism’s behaviours, adaptations for such behaviours, reason for those behaviours as explained through the lens of evolution, and the way all these aspects mesh together.

In this case, the main concern is the individual organism and all its different nuances, especially in trying to understand how it all ties together to enhance the survival of the organism or any beneficial adaptations.

3. Population Ecology

Population ecology is the next rank on the ecological ladder. Population ecology focuses on the population, defined as a group of organisms of the same species living in the same area at the same time. Here, attention is given to things such as population size, its density, the structure of the population, migration patterns, and the interaction between organisms of the same population.

It tries to explain the different changes in each of the dynamics of the population such as why numbers would increase and whether this affects any other aspects of the population such as its density.

4. Community Ecology

Community ecology takes a look at the community, defined as all the populations that live in a given area. This includes all the different species populations. The focus here is usually on the interactions between the different species and how their numbers and sizes all mesh together and how change in one population change the dynamic of the whole community.

The animal populations here are exposed to more complex interactions given their increased species numbers which give rise to dynamics such as trophic relationships (who eats who), space dynamics, migration patterns and the most important ecological driving force when it comes to inter/intra species interaction.

5. Ecosystem Ecology

Ecosystem ecology makes a unique contribution to understanding ecology by adding abiotic (non-living) factors to the items analysed, alongside the biotic (living) factors involved. This interaction therefore involves all aspects of the environment and how they interact.

It includes understanding how things like climate and soil composition affect the behaviours and interactions of populations from different species. It also includes a wide range of factors to better understand the whole aspect of interaction between the living things and their environments/habitats.

6. Global Ecology (Biosphere)

The global ecology is principally important in understanding all the ecosystems affecting the entire globe. This includes all the different biomes, with considerations of aspects such as climate and other environmental geography.

It means, global ecology takes into account the whole world’s biosphere while considering all living organisms from the microscopic to higher lifeforms, the environments they leave in, the interactions that they have with each other, the influences that their environments have on these interactions and vice versa, and finally, how they are all interconnected under the common ground that they all share a single planet – the Earth.

Importance of Ecology

The study of ecology is important in ensuring people understand the impact of their actions on the life of the planet as well as on each other. Here are the reasons why ecology is important:

1. It helps in environmental conservation

Ecology allows us to understand the effects our actions have on our environment. With this information, it helps guide conservation efforts by first showing the primary means by which the problems we experience within our environment begin and by following this identification process, it shows us where our efforts would have the biggest effect.

Ecology also shows individuals the extent of the damage we cause to the environment and provides predictive models on how bad the damage can get. These indicators instil a sense of urgency among the population, pushing people to actively take part in conservation efforts and ensure the longevity of the planet.

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2. Ensures proper resource allocation

Ecology equally allows us to see the purpose of each organism in the web of connectivity that makes up the ecosystem. With this knowledge, we are able to ascertain which resources are essential for the survival of the different organisms. This is very fundamental when it comes to assessing the needs of human beings who have the biggest effect on the ecosystem.

An example is human dependency on fossil fuels that has led to the increase of carbon footprint in the ecosystem. It is ecology that allows humans to see these problems which then calls for the need to make informed decisions on how to adjust our resource demands to ensure that we do not burden the environment with demands that are unsustainable.

3. Enhances energy conservation

Energy conservation and ecology is connected in that, it aids in understanding the demands different energy sources have on the environment. Consequently, it is good for decision making in terms of deciding resources for use as well as how to efficiently convert them into energy.

Without proper understanding of energy facts through ecology, humans can be wasteful in their use of allotted resources such as indiscriminate burning of fuels or the excessive cutting down of trees. Staying informed about the ecological costs allows people to be more frugal with their energy demands and adopt practices that promote conservation such as switching of lights during the day and investing in renewable energy.

4. Promotes eco-friendliness

With all the information and research obtained from ecology, it ultimately promotes eco-friendliness. It makes people aware of their environment and encourages the adoption of a lifestyle that protects the ecology of life owing to the understanding they have about it.

This means that in the long-term, people tend to live less selfishly and make strides towards protecting the interest of all living things with the realization that survival and quality life depends on environment sustainability. Hence, it fosters a harmonious lifestyle and assures longevity for all organisms.

