Reduce Carbon by Using Paper


Last week, I found this site carbonfund.com. It's basically a site that will take your money and use it to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

The thing with these companies, is they tell you they are supporting projects that offset the carbon we spit out into the air, but if you read through the sites, they never really provide details as to how they are doing that. They just say, the money goes into replanting forests, and building wind towers. But are they really? Do they have pictures of people out planting trees? And where are these tress being planted? Because when I drive down the streets, I see a lot of trees being chopped down for new housing developments. And why do they need to support building wind towers, the government already offests that cost through tax incentives to companies that build them.

This carbon fund site, has a blog posting offering to sell people post cards, talking about the great work they do, and promoting global warming awareness. I decided to leave a comment on the blog, asking about how many trees died making those post cards they are selling, and that even using recycled paper has a negative impact on the environment. And aren't they supposed to be planting trees and not cutting them down. As you can expect, they have the blog set up so that my comment doesn't post right away, someone has to approve it. And as of today, it still hasn't been approved. Big surprise, someone calls them out and they don't want to post about it.

On a similar subject, MSNBC recently did an article on Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust, a non profit blowing money on all kinds of things besides the poor. The article as a whole was an interesting read on how Americans overall are donating 300 billion dollars to charities, and there is little to no oversight on how that money is spent. "the Supreme Court has ruled there’s nothing inherently illegal about a charity that spends just 1 percent of donations on good deeds" that's right, you could be donating to reduce greenhouse gases, but are you really? It's sad when people have to start sites like the San Francisco based Great Nonprofits, to tell us what nonprofits are worthwhile or not. By the way, Carbon Fund wasn't on the Great Nonprofits site.

Comments

Anonymous said…
You make a good point -- It is pathetic that some nonprofits aren’t spending your money wisely. Due to U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Washington State can’t require fundraisers to return a certain percentage to their charity clients. In many regards, it really is a “donor beware” world. Part of my job for a certain government entity includes reminding folks of this fact.

The state does publish several resources that folks can use to decide where to give their money. In case your readers are interested, here they are:
• You can check with the Secretary of State’s Office to see if a charity is registered to solicit in Washington. The online reports at www.secstate.wa.gov/charities also include some financial info.
• Carbon Fund is registered. But, interestingly, the report doesn’t include any financial data. (I'm not good at imbedding links, so please forgive the long string, but here it is): http://secstate.wa.gov/charities/search_detail.aspx?charity_id=22592
• The Secretary of State also releases a comprehensive report each year on registered commercial fundraisers who solicit donations on behalf of charities. The latest report shows paid solicitors keep nearly half of charitable donations. In other words, you’re better off giving directly to a charity than to a telemarketer.
• The office also recently started listing enforcement actions taken by the state Attorney General’s Office. And you can search the Attorney General’s Web site (use the search field) at www.atg.wa.gov.
• For those of you with a MySpace account or Web page, the Secretary of State's site also has some cutesy “charity awareness” graphics.
CM said…
Great, thanks for the information.