I recently had the delightful pleasure of attending Patagonia’s Tools for Grassroots Activist Conference. Five days spent with engaging individuals across all lines of work – government, film & entertainment, economics, business, technology, grassroots activism, education – every sector was present and every person had a story of success to share.
After five days of inspiring stories, engaging lectures, collaborative workshops and gusty paddle boarding adventures, the conference facilitators asked us to sum up the week into one key takeaway. One group’s response:
Work with business. Get more businesses to join 1% for the Planet.
Bingo! I returned to 1% for the Planet reenergized and further inspired.
Just for grins, and because the environmental movement tends to lean (too often) toward dreary facts and sad figures, here’s a sampling of inspirational stories to share with our network:
Annie Leonard– if we’re to shift behavior and really redesign, everyone needs to watch her videos. Here’s a woman who has nailed her messaging and exemplifies effective communication in all aspects of her work.
The Elwha Damis coming out right now in Olympic National Park! This dam removal is a huge milestone in the efforts to restore our rivers and salmon populations, and it is one of many to come. Follow American Rivers to keep up to date on removal progress!
The International League of Conservation Photographers joins EP Films to create the film SPOIL, which exemplifies how powerfully film and photography can document and portray the pristine beauty and significance of threatened ecosystems, such as that of the Great Bear Rainforest. If the Enbridge pipeline plans go through, this area will soon be threatened by potential oil spills from tankers that will begin transporting oil through the narrow and windy coast of the Great Bear Rainforest. This film is an incredibly effective means of spreading awareness and prompting a response as it invokes a strong emotion from its audience. Try and watch it without getting a little teary….
Lastly, as we’re all working to protect the planet we love, it’s important that we remember to take the time to enjoy it.
(1% CEO, Terry Kellogg, slacklines with 1% Development Program Manager, Leah Cameron, at our annual staff retreat in Warren, VT)
Well, as many of you have likely heard, Vermont was hit quite hard by tropical storm Irene this past Sunday. Our little state is familiar with severe weather of all sorts: blizzards, thunderstorms, rains, and the like, but it’s not everyday that a tropical storm blows through. The rains and winds of Irene wrecked havoc on many small towns in Vermont, tearing out covered bridges, isolating entire towns with road washouts and destroying homes, businesses and farms.
1% for the Planet has its headquarters in the town of Waitsfield, Vermont, and by no small miracle, our office fared amazingly well. Aside from a basement full of sludge, our floors are dry and our equipment in good condition. The same is not to be said of our neighbors, however. Foundations gone, buildings literally moved by the river, and massive amounts of local produce — lost.
1% for the Planet spent this morning lending a hand in the recovery efforts at neighboring farm, Small Step Farm. We emptied a greenhouse full of plump ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, pulled irrigation tubing out of ditches, carried logs to designated burn piles, pressure washed the silt away from seedling trays and had many a bonfire without the s’mores.
It’s a detrimental time for Vermont and there’s a lot of work ahead, but if there’s anything positive to come of this, it’s the coming together of an incredible community. Locals, out-of-towners, and vacationers alike are all coming out to see how they can help. Social media has also shown its power as those in need create Facebook events, posts are updated every five minutes about what roads are closed or now open, whose dog is lost or found, and how you can support those in need. Only three days after the storm and a massive difference has been made.
Over the next couple weeks if we’re a bit less available on the phone or via email it’s likely because we’re out of office, but rest assured we’ll be in touch as soon as possible. If you’re in the area, feel free to come join us! We plan to spend the next few mornings out and about in the community helping on various projects as needed. While the loss of so much could-have-been-pesto-ingredients is disheartening, the joy of using a pressure washer is quite sensational!
1% is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s a simple model, with a high bar for giving and consequently, a profound impact. Beautiful and bold is 1%!
But really – numbers are just numbers, and at the end of the day the fun part that really sheds light on the power of the movement are the stories behind it all. Each company gives 1% to nonprofit partners of their choice, but who are those organizations, and what are they working on?