5. Aids in disease and pest control

A great number of diseases are spread by vectors. The study of ecology offers the world novel ways of understanding how pests and vectors behave thereby equipping humans with knowledge and techniques on how to manage pests and diseases.

For example, malaria which is one of the leading killer diseases is spread by the female Anopheles mosquito. In a bid to control malaria, humans must first understand how the insect interacts with its environment in terms of competition, sex, and breeding preferences. The same applies to other diseases and pests. By understanding the life cycles and preferred methods of propagation of different organisms in the ecosystem, it has created impressive ways to device controls measures.

Examples of Ecology

Examples of ecology are simply aspects that seek to study how the various types of ecology come about. For instance, the study of humans and their relationship with the environment gives us human ecology. Alternatively, studying a food chain in a wetland area gives wetland ecology while the study of how termites or other small organisms interact with their habitat brings about niche construction ecology. Here are two basic examples to elaborate examples of ecology in details.

1. Human ecology

This aspect of ecology looks at the relationship between humans and the ecosystem as a whole. It is centred on human beings, studying their behaviour and hypothesises the evolutionary reasons why we might have taken up some traits.

Emphasis is placed on this due to the impact human beings have on the environment and it also gives us knowledge about the shortcomings of the entire human population and how to better ourselves for our own sake and that of the environment.

2. Niche construction

Niche construction is an example of ecology dealing with the study of how organisms are able to alter their environment for their benefit and also for the benefit of other living things. It is of particular interest to ecologists who desire to understand how some organisms overcome the challenges presented to them.

A prime example is how termites are well organized and equipped to erect mound that stand over 6 feet tall while at the same time protecting and feeding their entire population. In going about their niche, ants also recycle nutrients for plants. This presents a good example of ecology because it is all about evolution and other several aspects regarding population, community and ecosystem ecology.

Image credit: pixabay , pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

11 Best and Popular US Carbon Offset Providers


Carbon offsets are schemes or initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas or carbon dioxide emissions by compensating for or neutralizing the emissions made. In other words, it pertains to investment in environmental projects with the sole objective of balancing carbon footprints. It’s a practice that has increasingly gained popularity globally with more and more carbon offset providers joining the initiative.

The carbon offset providers primarily work to reduce future emissions by investing in clean energy technologies, planting trees, or buying and compensating for the carbon emitted from emissions trading scheme. Offset providers widely vary in terms of their areas of focus and charges, and their operations are determined by their respective locations. Overall, whether in the UK, US, Australia, or Canada, the central objective is to promote environmental sustainability. Here are the top 11 carbon offset providers in the US.

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1. Sustainable Travel International

The mission of Sustainable Travel International is reducing the impacts of carbon footprint through tourism and travel. In partnership with NGOs, governments, companies and communities, the offset provider works towards sustainable development goals to limit the adverse effects of climate change by selling carbon credits with regards to flying or other travel activities and using the funds to protect the planet’s terrestrial ecosystems.

Its focus is centrally on preventing deforestation, irresponsible development, and over-exploitation. In the various partnership projects, Sustainable Travel International ensures real and measurable results by supporting biodiversity conservation, clean and renewable energy, and planting trees that help in absorbing and storing carbon.

2. Green Mountain Energy

With an overriding commitment to environmental sustainability and reducing the overall environmental impacts, Green Mountain Energy offers high quality standards on carbon offset provision. The high quality standards set by the provider ensures that the carbon offsets are sourced from reputable and verified third party industries.

The main areas of operation include the advancement of forestry projects, waste water treatment, promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, and the capture of methane gas at landfills.

3. Native Energy

Native Energy takes pride as an organization responsible for offering solutions to climate change through the provision of carbon tracking services, carbon offsets, and renewable energy credits. Founded in 2002, it has assisted individuals and businesses in identifying and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and reach their goals on environmental sustainability.

Native Energy has also partnered with Green America in promoting actions towards reducing carbon footprints by funding new solar, wind, water, and conservation projects. Native Energy states that by purchasing carbon offsets from them, it helps to finance new wind turbines, renewable energy at schools, and methane gas capturing on family farms.

4. WGL Energy

WGL Energy is devoted to offering money-saving and reliable carbon offset options for individuals, businesses and organizations across the US as well as the sate. Founded in 1996 and located in Vienna, Virginia, the offset provider was previously known as Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.

