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Traveling + reducing carbon emissions usually do not go together, but we are doing our part to make sure that our impact on the environment is lessened through our partnership with Carbonfund.org.

Pack Up + Go cares about our impact on the environment and the lasting impact that we can have. Traveling, especially by plane, does have a negative effect on the environment. The natural beauty of different parts of the United States is one of the best parts of traveling, so we are doing our part to help offset the emissions that traveling causes. 

This is why we have partnered with the Carbonfund.org, an organization that works to offset the impact of carbon emissions. Through monetary donations, Carbonfund.org completes both national + global projects in three different categories. We want to highlight the great work that this organization does in Reforestation, Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency. 

Written by Kelly Schanes


Reforestation

Reforestation, the process of replanting an area with trees, and forest preservation carbon offset projects are part of the global warming solution. Reforestation and avoided deforestation projects are critical because about 11-14% of all global warming is attributed to deforestation, which reduces the Earth’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide. Moreover, fallen trees decompose and release methane, a heat-trapping gas about 25 times more potent than CO2. Deforestation accounts for more global carbon dioxide emissions than the entire global transportation sector!

The Projects:

Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley Reforestation Initiative

 The “North America’s Rainforest”, which consists of areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois, is a critical location for wildlife that used to be home to 22 million acres of forest but is now down to only 4 million. The goal of this project is to reforest at least one million acres of this area.

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Environmental Benefits:

  • Mitigate climate change

  • Restore watershed along the Mississippi River and wildlife habitat

  • Reduce soil erosion

Community Benefits: 

  • Create local employment

  • Improve recreational and tourism areas

The Envira Amazonia Project: A Tropical Forest Conservation Project

The Envira Amazonia Project works with the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation project, which protects nearly 500,000 acres of rainforest. Taking place near the city to Feijó, Brazil, this project will fight against almost 12.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide while also preserving vital habitats and biodiversity. 

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Environmental Benefits:

  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions

  • Mitigate climate change

  • Conserve habitat for endemic bird species and threatened tree species

  • Improve local water quality

  • Retain topsoil and control erosion

Community Benefits:

  • Establish alternative sources of income and employment opportunities

  • Provide agricultural extension training

  • Grant official land tenure

  • Social projects and programs such as commercializing the collection, transport, and sale of medicinal plants


Energy Efficiency

You may be familiar with the term renewable energy, but energy efficiency is a bit different. While renewable energy projects reduce the need to produce more energy from dirty sources in the future, energy efficiency projects reduce the need to produce more energy now. They are also among the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions. Making an investment in energy efficiency a key part of fighting climate change. Energy efficiency can refer to any project that applies new technologies, processes, or practices to achieve the same outcome while using less energy. Opportunities like this can be found in all sectors of the economy: industrial, transportation and residential.

The Projects:

Truck Stop Electrification Project

Tailpipe emissions are an immense problem in the United States. Frequently, Drivers will keep their trucks on and idle during their rest periods. This initiative, which is taking place in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, is working to change the conditions. With this project, Drivers can shut off their engines when idling and connect to a hose that heats, cools and powers the interior of the truck while eliminating the need for drivers to burn diesel fuel during their rest periods. 

Environmental Benefits

  • Mitigate climate change

  • Reduce deforestation and degradation

Community Benefits

  • Development of new technologies and additional jobs created

  • Reduce waterborne illnesses

  • Reduces indoor air pollution

 

The Kenya Lifestraw Project

In rural Kenya, the conventional water treatment method is boiling water with non-renewable materials. The goal of the Kenya Lifestraw project is to distribute one million Lifestraw Family Units which will decrease the need to treat water by boiling. These products, which treat contaminated drinking water by filtering, will serve over four million people and mitigate the release of more than 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions within the first 10 years!

Image Courtesy of  Carbonfund.org

Image Courtesy of Carbonfund.org

Environmental Benefits

  • Mitigate climate change

  • Reduce deforestation and degradation

Community Benefits

  • Development of new technologies and additional jobs created

  • Reduce waterborne illnesses

  • Reduces indoor air pollution


Renewable Energy

Carbonfund.org has a focus on creating more sustainable renewable energy options. Renewable energy is critical in the effort to combat climate change. Not only do we need to use less energy in everyday life, but our energy sources must also shift to a low-carbon economy and away from oil and coal. Experts agree we need a substantial reduction in CO2 and that there are many benefits to renewable energy.

The Projects:

New Bedford Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project

The New Bedford Landfill is a plant in Greater New Bedford, Massachusetts that creates clean electric energy from landfill gases. The plants produce 3.3 megawatt-hours of clean electricity from methane and carbon dioxide and effectively reduces the number of harmful gases in the air. 

Environmental Benefits

  • Mitigates climate change

  • Waste management

  • Odor control and less localized air pollution

  • Reduction of local water pollution

Community Benefits

  • Locally sourced, renewable energy

  • Development of new technologies and additional jobs created

Carbonfund.org also has a similar project in Seneca Falls, NY

 

Fujian Nanridao Wind Project of China

The project supports nineteen 850 kilowatt wind turbines in the Nanri Island of Putian City in China. These wind turbines can produce around 16.15 megawatts as well as reduce 38,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. They also do not create any localized water or air pollution!

Environmental Benefits

  • Mitigates climate change

  • Limits environmental impact of energy production

  • No localized water or air pollution

Community Benefits

  • Locally sourced, renewable energy

  • Development of new technologies

  • Clean energy job opportunities

  • Stimulates local tourism


How do you reduce your carbon footprint?

Some possible ways include taking public transportation, working hard not to waste food products, and reducing the amount of plastic we use and throw out. Another way is to buy more sustainable clothing products and resist the urge to purchase from “fast fashion” retailers. Did you know that the apparel and footwear industries have a more negative global climate impact than all international airlines flights + maritime shipping trips combined!

It is on all of us to save the planet!

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