The Footprint Blog

Google maps’ new green feature

The Google Chrome web store recently released a new browser plug-in that allows users to view the carbon emissions associated with driving routes suggested by Google Maps. If you’re a carbon geek, there’s even an option to enter your particular car's emission factor instead of using the default values. While the application is still in an early development stage, the… read more →

Where the wind blows

This past weekend, I drove back to San Francisco having visited friends in Los Angeles. For months I had been looking forward to a little detour that Erin (our CEO) had suggested. A few months ago, she discovered this pistachio farm, and being the office pistachio connoisseur, I couldn’t think of a better way to break up my long drive.… read more →

Impacts of our changing climate

A couple of recent studies (see here and here) have highlighted the impacts of global climate change in a very real way. It seems that we are having more extreme weather than natural cycles might explain, and that our warmer climate is having a primarily negative impact on global food crop production. These studies are as important for what they… read more →

It’s getting hot in here!

Memorial Day Weekend is just a few short days away, and that extra day off is a perfect excuse to visit a sandy beach or camp out under the stars. Enjoy the outdoors, but keep in mind that a few simple changes make it easy to reduce your impact along the way. Get grillin’. Opt for grilling outdoors with propane… read more →

Behavior modification. It’s a tricky thing.

If you’re sufficiently geeky, the monthly free seminar/webinar series sponsored by the California Air Resources Board covers some fascinating environmental ground. One recent seminar provided an economist’s view of American automobile fuel economy standards, with particular insight into the effects of these standards on driving behavior. I’m drawing a lot from that one here, and give due credit to Soren… read more →

Stop throwing rocks

Last week, the Sierra Club’s California lobbying arm issued a letter (.pdf) urging Governor Jerry Brown to “re-evaluate” California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emission, particularly the program’s rules regarding use of offsets. A quick refresher on what’s been going on here in the Golden State. In 2006, then-Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, known… read more →

Fascinating reading

As a San Francisco-based company, the TerraPass team has more than the usual variety of ties to Stanford University. Through one such connection, we were made aware of an interesting project and resource, cleverly entitled Sound Advice for a Green Earth, or SAGE. For this project, Stanford students taking the upper division/graduate course “Sustaining Action: Research, Analysis and Writing for… read more →

When gas wins over electric

Last weekend, I bought a new dryer. The old one was kaput, and though I wish it were otherwise, a clothesline doesn’t suffice for my family’s lifestyle. I started my quest with some virtual shopping. First dilemma: electric or gas? Over the years I’ve always assumed “gas” because generating electricity by burning fuel and then making heat with the electricity… read more →

Lights. iPhone. Action!

For those of you who have been dying to see our landfills in action (haven’t you always wanted to see a gas flow meter up close -- I mean, like really close?), here’s your chance! Last week, Erin (our CEO) visited the Flathead County landfill gas-to-energy project in Kalispell, MT for our annual verification site visit. Erin took some great… read more →

TerraPass Answers!

Hey Footprint readers, We’re bringing back our “TerraPass Answers.” It’s quite simple -- if you have a question plaguing you about your latest decision to purchase a new car or to install flooring, our readers may be able to contribute more knowledge and expertise. Please send your questions to We’ll only publicize information that you want us to. To… read more →
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