You’ve already done flowers, and chocolate is so cliché. Expensive jewelry doesn’t fit into your budget right now, but you can still give something that will last a lifetime. Give the Valentine’s Gift of Green from to plant 3 trees in the name of your sweetheart, and make your day together carbon neutral!

By purchasing BeGreen’s Valentine’s Gift of Green, lovers can offset one metric ton of carbon emissions by planting three trees. The Valentine’s Gift of Green helps the planet by offsetting the:

  • Emissions created by driving to your favorite romantic spot,
  • Electricity emissions used to power your evening; and
  • Shipping of your chocolates and flowers around the planet.

The three trees will be planted in the Mendocino National Forest near San Francisco. This reforestation project is a partnership between BeGreen and American Forests to plant the seeds that will help reduce carbon in the air and keep this habitat thriving for species like the Northern Spotted Owl. Your purchase adds to over 125,000 trees planted by Green Mountain Energy, the parent company of BeGreen.

The Valentine’s Gift of Green can be purchased online now at for only $9.95 per gift and includes a certificate that acknowledges the purchase of the carbon offsets that can be printed and presented to that special someone.


Dry cleaning is known to use harsh chemicals, lots of water, and produce waste in the form of disposable bags and hangers. So what is the industry doing to go green?

The National Cleaners Association recently debuted their Green Cleaning Council, which created a rating system for environmentally friendly dry cleaning businesses. Cleaners can earn ratings of 1 to 5 leaves for taking actions like recycling hangers, using non-toxic or biodegradable cleaning chemicals, and conserving water.

But the traditional environmental impacts of dry cleaning are now being expanded to include energy usage and carbon footprints. From the Green Cleaning Council website, the group notes that “historically, a cleaner’s energy consumption and conservation initiatives have been given little if any attention in the world of environmental awards or promotions. This is true despite the fact it is the business’s most significant area of impact with regard to global warming.”

By implementing the energy efficiency and conservation measures recommended by the Green Cleaning Council, dry cleaners can shrink their carbon footprint and earn a better rating. The Council gives further credit for purchasing carbon offsets that can help balance out emissions from unavoidable daily operations. Making environmental choices as a business can yield not only high ratings, but increased sales from a growing number of eco-minded consumers.

Canadian jet manufacturer Bombardier recently announced its newest product; the CSeries airplane, which uses 20% less fuel than competing models. The CSeries could save airline companies up to $3 million in fuel costs over the average Boeing 737, not to mention reducing the carbon footprint of its flights. At a time when airlines are looking to pinch every penny, reducing fuel usage could become a high priority.

The move toward greener air travel benefits more than airlines’ pocketbooks. Flying emits CO2 emissions higher in the atmosphere, creating a phenomenon known as “radiative forcing” where emissions can have a greater impact on global warming at higher altitudes. However, scientists disagree about the extent to which radiative forcing exists, making it hard to know exactly how much flying contributes to the average traveler’s carbon footprint.

The moral of the story? It’s about time for more fuel efficient jets like the CSeries that can help reduce the carbon footprint of flying. For those flights you can’t avoid, choosing carbon offsets is another way to neutralize harmful greenhouse gases associated with air travel. In combination, these CO2 reduction strategies can help make our airlines a little greener.

Many of us live a green life at home. Recycling, composting, and conserving energy (turning the lights off, unplugging unused electrical devices) but as soon as we get into our car and leave for the office we tend to let our green tendencies slide. Our carbon footprint just for driving to and from the office for one year can average 5 metric tons of co2 emissions. This is like running your air conditioner for 1650 hours continuously.

The best way to reduce the pollution from your commute is to take mass transit. Rail and bus are two readily available ways to do this, but if you are not in a city that is mass transit friendly, then look towards the next best thing, car pooling. Get your employers to set up a car pooling program and reward people for taking part.

Switching to a hybrid and purchasing carbon offsets are two great ways to additionally take your environmental initiatives on the road to the office. Filling up your tank during off-peak hours after the sun has set also helps reduce the pollution associated with car travel.  The air is cooler at this time and this makes the gas more dense and less likely to evaporate.

Despite the obvious negative impacts to a person carbon footprint, keeping a lush green lawn is what most people are familiar with so they can’t imagine transforming their yards into a native habitat with low-lying plants or better yet crops. The next best thing that people can do is pick up a reel mower.

Not only do reel mowers get the job done in an eco-friendly way, they are a much more satisfying and fun way to keep your lawn in order. Doing away with the gas powered, noise polluting, habitat munchers and for a cheaper and easier to maintain reel mower will do everyone a lot of good. The carbon offsets that go along with a reel mower are a big zero which is something we all should be striving for.

Hopefully the traditional gas powered mower will become a thing of the past. Reel mowers can cut through even the thickest of lawns as long as the user keeps up with the growth and doesn’t go too long between cuts. Now is the time to make a change.

National Geographic ranked the consumers of several nations of the world with their “Consumer Greendex” and not surprisingly enough the United States was ranked dead last with a 45 out of 100. Leading the pack were the consumers of Brazil and India with a rank of 60. It may be hard to imagine people in Brazil and India purchasing enough carbon offsets or offsetting their carbon footprint for most of their plane trips, but here are a few things that they are doing to help maintain a leading score in the eyes of consumption impact.

Purchasing locally grown food has a very clean aspect to it, and Brazilians are very big into keeping their purchases a local as possible. We’re not talking buying it from your neighborhood convenience store local, were talking buying from the actual grower and producer local. In India buying local is also very big, partly because the economic impact of buying from elsewhere is just too much for many people to handle.

Housing size is also a big part of the winning equation, especially for Brazil. Most homes have four rooms or fewer and they primarily use on-demand water heaters and cold water for washing clothes. There is also a wide penetration of biomass fuels available which are just one of many renewable energy sources that are starting to catch on here in the United States.