It currently serves based on the knowledge that every penny counts and when it comes to the commitment to supporting sustainable practices, WGL Energy ensures value is placed on promoting carbon reduction, renewable energy and energy efficient solutions.

On customer’s behalf, WGL Energy invests the carbon offsets to reduce carbon footprint on projects such as tree planting, water conservation and management, and the development of future clean air.

5. Cool Effect

Cool Effect supports the reduction of carbon emission by funding carbon-reducing projects across the globe. The offset provider operates on a crowdfunding platform and it’s on this basis that it generates the funds it uses to advance carbon-reducing projects. Cool Effect main headquarters is in Kentfield, California and its success is associated with the high number of projects it has funded globally in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Just like many other carbon offset companies in the US, Cool Effect’s main objective is to fight climate change by finding impressive projects around the world that have a proven track record of reducing carbon emissions.

6. ClearSky Climate Solutions

The focus of Clearsky is searching for opportunities to manage climate change problems by designing and supporting market-based forest carbon. For the most part, Clearsky’s priority on conserving forest resource in the long-term gives it the credibility of being among the best US carbon offset providers.

Through carbon footprint assessment and comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction services, Clearsky Climate Solution easily provides individuals, groups, companies and organizations with clear guidelines on how to reduce and balance emissions with high-quality carbon offsets.

It also provides customized technical assistance to those who seek to offset their carbon footprint through periodic workshops, seminars, and training programs throughout the year.

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7. Sterling Planet

Sterling Planet is one of the leading providers of retail renewable energy. With several years of experience, Sterling Planet has been accredited as a carbon offset provider in the US on the basis of developing green power projects and supporting hundreds of clean energy generators.

For this reason, EPA has more than once recognized Sterling Planet as an award winning green power supplier of the year. Specific to carbon offset initiative, it counter balances carbon use for the American community by supporting projects with an objective of capturing greenhouse gas emissions caused by energy use and personal transportation.

Sterling Planet assures buyers that their offsets are of high-quality, real, additional – more than “business as usual,” and permanent.

8. 3 Degrees

3 Degrees partners with various environmental conscious organizations and connects with millions of people to help make positive environmental impact. 3 Degrees is also well equipped in the delivery of renewable energy products and climate change consultancy.  It has helped universities, small businesses, government agencies, and even Fortune 500 companies in offsetting their carbon footprint.

Aside from connecting thousands of people with clean energy, it has about 8.8 million verified carbon offsets delivered. 3 Degrees also sources top-notch, third party verified carbon offsets from emission reduction initiatives. As a matter of fact, it has bought and dedicated more than 3 million tons of carbon offsets.

9. BEF Carbon Mix

BEF Carbon Mix empowers business to be in balance with the environment through the provision of a myriad set of programs, products and tailored solutions that aid in mitigating environmental footprint. The solutions, products, and programs provided by BEF Carbon Mix are matched with various business goals and are meant to reduce the overall impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.

Particularly, the programs and solutions are geared towards designing and strengthening renewable energy technology, water conservation and management, forest management, waste heat capture and landfill gas capturing.

10. TerraPass

Terrapass projects run throughout the United States, offering solutions to the major environmental problems and supporting local communities. The main areas of concentration by TerraPass include expanding and supporting farm power, production of clean energy from wind power, and capturing landfill gas.

The offsets options offered by TerraPass are on car and airplane emissions, home energy use, and offsets schemes for business as well as for wedding events. With the headquarters in SanFransico, California, TerraPass utilizes the funds from carbon credit purchases to fund projects such as wind power, landfill gas capture, and improving forest management with the objective of reducing greenhouse gasses.

11. Carbon Solutions Group

Carbon Solutions Group is guided by the slogan “low carbon for a sustainable future.”  The groups’ aim is developing effective strategies for environmental asset management and its primary role is supported by several independent working relationships globally.

In terms of carbon offset provision, it delivers solutions by capturing 100% of landfill methane. Other areas of specialization by the group include greenhouse gas emission monitoring, green building projects, carbon and renewable energy projects, and emissions management and mitigation.

Carbon Solutions Group also has a comprehensive team of experts including financial traders, policy analysts, multi-disciplined engineers and environmental consultants thus the ranking as one of the top carbon offset providers in the US.

Links for these offset providers just to verify if I’m on the right track as some links refused to open due to my IP address, regards!

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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