Here’s a story from a longstanding member company, CaliBamboo:
CaliBamboo is a leading 1% member company that exists to provide sustainable building supplies for both residential and commercial homes. They do so by using bamboo, which is one of the world’s most durable, sustainable and renewable materials. In addition to building their business around a better alternative for building materials, CaliBamboo donates one percent of net revenue annually to The Surfrider Foundation.
This month CaliBamboo is undertaking in a fun project with The Surfrider Foundation–together they’re promoting The National Greenscape Challenge. By challenging contestants to design the most sustainable garden they can, this project educates contestants and followers about the common mistakes in landscaping, and the consequent perils of urban runoff. The National Greenscape Challenge raises awareness among a larger audience and culminates with a large influx of inspiring project solutions (not to mention that the winner gets to enjoy a weekend of surfing in sunny Southern California!).
This is but one story of thousands out there. What’s yours? Spread the word, share the good stories and keep us inspired. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell (or show!) us how you’re a living model of corporate philanthropy in action!
After a great dinner with Mike Harney of 1% member company Harney & Son’s Tea, the 1% team drops off the rental car at JFK airport at 12:30 a.m. – the next five days will be car free. Unfamiliar with NYC public transportation, and under Brittany’s confident (misguided) navigation, the country kids hop on the wrong train and head far far away from Manhattan to the quiet town of Ronkonkoma. Awoken by the repeat call, “Last stop, all passengers off,” the tired 1% Percentees stumble out into the frigid night. A few NYC cabbies befriend the two lost souls and offer them a seat in their lounge room, as long as they agree not to fall asleep. It’s 3 a.m. and the next train won’t arrive until 4:06 a.m.
Cabby Joey: Got some bad news for ya – did you hear what happened down town tonight? A celebrity was stabbed….
Brittany: What?! No, who?
Cabby Joey: Reese… something rather. Reese… With-
Brittany: Reese Witherspoon?!
Cabby Joey: No, with a fork!
4:06 rolled around slowly.
30 minutes of sleep, and several shots of espresso later, team 1% joined 140 cyclists to kick off the 300 mile journey south. Chatting and pedaling alongside lawyers, environmentalists, cyclists, and even some fellow Vermonters, the chaos of the night before was quickly forgotten and the spectacle of Climate Ride was well underway.
1% had a few New Year resolutions this year, and establishing deeper connections with our network was high on our list. Our development crew has spearheaded amazing regional events, making for a busy calendar for our eight person organization, but creating fantastic results! Amongst these events, Climate Ridehas presented a fantastic opportunity to engage with the greater 1% network. As the ride benefits several other nonprofit partners, it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to bring members and nonprofits together, to bike for a cause we all believe in, and to establish solid relationships and gather stories. Throughout the ride we enjoyed meeting representatives from other nonprofit partners, as well as engaging in great discussions about the philosophy and potential of 1% with Paul Keegan, of member company One World Trading Co. and Jeff Lesk, of Nixon Peabody. At the ride’s end, we were also very pleased to host events that yielded a great turnout from 1% member companies in the DC area. 1% member companies Tranquil Space, DrinkWell, Backpacker Tees, Boatyard Bar & Grill, Cheeky Green, Victoria Vox, Charm City Run, Zosimos Botanicals, and Salazon Chocolate all joined us for some great food and even better conversation. Thank you all!!
Further kudos go to our supporters! A big thank you to member companies Boatyard Bar & Grill, Trail Tex, Sweet People Apparel, GearSense and 3 Acres for your generous donations in support of Climate Ride – we literally could not have done this without your support.
This ride was an inspiration, an adventure and an experience of a lifetime. It’s an opportunity to meet incredible people, to spend quality time with each of them and to become inspired about the great change that’s possible. It’s an opportunity to share stories and to learn how we’re all working together to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Be it with carbon offsets, with green energy, with campaigning and advocacy, with business, or by hopping on a bicycle instead of driving a car – it was all there.
