A friend recommended Yvon Choinard’s book Let My People Go Surfing sometime last year, prior to my employment at 1% for the Planet. He said the book aligned perfectly with my interest in environmentally/socially run companies, and that Yvon was a pretty enlightened guy. I’ll be honest, I still haven’t gotten to it… Maybe I have been too busy reading The Hunger Games, or maybe the surfing reference in the title turned me off (I’m a dry land cyclist!); excuses, excuses…
Luckily, two new member companies could see past the surfing reference and the pull of The Hunger Games… Allow me to cordially welcome the MNML Agency and Damang Media Group!
MNML Agency is a communications agency that specializes in the health, outdoor sports and nutrition sectors. The idea for the company was inspired by reading Let My People Go Surfing, what… awesome! According to co-founders, Roland-Phillippe Kretzschmar and Dennis Svard, the book inspired them on many levels. This ranged from how to manage their company to how to incorporate soft values such as branding and environmental values early in the company building process.
Though not directly inspired by Chouinard’s book, Damang Media understands and exemplifies its messages. The company helps other companies adopt technology solutions to improve sales processes and online marketing. They truly believe that technology plays an integral role in business growth, and help companies connect with people by approaching them through social media in fun and exciting ways. They say, “…by blurring the lines of work and play, [they] can work less and play more!” Partnering with 1% allowed them to make a true impact in the spaces they play and experience life to the fullest.
Obviously we here at 1% have taken the lessons conveyed in Let My People Go Surfing and lived life to the fullest. So we’re happy to have these two like-minded, generous companies working with us! …and now I’m going to finish the book!
Five years ago, Andrew and Elske Daigle made their first test batches of soda in their kitchen. Even back then, they knew that they would later join 1% for the Planet.
There are so many reasons to join 1%–marketing value, connection to Yvon (one of Andrew’s heroes), and amazing business/non-profit community—but that’s not what motivated Pop Culture. Instead, Andrew and Elske wanted their business to amplify their already strong connection with the natural world. While working with 1% for the Planet, they plan on focusing their energies on a few key environmental issues to start and allow it to grow organically: wolf reintroduction & protection, dam removal, and watershed restoration & conservation.
Andrew and Elske look forward to hearing about non-profits focused in these areas and are excited about being part of the 1% team!
Pop Culture’s founders lived on an organic farm in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California, when those first test batches were made. They hauled bushels of fruit back to the house and experimented with every rudimentary assortment of home brew equipment on the market. They wanted the sodas to taste like fresh fruit and didn’t want to cook the fruit in kettles. Fresh fruit is refreshing and cooked fruit is, well… cooked! And jam belongs on toast!
With that in mind, they developed their first beverage: a fresh pressed Strawberry soda unlike anything on the market and it unknowingly changed their lives. Since almost every other fruit juice based soda on the market is made with concentrates, they wanted to offer an alternative. Soda from concentrate does not have the same fresh flavor they were looking for, so ultimately they decided to make a commitment to use only fresh, certified organic and/or certified Non-GMO ingredients and packaged in glass bottles.
Their model has been very successful and their business is growing rapidly. Pop Culture has just launched a Kickstarter.com campaign to raise the capital it needs to meet the growing demand for its sodas.
Kickstarter is a crowdsourcing platform where individuals & businesses “Pledge” in exchange “Rewards” from Pop Culture. Check out their t-shirts, custom logo glasses, limited edition Pop Culture rock posters, and bulk discounts at below wholesale costs for your store or business; Pop Culture needs your support to ensure its campaign will be an enormous success!
Disadvantaged children in Sacred Valley, Peru participating in "Operation Genius" with the World Shamanic Yoga Institute.
The reasons businesses join 1% for the Planet are almost as diverse as the companies themselves, but Russ at World Shamanic Yoga Institute summed up his motivations particularly well:
The World Shamanic Yoga Institute is proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet. We have been working to foster health and well being at the individual, social and environmental levels for years and when we saw how well thought out the 1% program was, it was an “ah-ha!” moment.
We cannot possibly expect that government will take care of all the environmental issues our planet faces. Economic activity is a fact, and that economic activity MUST be tied to environmental programming if we are to hope for a tomorrow with healthy ecosystems for humanity and the other species on our planet.
