The Footprint Blog

Unexpected NY Auto Show feature – carbon offsets

With the growing demand for newer, cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles, TerraPass has learned that several leading automobile manufacturers are poised to release the AERE (Automotive Efficiency to Reduce Emissions, pronounced "airy") carbon offset protocol at the New York International Auto Show. Our sources tell us that the AERE protocol has just undergone a final peer-review process, and its public… read more →

People use fewer bags when charged for them

Since we're all about plastic bags over here lately, it may interest you to know that the bag tax in Washington D.C. reduced the total number of bags used last month to 3.3 million, down from 22.5 million in the previous month without a tax. This is great news! Not only are far fewer bags being used and thrown away… read more →

A plastic bag seeks its destiny

If you've got 18 minutes to spare, check out Ramin Bahrani's moving biography of a plastic bag: "Plastic Bag" is part of the Future States project, which, in 11 episodes, envisions the future by asking what will become of America in 5, 25, even 50 years. The tragically existential tale is perfectly voiced by Werner Herzog (of *Woyzeck*, *Fitzcarraldo*, and… read more →


Part of me thinks the point of Earth Hour (Saturday, March 27, at 8:30pm) is to raise the question What's the Point? But for whatever reason, the idea of turning off the lights and non-essential electronics for an hour brings out strong emotions. In one corner are those who believe that Earth Hour is an important communal statement: up to… read more →

Wal-Mart reaches beyond low-hanging fruit

I'm a bit late to this story, but a few weeks ago Wal-Mart pledged to cut 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from their supply chain by 2015. Catalyzing steps like this make it a lot harder for me, as a full-fledged environmentalist, to hate on Wal-Mart, though there are others who are doing so. The greenhouse gases embodied… read more →

Vote for TerraPass to win (another) award

We've been honored by some great awards lately: - Greenopia said TerraPass is the best carbon offset retailer. They had especially nice tinges to say about our transparency (which is great, because it's something we take very seriously). - We were the best North American offset provider in Environmental Finance's survey of the voluntary carbon market. - Readers of Environmental… read more →

Durable goods sadly unenduring

Although I blog semi-frequently about things I buy, mostly I work at buying as little as possible. Which is why I’m perturbed about the state of so-called durable goods around my house. Durable Goods are items which last a long time and are hence infrequently purchased. In a household, typical examples include refrigerators and furniture. Unfortunately, my durable goods seem… read more →

Environmental NGOs in bed with industry

There's a lesson to be learned from Johann Hari's screed in The Nation about corporate sponsorship of environmental NGOs: perception is important. In a fairly long article, Hari argues that a wide swath of environmental organizations are undermining their missions and their members by accepting corporate sponsorship. The targets are rather scattershot, but along the way Hari manages to accuse… read more →

Green driving tips you actually use?

For the past several years, we've published lots of green driving tips. So have others, and I've read many of them. Even so, I openly confess to enthusiastic early adoption of many such tips but fairly poor long-term persistent use. Examples of my failures include slipshod attention to tire pressure, using my car as an auxiliary storage location, replacing my… read more →

Battle over California’s climate law heats up

What was speculation for months is now confirmed: Texas-based oil companies are the principal funders of a state ballot initiative that would suspend California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Reports(pdf) filed last week with the Secretary of State reveal that Valero Services Inc. ($500,000), Tesoro Co. ($100,000) -- both of San Antonio, TX -- and several other oil companies… read more →
16 of 112