This ride was part one of two. It was an incredible opportunity to increase our face to face time with our network, to engage with the network and to hear the stories of the groups we’re supporting. As we work to raise awareness about 1% for the Planet, it’s important to hear the voices of our nonprofit partners, but it’s also essential to hear the stories from our business members. And that brings about the final ask: will you join us? Bring more perspective to the ride – tell your story and help us understand the challenges and rewards for your company as you work to be a part of the solution. Engage with a dynamic and passionate crew that will both challenge you with questions and work enthusiastically with you to develop solutions. Join us this October for Part 2 of an epic journey and pedal with us from Eureka, CA to San Francisco, CA.
Can’t join us? Support our team! By donating to any of our team members, your donation will go to support the work of 1% for the Planet.
Hear it yourself, the coolest thing about Climate Ride, from Climate Ride facilitator, Geraldine:
Rangers have been a pretty big part of my life these past several years. They seem to pop up everywhere in life – in books, in parks, in environmental law class, in SUVs on California highways, and now… on iPhones.
Since coming to 1% for the Planet, I’ve been quite prideful of my Junior Ranger status, and it’s been most rewarding to watch as my affinity for park rangers and my work here at 1% for the Planet overlap again and again. Just after a few months in house, I connected with a with a staff person at Rocky Mountain Nature Association by way of sharing our Junior Ranger experiences. We took to signing our correspondences to one another, “from one Junior Ranger to another.” Less than a month later, I found out one of our members, American Park Network, was responsible for the publication of the renowned Oh, Ranger! book that I’d read while gallivanting the grandeur of Yosemite valley. Who knew!? Mark, of American Park Network, made my day when he found his way to our 1% booth at Outdoor Retailer this January, and there we exchanged Ranger stories.
And now, now, American Park Network offers a wonderful new smart phone application, Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder™. This notification came to my inbox and without a breath I downloaded the app. Being familiar with the geography in Vermont, I hadn’t put it to use until a couple weeks later when I found myself in Oregon, driving in no particular direction, in search of a campsite before sunset. With darkness looming and growing tired of the relentless logging roads, I recalled the Oh, Ranger! app and put it to use. This app changed everything.
The horizon before us was no longer filled with tractor trailer trucks and endless highway, but it now glimmered with abundant waterfalls, hot springs, ski areas, campsites and even, not too far off, Crater Lake (the app informed us that we’d clearly taken a route due south further than we’d realized)! I couldn’t think of a more useful application for someone such as myself who all too often goes off the map, has a horrendous sense of direction, and enjoys spontaneous adventure – all in the company of a best friend with many of the same attributes. While one part of camping and adventuring is going off the charts and turning off the phone and computer, I will fend for the smartphone in this instance and say that if you’re out and about on a drive and want to find a fun stop, a nearby park to explore, or just spice things up with some adventure, definitely bust out the Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder™ app. It’ll make your day – possibly even your trip – as it puts to use modern technology to get back to the natural environment that we’re all working hard to conserve. While the app inherently supports all parks by raising awareness about them, the 1% donation given on behalf of this app from American Park Network supports nonprofit partners Tread Lightly! and The Student Conservation Association (SCA).
Once you scout out a park with your new Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder™ app, be sure to go and get certified as a Junior Ranger – no matter how old you are
As promised, we write today to follow up with our network about the Japan relief efforts being carried out by our nonprofit partners. Despite the difficult times that Japan is enduring, our partners in that area have been incredibly diligent with their updates, and for this we’re very appreciative – thank you!
For 1% member companies looking to use their donations to support relief efforts in Japan, please consider these groups:
All Hands Volunteers is a nonprofit partner who has recently announced their Project Tohoku - a relief effort that shall focus on debris clean up, resource allocation and working with the local communities to repair the damage.
World Wildlife Japan has decided to base their work efforts around the communities most heavily impacted by the tsunami. Funds raised will go to support coastal areas of the Tohoku and Kanto districts to assist victims to restore their living spaces.
Friends of the Earth Japan (FoE Japan) is beginning a fund that will support clean up and reconstruction efforts of the devastated Japanese villages.
