Youth are increasingly disengaged from the natural world, spending more and more time sitting in front of screens and less time outdoors. This environmental deficit among young people is a serious problem. For 40 days every summer, Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) takes a group of high school youth away from their plugged-in lives and into the woods. Using alternative learning strategies they provide intensive, life-changing experiences through wilderness expeditions, outdoor classrooms, and place-based environmental science studies.
Taking it Home
Youth return to their families, neighborhoods, and schools with a new perspective and desire to give back and make a difference. After a summer in the wilderness learning about sustainability, they are far more likely to participate in community service projects for local and regional environmental causes.
ARC is influencing the next generation to build strong bonds with nature, instilling a love of the wilderness and a desire for stewardship. In the words of a participant, “This program has helped me to find my way; it has opened new doors, reinstalled a sense of empowerment, cemented my desire for life in the outdoors and most importantly, showed me the value of service to others and the environment.”
Jamie Husain photo
Support from the Network
A couple of 1% for the Planet member businesses have already stepped up to support the cause, including:
- In ten years, ARC has spent 2,400 days in the wilderness, positively influencing youth to spread the ripples of their learning out into their communities.
- Participants learn the principles of 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner Leave No Trace, and embrace our four core values of determination, integrity, compassion, and service, all of which they take back into their communities and homes.
Call to Action:
The success of ARC can be traced back to every hour and every investment made by individuals who believe in inspiring youth through the outdoors. Our volunteers are incredible mentors to our young people, providing hundreds of hours of service every summer as writing coaches, workshop facilitators, and outdoor guides. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our volunteer opportunities, and consider donating here.
ARC also invites the public to attend our Voices of Youth events in Tahoe or Yosemite, an annual presentation of profoundly moving poetry, written in and about the wilderness, and performed by our participants every July.
Jamie Husain photo
The Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow:
ARC’s outcomes are multi-leveled. Over the past 10 years, 77% of our summer course graduates have gone on to college, compared to 46% nationwide. These young people are the next generation of decision-makers, and because of their participation with ARC, they are armed with an ethos of conservation and a love of the outdoors. Lets help this trend continue!
Here’s some quotes from recent participants of the program:
“Being in the wilderness has calmed me down and taught me not to take everything for granted. I want to protect the parks and make sure everything isn’t urbanized. We need to work with nature instead of against it.”
“I consider myself special, because not many people are able to see the Sequoia trees and admire all of this. I also think that we all need to take care of nature more and not destroy it.”
Another week means some great new additions to the 1% for the Planet network. New member businesses elSage Designs and HR CSS recently decided that it was time to show how much they LOVE BLUE by making the 1% commitment. By becoming part of the network, they will be supporting the Planet and Loving Blue by donating annual to our approved nonprofit partners.
My name is Phoebe Carpenter Eells and I live in Washington State with my husband, two boys and our dog. I was a middle school math teacher and after having kids I rediscovered my love for art. I started my printmaking company, elSage Designs, as a side project in 2010. elSage grew steadily for a few years and last June I made the leap and quit my teaching job. I now run the printmaking business (and hang out with my kids) full time.
I print on various materials and everything is printed directly from a carving (both lino and wood). My substrates include paper, reclaimed wood, fabric and apparel. I work hard to source my goods from eco friendly sources. The paper I print on is often recycled, the wood is all reclaimed or off-cuts. Much of my apparel is organic or sustainable blends. All of my inks are water soluble and non-toxic.
I joined 1% For The Planet because I want to be proud of the business I’m creating. Setting a good example for my kids is important to me. I have always been an advocate for the environment, and I feel like being a part of this organization helps to continue my environmental advocacy. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we spend much of out time outside. From skiing in the winter to camping, kayaking and riding bikes in the summer. My hope is that my great-grandkids will be able to enjoy the same version of nature that I am fortunate enough to know.
Based in Germany, HR CSS is a human resources consultancy firm that can help to improve the internal operations of your business. According to owner Manuel, Seyffert, “I joined the community as I am convinced about every single person’s responsibility – for her or himself, for others, and for the environment. My business works to bring sustainable Human Resources Solutions into the scope of smaller companies. It´s about the sharing of IT-solutions (which is something what saves resources in hardware-production, less energy and paper usage) combined with innovative HR Management strategies. This combination will help to create effects that include improving employee retention, development and motivation. My goal is to contribute to a rainforest initiative. Personally I believe that this is one of the keys areas that will help to turn around the environmental effects we cause.”
Those that love the rainforest LOVE BLUE and 1% loves having HR CSS in the network!
People that love being outside LOVE BLUE, and so do all of us at 1%. With the unbelievable spring weather we’re experiencing in VT, it’s awfully hard to stay indoors, but of course we’re more than willing to do so in order to support our business members and nonprofit partners. Recently, we’ve been very happy to welcome two great new businesses, Moberi and True Health Family Chiropractic.
Moberi is a Portland, Oregon Food Cart that specializes in bicycle powered smoothies and fresh juice. They started in 2011 with an old Schwinn Exercise bike with a blender strapped to it, a cooler, and a homemade portable sink. From these humble beginnings, they’ve grown to be a full-time food cart, a mobile events cart, 4 bike blenders, and an interactive catering business.
Moberi is super exited to join this community of environmentally responsible businesses! They consider looking after the planet a given and joining 1% for the Planet is a good way to incorporate it into their business structure.
Moberi is currently raising funds for their next chapter through Kickstarter. The project video gives a good visual about what we do and where we are headed. Check out the Kickstarter campaign here. According to the Moberi team, “the business is centered on a sustainable concept and it only makes sense for us to show our support for the organizations working every day to help keep our planet awesome! Hope to pedal a smoothie with you all one day!”
Started in 2012 in Stratford, CT by Peter Braglia, D.C., True Health Family Chiropractic’s mission is to educate, adjust, and inspire a health transformation in as many families as possible and to put them on the path toward optimal health. True Health Family Chiropractic offers safe, gentle, customized chiropractic for all ages as well as whole food nutritional supplements. “1% for the Planet is a great fit for us because Chiropractic is a safe, natural, and non-toxic healthcare that does not put foreign bodies or toxins into the body and has no detrimental impact on the environment. The environment has a huge impact on our health, and we’re looking forward to partnering with groups who will help make this planet a better place for future generations.”
Ask 10 people to describe a sustainable business, and you’ll get a variety of answers. A banker or shareholder would call it an established business with regular, uninterrupted profits. A college student may point to a company’s commitment to zero out its environmental impact. According to Karen Martinsen Fleming, director of Green Mountain College’s sustainable business MBA program in Vermont, both are correct. She would also add “people” to the definition to create what’s known as running a business with a triple bottom line (TBL).
Specifically, TBL refers to “profit, planet, people,” and it’s a term often connected to companies that are actively engaged in eco-friendly policies or community outreach (think Toms shoes). And it usually gets a bad rap from the business community.
“A banker or investor might feel that a startup’s good intentions are incompatible with success or [are] going to hurt profitability,” Fleming says. “But there’s enough evidence now that operating a company with an altruistic bent offers considerable strategic advantages, the kind that don’t always show up instantly on the books.”
When a startup inserts TBL principles into its mission–and makes that mission widely known–Fleming says what it’s doing will matter to a niche in the market, whether it’s eco-friendly practices or a commitment to support and give back to the community. Ideally, that niche could sustain a new business through those lean first years until it reaches a bigger audience and scale.
To illustrate the people side of TBL, Fleming points to Ted Castle’s Burlington, Vt.-based Rhino Foods, maker of the cookie dough for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. “Rhino makes a point of hiring recent legal immigrants to work in the plant to help get them established in their new country,” she says. “But these people were having trouble getting to work on time, or at all, and it was affecting the company’s bottom line. Their cars would break down, or they didn’t have a reliable ride to the plant. After looking into the issue, Castle discovered that his employees had no credit–they couldn’t take out a loan or get a credit card to help pay for a car or repairs or sign a lease on a home closer to the plant. So he went to his bank and guaranteed a $1,000 line of credit for every employee.”
With that, Castle established Rhino’s Income Advance Program, designed to help staff deal with financial hardships or emergencies that arise–no questions asked. “Two hundred employees took him up on it, and no one’s ever defaulted. Now he has an incredibly loyal work force that shows up on time,” Fleming says.
And the best part, she adds: “It didn’t cost him a penny.”
Successful case studies aside, effectively implementing TBL into a startup’s mission is not easy. “It’s so complex,” Fleming says. “Unfortunately there’s no cookie-cutter approach to making it work, not even within the same industry or product market. Each company has to figure out what works for them on a trial-and-error basis.”
However, there is a silver lining to this unknown, and that’s the quality of the employees inside many TBL companies; they are resources an owner can tap to determine what the company’s mission should be. “Generation Y and X, in particular, are very motivated to work for a bigger mission than simple profits,” Fleming says, adding that companies that follow sustainable business practices “tend to attract the highest-quality candidates, who then turn into passionate employees who share the business owner’s drive to see the company grow.”
For the members of 1% for the Planet, an organization of TBL-minded companies that turn over 1 percent of their sales to environmental organizations, the practice pays off. From 2009 to 2011, member companies’ revenue grew by more than 20 percent, beating the less than 2 percent growth of the U.S. GDP.
Making the 1% commitment with your business is about more than growing the bottom line; it’s about investing in a world that you want to live in. With each donation, our members are helping to create a more sustainable world that our children and grandchildren will get to enjoy. Two of the most recent businesses to make this pledge are EcoTaxFile and Ozone Global.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, EcoTaxFile provides personalized accounting services to businesses and individuals who want exemplary accounting services combined combined with environmental assessments. The experienced tax professionals will maximize your tax refund and take the stress out of tax time – all while providing advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably.
You can use EcoTaxFile’s Free carbon calculator to discover the impact of your carbon footprint and get a personalized EcoReport with over 150 sustainability tips.
EcoTaxFile: Accounting that can change your life.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s well worth taking the time to take a look at this free tool. You might be amazed at your own footprint and the suggestions provided to minimize your impact. Thanks EcoTaxFile for making this available and welcome!
Australia based Ozone Global invests in a variety of business sectors / environments throughout the world with a focus on working together with people and their vision. They especially enjoy being involved from the ground floor up with new and exciting business ideas, until such stage that the founders are able to take their vision and business model to the table of a larger audience.
What inspired Ozone Global to join 1% for the Planet was no doubt the same reason that inspired many others to join. To stand up and do something positive to Protect the Planet for future generations. According to the owner, “this really hit home last winter when my 7-year old Daughter was sitting in in a cold room and shivering with the heating turned off. When I asked her why she doesn’t turn on the heat she answered, if I turn on the heater the planet it will get too hot and the Polar Bears home will melt. I felt ashamed to be a so called grown up. Why does a 7 year old get it and the educated world doesn’t. From this point forward I start a new road to Respect & Protect Our Planet and promote this in all areas of my life.”
Sometimes inspiration comes form the least expected places. We’re thrilled to have Ozone Global in the network!
John Caletti, the owner of 1% for the Planet member Caletti Cycles, sent along this great post about his 1% commitment… thanks for Loving Blue, John!
I value and respect our natural world, and I understand that running a business takes a toll on the environment . It’s important to reduce and offset the damage as much as possible. 1% FTP is a good structure for my business and has the added value of being a movement in partnership with others with similar values. I’m a cyclist and I build custom bicycles, so the bulk of my donations went to “Bikes Belong” to get more people on bikes for cleaner and simpler transportation.
Additionally I gave to Shark Savers, as I live on the coast and have a fascination and appreciation for sharks as an important part of our ecosystem who are endangered and misunderstood. Maybe they’ll be even nicer to me when I’m out in the water paddling, surfing or diving.
Today, on Earth Day, we are celebrating our amazing members who give back to our big blue planet everyday by supporting our nonprofit partners who are keeping our Planet beautiful.
We are thrilled to be jumping into our second decade of existence with our new Love Blue campaign. We encourage all of our members and nonprofits to check out our new brand guidelines and adopt the use of our new logos! Please get in touch if you have any questions about the Love Blue campaign, or want more information on how you can best use these materials- we’re here to chat!
Caudalie, a French natural skincare company who joined 1% for the Planet last year, has done a great job of showing how they Love Blue in this short film….
Vermont Land Trust’s Bragg Farm initiative is an effort to protect the agricultural heritage and the vitality of farming in the Mad River Valley. With incomparable views of the Green Mountains, the Bragg Farm showcases the beauty and agricultural productivity of the Valley’s working landscapes.
“This project exemplifies the spirit of the Mad River Valley, both in that it preserves and protects our open spaces but also by keeping this land in agricultural use,” said Win Smith, President of Sugarbush Resort. “It was our intent at the onset of joining 1% for the Planet to support local environmental initiatives and the Bragg Farm project combines so many of our values into one project.”
Through a competitive process Vermont Land Trust has chosen an experienced farmer to purchase the land. Marisa Mauro, owner of Ploughgate Creamery, plans to craft artisanal butter and cheeses from a small milking herd. The conservation and sale of the Bragg Farm advances the goals of the Vermont Land Trust’s Farmland Access Program, which helps experienced farmers gain access to productive, affordable farmland.
“Timbers Restaurant has always supported local agricultural and Vermont’s working landscapes by purchasing and serving the produce, meats and cheeses from our neighbors’ farms.” continued Smith “Perhaps in the future you may see Ploughgate Creamery products on the menu at Timbers.”
Overlooking the Mad River Valley the Bragg Farm is perched on one of the Valley’s finest pieces of real estate. The iconic and over one-hundred year old barn and farm boasts views that overlook Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush and has been seen on the cover of Vermont Life magazine among other publications, including Sugarbush’s marketing material.
There’s no doubt that having the courage to do what is right has an amazing effect on others. More often than not, we hear from new members that it is interactions with sustainable businesses and environmental nonprofits that ultimately helped encourage them to give back to the environment. Leaders of sustainability set an example that inspires others to make a more serious effort. Two new members, Color by Amber and Lifetime Legal, recently came to us with great stories of inspiration.
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Color by Amber is in the business of making amazing eco-friendly jewelry. According to the website, Amber is the concept of creating gorgeous materials from the natural world and encapsulating them in stunning eco-resin. Hand-spun silks, exquisite mohair, artisan-crafted fossil leaves: each piece of Amber is a beautiful expression of style, sustainability, and social responsibility.
CEO Talley Goodson was inspired to join 1% for the Planet after a meeting with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “Some time ago I had the chance to spend a couple of days surfing with with Yvon Chouinard, at his place north of Santa Barbara, California. Yvon’s house was built from dry-stacked recycled sidewalks and as we talked, I couldn’t help but be impressed by his deep commitment to the environment both personally and as the spiritual leader of Patagonia. Over the years, I have sought to incorporate similar principles of sustainability into my business ventures. I love the idea that private enterprise can have a positive impact on the planet. I am proud that Color by Amber is a member of 1% for the planet!”
We’re so happy to have Color by Amber in the network. In the years to come, hopefully their efforts will help to encourage additional businesses to adopt similar values and practices.
Based in Camarillo, California, Lifetime Legal provides a variety of services to its clients including estate planning, living trust packages, charitable planning, estate administration, wills, and advanced healthcare directives and durable powers of attorney for financial matters. Owner and attorney Eric Smith pays particular attention to his clients’ values, concerns, needs, and what can be done to protect those you care about.
Through his involvement with the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, Eric was inspired to have Lifetime Legal join 1% for the Planet. He learned about 1% for the Planet from a short clip at the Wild and Scenic film festival in Ventura and was impressed that so many business owners had made such a commitment to work for the common good of our planet. While his new law firm, Lifetime Legal, is still in its growing stages, he decided to make the environmental commitment as well. While estate planning, which is the firm’s focus, has little to do with the environment directly, Eric believes that any business can help do its part and every business should. Eric would love to meet other local business owners and 1% members who share this concern and commitment.
Lifetime Legal is the perfect example of a business that is making its commitment to the environment an integral priority. Hopefully other 1% members and nonprofits will have a chance to meet Eric at an upcoming California meet up.