Last week we hosted a Special Edition Power Plant event celebrating the incredible growth in the 1% for the Planet family north of the border.
By the Numbers:
In just a year we’ve added 23 new members, who will donate an additional $700,000 to environmental causes this year alone. That brings us to more than $5M in giving to date from our Canadian partners. Boom. There’s a lot to be excited about.
The evening featured presentations from movers and shakers in the Canadian sustainability world who highlighted ways that business can be a part of the solution to pressing environmental challenges in Canada.
The night was chock full of great conversation, connections and good times; we left inspired by the Canadian team, knowing this is a group that will create enormous positive change for the planet.
Thanks to all who made it possible, keep up the great work, and we’ll see you in town again soon!
And if you couldn’t make it, check out our speakers in action at these links!
July was a big month here at 1% for the Planet with more than 50 new member companies joining the network! That’s the second largest July on the books, and we’re excited to introduce you to these new companies and the people behind them.
Gerd Essl joined 1% for the Planet with his eponymous business. Based in Austria, Gerd’s mission “is to support individuals in their self-development, so that social and economic evolution will be influenced in a positive and sustainable way” He’s convinced that the society can deal with future problems through the personal growth and development of each individual.
His work focuses on business coaching and psycho-social counseling. Focal points are self-development, decision-making, stress, self-esteem, work with singles, leadership/management development, authenticity, potential development, creative thinking as well as help with fear of flying.
Gerd should have checked in with Leema and Brit before they got in the car–they’re driving West today!
Straight from Gerd: “I joined “1% for the planet” because of my strong interest in economic and ecologic issues. Even if it´s just one percent – together it will make a difference.”
Sticking with the “G Theme” we have going, Green Kid Crafts is a mom-owned, green company making it easier for parents to enjoy spending quality time with their children doing fun, creative and earth friendly activities.
Through their month-to-month or gift subscription programs, families enjoy receiving Discovery Boxes each month filled with three unique and engaging craft activities. Each project is intended for children ages 3-8, and designed to foster their creativity and confidence while developing their respect and love for the environment.
Founded by mom and environmental activist Penny Bauder, Green Kid Crafts was inspired to join 1% for the Planet to help promote sustainable business practices and augment their existing environmental and community driven work. The company follows a strict sourcing policy, is certified carbon neutral and supports their local community in a variety of ways from sponsoring local Boys & Girls Club crafting events to mentoring disadvantaged women. (They are actually a finalist in Green America’s People & Planet Awards right now! Support them by voting at www.greenamerica.org/peopleandplanet!)
Through their partnership with 1%FTP, they are able to formalize another aspect of their corporate giving program in a way that fits with their planet-focused business philosophy.
Five days of torrential rain—with temperatures in the 60s—combined with a leaky tent that soaks you on night one, and just two pairs of sopping chammy to get you through… I doubt any of those components would make it on to your list of perfect conditions.
Nonetheless, after pushing for a week through malevolent storms, sopping roads and long, grinding hills, 1% for the Planet member Victoria Vox made it from Eureka to San Francisco undaunted last October. In fact, she recently said of her first Climate Ride “the sum was greater than its parts, and I can’t wait to be a part of that sum again!”
And she was true to her word.
Congratulations to Victoria, who got back on the bike and completed her SECOND Climate Ride, this time under more seasonable skies but with the same goals: to spread awareness about the climate crisis facing our planet, and to offer proactive solutions. If 100+ people can ride their bikes (in work clothes no less!) over 300 miles, there is real hope for the future.
The 1% for the Planet crew couldn’t be more proud of Victoria and all the other Climate Riders who made the journey from New York to DC last week.
We’re looking forward to sharing a post-ride report from Victoria, so stay tuned.
In the meantime I want to take this opportunity to welcome the companies who were motivated to make real change as well—using their businesses as the engines of positive change—but passed on the soaked chammy (and I’m not blaming them).
Congratulations and thank you to the following newly-minted member of 1% for the Planet!
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!
A good friend recently turned me on to a book by David Owen. While I’ve yet to read The Conundrum it’s next on my list, as soon as my boss Brittany lets me put down the Hunger Games.
Watching the promo video for Owen’s book got me thinking about tough, personal questions. I like to think I’m a fairly environmentally conscious person—I buy local, organic food when I can, ride my bike to the office more often than not and turn out the CFL’s whenever I leave a room.