1% helps make this a reality by channeling a percentage of gross economic activity back to well-conceived and vetted environmental programming. We look forward to doing our part by supporting organizations like Amazon Conservation Association.
We hope that in the future, 1% or more for the environment will be a standard and not an exception. We all share this beautiful planet. Let’s be intelligent citizens!
March is a pretty sweet month. For one, it brings my birthday, which I happen to share with a certain Canadian heartthrob. It also marks the start of The Iditarod dog-sled race, the anniversary of Barbie’s birthday, Daylight Savings time, Spring, Pi day, St. Patrick’s Day and of course, March Madness.
March Madness is an unparalleled time of year when euphoric highs, dashed hopes and young college men praying to the basketball gods are not uncommon. Now, I’ll sheepishly admit I did not partake in this year’s Madness, but have enjoyed watching friends brackets crash and burn, or succeed with gusto. The Madness is definitely a unique aspect of American culture where others take solace in knowing their guess was WAY better than their compatriots; utter madness…
Luckily, philanthropic giving, the backbone of the 1% model, is not unique to just the United States, confined to the month of March, or considered madness. An exciting new development was recently brought to my attention. 1% nonprofit partner European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has announced that 1% member, KORS is supporting EOCA’s work with their 1% donation!
EOCA is an initiative from the European outdoor industry aimed to protect wild areas, akin to the Conservation Alliance here in the states. Designed to harnesses the incredible power of the outdoor industry, EOCA directs its funding towards environmental projects throughout the world. Fittingly, KORS is the UK’s only specialist summer trade show for the outdoor industry. Well, we’re incredibly happy these two entities could come together so effortlessly!
Wedding gifts: often redundant, sometimes essential, occasionally pulled out of the closet just before the person who gifted it to you comes by for dinner, and always, of course, a useful tool to impress the ladies — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDda4zG3zvE. But other times wedding gifts have an entirely different effect: Arjan and Rimjhim tell the story of how Nature’s Path’s latest granola series, Love Crunch, came out of an idea to have their wedding guests gift community service projects in place of material items. Love Crunch is now a product that gives back Bite4Bite so that for every bag you buy, Nature’s Path will donate the equivalent amount in cash or organic food to the food bank (up to $1 Million per year!).
This story was my introduction to one of our newest members, Nature’s Path, who has joined 1% for the Planet with their EnviroKidzBrand. Nature’s Path donates 1% of sales from EnviroKidz products, the brand’s children’s line of cereals and bars, to species and habitat conservation or education programs for kids. Since the inception of EnviroKidz, Nature’s Path has donated $1.4 million. In 2012, Nature’s Path proudly joined 1% for the Planet with EnviroKidz.
I was completely taken aback (with delight and admiration, of course!) by the core values that began Nature’s Path and that remain as the solid foundation upon which the company thrives today. Nature’s Path is a remarkable example of a company looking at its triple bottom line and really living and breathing its everyday values. Founded by a family that grew up on an organic farm, they’re highly committed to organics and proper land stewardship. As founder, Arron Stephens, says, “Always leave the Earth better than you found it,” Nature’s Path truly goes the distance to provide a product that does good from the moment its ingredients are planted in the soil, to the point where kids eating it for breakfast are prompted by artwork on the cereal box to learn about the food cycle.
It was truly a pleasure to kick off this year’s Natural Product ExpoWest show with a luncheon hosted by Nature’s Path. Myself and colleague, Rebecca, had the pleasure of welcoming the Nature’s Path family into the 1% for the Planet network, hearing their history, plans for growth and engaging with the 1% network, and watching as a scholarship from the Rodale Institute to support young organic farmers was named in honor of Arron Stephens. Congratulations, Arron!
It’s the stories like that of Nature’s Path, and the diverse nature of our membership base that make this alliance so intriguing. It’s enormously encouraging to see the movement spreading virally, and during our happy hour co-hosted with Klean Kanteen it was a hoot to bring together such an eccentric crew — from ice cream makers (Three Twins & McConnell’s!), to lawyers (Lara Pearson and Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean) or green retirement plan providers (SocialK), we had a solid 1% presence. In addition to current members, prospective members swung by to check in and other show attendees frequented our booth to learn about the business model and/or to find out how they could get one of the beautiful steel 1% pints! I want to graciously thank all of our members that attended the show! There’s nothing more invigorating than getting out and meeting the faces that stand behind the good work, and to speak with the people who are causing revolutionary change in the way we do business.
