Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Utne Reader publishers start green shopping portal that buys carbon offsets

The publishers of Utne Reader, which has a strong following in Canada, is launching a shopping division whose hook is that it will remit half of its commission revenue from vendors to buy "carbon offsets". This is rather than "marking up" costs and diverting the difference to environmental causes.

According to a story on the website Environmental Leader, Ogden Publications, publishers of Utne Reader, Mother Earth News and Natural Home, has launched EarthMoment.com, a shopping portal with access to more than 15 million products and services from over a thousand merchants including Apple, Barnes and Noble, Blockbuster, Circuit City, GNC, Kohls, Macy’s, Office Depot, Sharper Image, and Wal-Mart.
The company says that while other companies that put money toward “environmental funds” do so by tacking on fees to consumer purchases, EarthMoment.com contributes 50 percent of its revenue from vendors to carbon offsets - at no additional charge to the consumer.

Earth Moment allows consumers to compare prices from different vendors, then takes the shopper directly to the retailer of their choosing. Any purchase made on the retailer’s site within 24 hours will contribute to Carbonfund.org.

Shoppers can create a profile to assess their total annual emissions and the dollar amount needed to offset their personal contributions to global warming.

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