Still, as Owen bluntly points out, there are glaring contradictions in the way I live. My passion for backcountry skiing and mountain biking has me driving Libby, my aging Volvo manwagon, around the northeast most weekends. I’ve forgotten my reusable shopping bags at home more times than I’d like to admit. In a week’s time I’m flying to Alaska in search of the snow that has eluded Vermont this winter.
Breaking news: it takes a lot of bike rides to the office to offset a flight to Alaska.
As much as I hate to admit it, Owen is right. Many of the innovations we think of as greening our lifestyles actually lead to increased resource use in the long run, as efficiency allows greater consumption. Damn, it’s depressing.
So how do we shake the funk?
The only answer, as I see it, is advocating for the kind of change that co-opts everyone as part of the solution, from the darkest green consumer to the most mainstream American. What better way to do just that than for businesses–who provide for almost all of our needs–to be the solution?
Companies that join 1% for the Planet are the leading edge of a paradigm shift. So pick up a copy of The Conundrum, and join me in welcoming the following businesses who have decided to be the solution:
It’d be easy to let the state of the world get you down. We’ve got a polarized political system that makes rational dialogue seem impossible, a stagnant economy, freaky weather that brings floods followed by droughts and a skyrocketing global population thirsty for the material comforts that got us in this mess. And that’s not half of it.
Still, it’s hard to feel hopeless when you see people coming together to create the change we need so desperately. Yesterday, when news that the Keystone XL pipeline was once again a threat, 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner 350.org mobilized more than 800,000 people in just 24 hours to send Congress an emphatic NO. The message couldn’t have been clearer.
Last night Bill McKibben had the spotlight on The Colbert Report—check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.
The motivation that gets 800,000 to coalesce around something they care so deeply about is the same energy that motivates businesses to be part of the solution—they’re working hard to create a world that we all want to live in.
We’ve been growing at a rate of more than one business per day for the past two years, but January was a particularly wonderful month here at 1% for the Planet. 49 businesses started their membership during the past four weeks. For those of you nervously watching the 260-day Mayan Tzolkin calendar this year, that works out to an impressive 2.2 members per day this month.
We’re tweaking the way we introduce new members in light of all the activity in the network and the addition of our talented new staff members James, Pauline and Tom. Look for an initial post announcing the folks who have joined most recently, followed by entries going deeper into the stories of the people, places and motivations that inspired them to join 1% for the Planet.
Hiking early season turns at Mad River Glen with the 1% crew
Waitsfield, Vermont, like most ski towns, is filled with people who are generally pretty darn happy. The social life of a Valley resident (or a 1% for the Planet employee) revolves around enthusiastic discussion of the outdoor pursuit du jour, or actually getting out and partaking wholeheartedly in that activity. Grins are standard. But this December has been a different story.
When weather doesn’t cooperate, people take a turn to the dark side… especially in the early winter when memories of the previous season’s bounty tantalize us. This past week I’ve seen people stare up at the sky with looks on their faces usually only employed by seven year olds hoping to reprimand their parents for withholding desert. The feeling of tension in town is palpable, and our office is not immune.
Thankfully, release came today with 2-6 inches of new snow over fast grass at Mad River Glen. The 1% team, sporting grins once more, was there early to welcome winter to the valley by hiking a few early morning runs. All this welcoming has me thinking about another long-overdue welcome–the one we owe our most recent 1% members!
Bamboodha is the first out of the gate this week. They’re based in Australia but will ship their bamboo towels anywhere. And best of all, they’re giving away copies of the 1% for the Planet CD! If you haven’t heard it yet, check it out.
The Aromatropolis The Aromatropolis retails printed materials online which concisely convey the complex properties of essential oils. This is an emerging, woman-owned business developing media in different formats to enhance the experience of the essential oil enthusiast. Currently they offer a limited-edition, 18″x24″ print and carrying card relating the properties of the twenty most common essential oils. Future plans include the development of brick-and-mortar locations to retail their products and create healing environments for patrons. The Aromatropolis and parent company Bright Blue Green LLC seek to raise the bar for environmental and social responsibility in business.
David C Dixon LLC offers LEED and sustainability consulting to Food and Beverage corporations. David, proprietor and avid outdoorsman (who would have fit in well at Mad River this morning), has been involved in some of the largest LEED food manufacturing facilities built in the past 6 years, and has helped name brand companies reduce their environmental impact and pursue “closed-loop” technologies. David says that “1% for the Planet is a great initiative which can offer corporate decision makers a “brand” similar to LEED that they can trust, that earns them recognition, and provides funding for vetted organizations.” Glad to have you David!
Keep your eye on Exout for deals on outdoor gear for every sort of pursuit, summer or winter. You’ll find steals for members as low as 70% off retail–stock up and feel good that 1% is going back to the environment!
Gone Surfing Hawaii specializes in surf lessons and customized surf tours in the Hawaiian Islands. Need a break from winter? Check ‘em out!
The Green Line‘s proprietor Janine on coming to 1%: “Discovering 1% For The Planet was the missing to piece to my puzzle. I always knew I wanted to give back but I didn’t have the proper platform. Since becoming a 1% member, now I have the resources to do what I always wanted to do: Give back to something meaningful to me.” Janine is giving to Oceana, so when you purchase her jewelry you’ll know her 1% is going to a good cause!
Hug on a Rug is based in our very own state of Vermont and offers hand-made rugs. They’re still working on their web presence but check back soon to see what they’re up to.
Integral Dialogue Project is a consulting company committed to the greater purpose of “co-creating a better world by empowering people to lead.” They believe we all possess interpersonal greatness. By facilitating and engaging individuals and organizations in generative dialogue there exist the potential to create this ‘better world’ through a sharing process of innovative perspectives – and transformational change.
KAVAJ has you covered when it comes to protecting your iPad, Xoom or other tablets with great looking cases.
Ever hear that Uncle Cracker song with the line about being “as cool as the flip side of my pillow?” Well… Polar Pillow is an award-winning cooling pillow that uses specialized gel technology to generate coolness. PolarPillow has identified Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International as its first beneficiary, and will be helping to inspire the next generation to care for the earth.
Tulan supplies everything you need for yoga, from mats to clothing and you can feel good about buying from them!
When I pick up the phone at 1% I’m always prepared for a surprise. Eight months after my first phone call I’ve finally figured out that solicitations from Publishers Clearing House usually don’t pan out, but I still get excited. While I’ll be the first to admit that I consider myself among the “One Percent,” our fringe benefits come in the form of lunch time yogs, not yachts. An extra million here or there wouldn’t hurt. When I answer and it’s Jeff Denholm, founder of Atira Systems and Patagonia ambassador on the line, it’s almost as good as winning big.
Jeff’s company provides fire protection services that mitigate the highly detrimental environmental and health effects of fighting wildfires. He and his team (advised by luminaries including Nell Newman and Rick Ridgeway) have reworked every facet of the industry to eliminate harmful chemicals and carcinogens that are hazardous to firefighters on the front line and equally bad for the ecosystems they work to protect. To top it off, Atira Systems is now a 1% for the Planet member.
New member Château de Chéronne can take you back to the 1500′s when the castle-turned-weekend-escape was constructed on 400 hectares of woodlands in the Perche Sarthois. The moat and drawbridges were removed in the 17th century to make it easier for guest to join them for overnights and special events.
Dancing Snow is a Japan-based company that specializes in providing their clients to the deepest powder turns of their lives. Let them introduce you to the kind of fluffy white stuff that makes you drool at Teton Gravity Research premiers every fall. In the summers they offer kayaking tours to boot!
Eden Groupe joins us from France and specializes in real estate development with a conscience, giving back 1% of everything they do!
Expedition Broker is based in Haines, Alaska, a recreation paradise (having lived there for two summers I can vouch!). Let owner Greg Schlachter set you up with the finest guides the area has to offer for your next fishing, skiing, climbing or surfing–yes, Alaskan surfing–adventure.
Swimfish, 1% for the Planet member and CRM expert, would like to partner with a group that is focused on protecting oceans, rivers or wildlife.
Their clients include IBM, Fidelity Investments and the University of California, and they want to put that expertise to work telling your story. They will implement their Microsoft-based CRM solution, Relationships 2.0 for free and provide free use until the end of 2011. In 2012 they will discount their fee by $2,000. They will also provide awareness through their social networking sites and website and can have the ball rolling within two weeks.