Thanks to the hard work from two of our non-profit recipients, Campbell’s Soup Company has decided to phase out the use of the toxic chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) from its cans! 1% recipients, Healthy Child Healthy World and the Breast Cancer Fund have put pressure on the company to make this change, and we are happy to announce that their hard work has been a success!
Campbell’s is an iconic soup manufacturer, as well as our number one target for consumer action; nearly 20,000 Healthy Child supporters have signed a petition to Campbell’s CEO demanding that their products made for children be made in BPA-free cans. Another 70,000 people sent letters to Campbell’s CEO by supporters of the Breast Cancer Fund’s Cans Not Cancer campaign.
Healthy Child Healthy World is concerned about the use of BPA because exposure to the chemical, used to make the epoxy-resin linings of metal food cans, has been linked in lab studies to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, type-2 diabetes, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Childhood exposure is of concern because this endocrine-disrupting chemical can affect children’s hormonal systems during development and set the stage for later‐life diseases.
We know that parents want to be sure when they serve Campbell’s Soup to their kids that it is free of toxic chemicals that contribute to disease. And there is still work to be done. Campbell’s has yet to release any details on which products currently contain BPA alternatives, which BPA alternatives are being and will be used, and what timeline they will use for completion of the phase-out.
We are proud of the work that Healthy Child Healthy World and the Breast Cancer Fund have done to convince Campbell’s to make this change! These two organizations commend Campbell’s for taking this first step—as well as the concerned parents and consumers who made their voices heard in the boardroom and at the checkout counter. Join the Cans Not Cancer campaign to help support this mmm-mmm good cause! Thanks to everyone involved!
If you’re like me, after seeing the movies Titanic and Avatar you explored the depths of your heart. I asked myself questions like; would I have let go or would love have kept me hanging on that floating door? Would I have been able to see through the fact that the blue person I loved was really a human whose species was bent on destroying my natural habitat? To be honest, none of those questions have been answered yet, but phew, those are deep questions… And famous director, James Cameron, brought them all to life.
If you’ve been following the news recently, you might have seen that Mr. Cameron has funded the creation of an amazing new submersible. Like me when I watch one of his films, Mr. Cameron is hoping to delve into uncharted territory. Using his unique craft, Mr. Cameron plans to descend into the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. There he hopes to document everything he sees, possibly finding new species, new environmental conditions and bragging rights for hanging out almost 7 miles below the surface.
Well, here at 1% for the planet we’ve got companies that do almost the same thing as Mr. Cameron every year. They give up their own resources to explore the depths of how far environmental giving can go. Take two new member companies, Controlling Group and KRG Co.,Ltd., for example.
KRG is a distributor of Joyearth, Co. (a maker of biodegradable products), optical lenses and lighting for LCD and semiconductor markets. The companies mission is to protect the earth from pollution, act for the happiness of all mankind, and to cooperate in recovery efforts from natural disasters.
German consulting company Controlling Group has found that environmental stewardship is necessary for the long-term success of their business. Based on the wonderful island of Reichenau in the Lake of Constance in southern Germany, Controlling Group is nestled in a beautiful part of the world – a perfect place for great consulting solutions to come to life!
All Controlling Group employees take clear advantage of their ideal location and are very outdoors oriented. They spend a good chunk of their time on or in the lake, sailing, surfing and paddling or playing in the nearby Alps. This made the decision to donate 1% of revenues easy! Thank you to KRG and Controlling Group for diving into the depths of environmental stewardship!
I was once told to invest in land & property, because there wasn’t any more being made. A “sound” investment, is how it had been explained to me. However, even a casual glance into the real estate world can easily show that it is definitely rough waters these days. As an owner of real estate, I would have loved to have some help in navigating these waters in a way that would lead to a solid return on my investment. Dealing with tenants and property issues.. it can seem like a never ending barrage of problems and broken fixtures. The questions I have had in the past remain unanswered as to how to move forward.
Based out of Vernon, British Columbia, Executive Management works with real estate investors to ensure their investment is protected and operating optimally. They know that the lack of control of a real estate investment is the single biggest frustration and one of the biggest expenses for investors. They provide their investors with the tools and resources to manage their property the way they want to (with Executive Management’s expert advice and direction of course.)
Their services offered range from property management to tenant placement. They are forward thinking with their management options as well, offering a internet-based remote property management software, which enables investors to manage their properties online, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world. Their services are also transparent between tenants and owners, improving the efficiency and quality of property management.
They have shown their commitment to the environment by recently joining the 1% member network. As explained by Ian from Executive Management, “I was fortunate to have parents that took me out into the wilderness and showed me nature up close and personal. I want to be able to do the same for my children and their children, but need to make sure there would still be something for them to experience. 1% for the planet provides me that opportunity..”
Since starting at 1% for the Planet, I have been introduced to hundreds of awesome non-profits and businesses. Each time I find one, I announce to the office how great they are, and we look through their websites, generally tempted to either donate or purchase something. Many non-profits seem to know that if you put a picture of a cute and fluffy animal on their “donation” page, it’ll work! Or if you have an attractively unique product, I’m likely to buy it. Anyway, when I was introduced to 1% member, Smock Paper, I knew I needed to get some cards!
Smock is a sustainable stationary company based in Syracuse, NY. They have come out with a new line of stationary, called the “Save the World” card series. These unique letterpress cards are made out of bamboo paper with 100% wind energy. The bamboo is grown without pesticides or fertilizers and is non-GMO, so it is a sustainable material to use in the paper making process. The first card is the series is the honey bee-inspired sunflower card, which is absolutely beautiful! I have already bought a set of six and used four of them! Anyway, back to business…
As a 1% Member, Smock donates 1% of sales annually to environmental initiatives but (lucky for us) they’ve added some beautiful cards to get their customers involved as well. Smock donates 100% of the proceeds from the “Save the World” series go straight to environmental initiatives. The money raised from the sunflower card goes straight to the Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA). PANNA is a 1% recipient who works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. They know how detrimental these chemicals are to many insect species and want to eliminate the use of them.
Honey bees are one of many species that are adversely affected by the use of pesticides. As a key indicator species, their health provides early warning signs for biologists regarding greater ecosystem health. These busy-bees play a crucial role in our global food system with 30% of our food supply depending on them. These important pollinators are in trouble, because many commonly used pesticides are toxic to them. One way we can help save the bees is to support PANNA in their movement to eliminate the use of these toxic pesticides! Another way is to grow certain plants (like sunflowers) that attract bees, so that their populations can grow in your region. Smock has done a great job to create a card that encompasses these ideas and best of all the funds raised go directly to PANNA. Check out their website to order a set of the sunflower cards that will support the reduction of pesticide use that is eliminating honey bees worldwide!
Ever dreamt of sipping a Ginger Zinger while practicing your Tenkara fly-fishing technique at your favorite fishing hole? I can safely say I haven’t, until now. Enter Ayu Drinks and Tenkara, new 1% for the Planet member companies.
Ayu Drinks is the first organic functional beverage based on Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India. Developed by integrative medicine physician Akil Palanisamy M.D., Ayu incorporates Ayurvedic herbs and spices to help heal the body and mind.
While fueling my mind and body this morning, I was listening to NPR, part of my morning routine. Today’s Morning Edition featured a recent Penn State study that has evidence suggesting the benefits heavily spiced meals can have on the heart. Well, perhaps they should be studying how awesome Ayu Drinks are. Each of their drinks has at least 800mg of herbs per bottle, ensuring real therapeutic benefit.
Debatably more therapeutic than Ayu Drinks is successfully catching a trout from your local mountain stream using the traditional Japanese method of Tenkara fly-fishing. 1% member Tenkara aims to do just that, get people out on the water to experience the simplicity and effectiveness of Tenkara. Tenkara is the traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing, which uses only a rod, line and fly. Check out this video to see what it’s all about!
If you’re like me, you’ve now got the urge to pack your bag, leave the office, and have a therapeutic Tuesday afternoon. I assure you, if you indulge in Ayu Drinks and/or the art of Tenkara fly-fishing, you’ll have a great, relaxing time. Whelp, I’m off to enjoy this beautiful spring weather… Cya!