**Our Patagonia correspondents are actively seeking out additional groups to support, and as more options become available, we will add updates to this post.
UPDATE 4.19.11: Lisa & Kenji have been away volunteering in Ishinomaki – one of the worst hit places – and are now back online. They’ve helped us identify a new nonprofit partner to whom you may donate your 1%:
Mori wa Umi no Koibito (“The Forest is the Ocean’s Love”). This group is based in Kesenuma (one of the worst damaged places due to the fire that started from the leaked fuel from overturned ships) and is working on relief efforts in and around their community.
We were also excited to learn of a new Chari-tee, created through a partnership between 1% member companies Econscious and Endurance Conspiracy. 100% of proceeds from the sales of the organic cotton tee will support Friends of the Earth and the Japanese Red Cross.
We thank you greatly for your patience and support during this time. As natural disasters come unexpectedly and often times at humbling magnitudes, each entail unique and mindful responses. In light of this tragedy, we recognize that as majority of our members are not in Japan, it can be difficult to decipher how best to give your support. Rest assured that we’re diligently utilizing our incredible global network to most confidently guide our members about how best to leverage their donations. With a strong network, we’re most aware and proud of the great potential our member companies and nonprofit partners withhold to significantly assist in the recovery efforts in Japan. Thank you for your support and be sure to check back for updates.
In honor of Japan and our development manager, Leah Cameron, who everyday pushes the use of haiku (and who has an upcoming birthday!), we have gone ahead with a haiku theme to welcome our March members:
We reach out to our network today to extend our hearts and thoughts to our 1% members and nonprofit partners in the midst of Japan’s crisis. On Monday morning, we returned to an office surging with heartfelt inquiries from members and supporters about how they could best support the relief efforts in Japan. Thank you all for your care and concern.
With an alliance of over 1,400 member companies (27 in Japan), the 1% network has huge potential to assist in this crisis. We’re diligently researching the best way to leverage that power. 1% is most fortunate to have two terrific correspondents in Japan, Lisa Iida and Kenji Shino of Patagonia Japan. Lisa and Kenji are both thankfully safe and well and in communication with us at 1% since the earthquake and tsunami.
Kenji’s most recent words:
“One of the reason for there are not environmental NGOs who are helping the relief on site yet is that the situation and government agencies do not allow any volunteers enter the worst hit area in avoiding turmoil.
Please give us a while to identify appropriate environmental NGOs for 1% FTP.”
The tragedy in Japan is clearly still unfolding and, as we’ve seen, necessitates immediate humanitarian relief work at this time. We’ve been in touch with many of our Japanese NGOs, and have begun to hear back from a few, including WWF Japan and FoE Japan. The consensus among these groups, as well as from Kenji and Lisa, is that they will certainly be integral in the clean-up recovery effort, but their specific plans are still being formed.
If you feel an urgent need to donate, and would like your gift to be part of your 1% for the Planet commitment, we invite you to support WWF Japan and FoE Japan who have both indicated that they would be involved in immediate clean-up efforts. It’s clear that the need for environmental restoration will be prominent and soon. Our nonprofit partners in the midst of the devastation are eager to begin these relief projects and we expect to hear soon from more groups in and beyond our network as they organize and take action. Please expect a follow up post in two weeks time with updates and more information on how we can leverage your generous donations to extend a hand to our friends in Japan.
1% extends its kudos to the supportive alliance that, collectively, has given over $70 MM to date. We’re growing literally by the day, extending our reach into new markets (with RLP Capital Retirement Plants and Planet Petco) and new countries (Israel brings us to 44 countries this month!). As exciting as it is to grow, it is also inspiring to hear back from longstanding 1% member companies, such as Treasure Mountain Inn. This month we’d like to extend a huge congratulations to Treasure Mountain Inn as they were recently announced the inaugaral recipient of the “Environmental Heroes” award. Congratulations!
Please welcome our February 2011 1% Member Companies and see how they can be a part of your everyday life….
Ready for an adventure? Gear up with 1% member companies: