Saturday, December 1, 2007

Carbon Offset Providers

I have been interested in some time in the idea of purchasing carbon offsets, a way for individuals and organizations to fund projects to reduce the world's greenhouse gas emissions or "carbon footprint."

This report, published in December 2006, provides detailed information about carbon offsets and finds eight "Tier 1" organizations that satisfy a number of criteria to increase the probability that the carbon offsets purchased will have a real effect reducing carbon emissions. These eight organizations (in alphabetical order) are:

  1. AgCert/DrivingGreen (Ireland)
  2. atmosfair (Germany)
  3. Carbon Neutral Co. (England)
  4. Climate Care (England)
  5. Climate Trust (U.S.)
  6. co2balance (England)
  7. Native Energy (U.S.)
  8. Sustainable Travel Int'l (U.S.)
Over the holiday season, environmentally conscious travellers might consider offsetting the carbon emissions of their travel. And some of these organizations make it possible to provide carbon offset gifts.

The report is careful to emphasize, however, that individual's efforts to reduce one's carbon emissions through lifestyle and consuming choices are most important.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Brompton Meets Twike

A new pedalling experience for me this evening!

I finally got a ride in a Twike, a double-recumbent, three-wheeled, enclosed pedal-electric hybrid vehicle designed and manufactured in Switzerland (now made in Germany) that gets the equivalent of between 350 and 600 miles per gallon using a combination of batteries/motor and human pedal power.

It is owned by Mark Childress and more info about the vehicle can be found at

Matt works on the Illinois campus. So at the end of the work day today I pedaled over to his part of campus on my Brompton folding bike, folded up the Brompton, put it in the Twike and away we went.

It was quite an experience pedaling and moving at close to 40 mph (top speed in the country is up to 55 mph). At city speeds the motor is used to get you up to speed and two strong pedalers can keep it going on mainly pedal power on the flat at city driving speeds. We zoomed over to Champaign where he lives, and I pedaled back to Urbana on my Brompton.

This may be the first time that the world's most compact folding bicycle (bicycles being the most energy-efficient vehicles on the planet) was combined with what is likley the world's most efficient pedal-electric vehicle on the planet!

You can see more photos at: