The following post was written by Paul DeCrette, owner of 1% for the Planet member BlueChannel. If you would like to share your giving story on our blog, please get in touch with Pauline.
My name is Paul DeCrette. Since 1998, I have run BlueChannel, a small web development and consulting firm. I enjoy my work, provide livable wages and good benefits to a few employees, and genuinely care about my clients. But I am not changing the world through programming or email support!
I moved the business to Colorado in 2000 to take advantage of our state’s beautiful and precious outdoor spaces. I wanted to spend time with my beautiful wife Nicole and raise my children in clean mountain air. When I took on Mick Jeanne – a long-time employee – as a co-owner a few years ago, we jointly acknowledged that the world is bigger than us and precious to us. We agreed to put some money where our environmental mouths are. After all, talk is cheap, but change is expensive! Good causes need financial support.
1% for the Planet is a good fit. It connects us with like-minded businesses and demands a simple, honest, and manageable annual giving goal – and one that changes as means change. “A portion of profits donated to charity,” or “10% of profits donated to this cause” is meaningless; any business owner knows profits can be manipulated by compensation and other accounting tricks. But when you donate a percentage of your gross sales as reported on your tax return, the number is concrete. For BlueChannel, this number, albeit small, was hard to swallow at first. It has since grown year over year, and now it is just built into our business model and lives. And while we would continue to give even if this was not true, the exposure we receive from our annual contributions has made this commitment financially worthwhile as well. Doing the right thing can pay.
Colorado Environmental Coalition has recently merged with Colorado Conservation Voters to become Conservation Colorado. Priorities include protecting public lands and wilderness areas – many of the same areas I have backpacked and skied. They also work to mitigate climate change and encourage pro-environmental legislation. Right now, they are active in trying to encourage rural Colorado utilities to increase their clean energy sources. Help the cause and take action to support SB 252 and related legislation today!
Republican, Democrat, or otherwise, you can’t do business on a dead planet. I encourage you to support an environmental cause, and if you need ideas, 1% for the Planet and Conservation Colorado are indeed worthy.
Coming aboard at the beginning of the year, Greentag is one of 1% for the Planet’s most exciting new member businesses. Greentag’s mission is to design great products with minimal environmental impact, promote sustainable living, and inspire others to stand up for Mother Nature.
The company is in the process of launching a t-shirt line that will redefine sustainable clothing. Rather than farming organic cotton or recycling plastics into polyester, they are reusing the whole t-shirt. Their post-consumer t-shirts come from textile recyclers that purchase the excess donations Goodwill can’t stock. Inspired by the methods of graffiti, Greentag prints new designs over pre-existing designs their 100% unique ‘assorted’ t-shirts. The pockets from their pocket tees are cut from recycled handkerchiefs and scarves sewn onto post-consumer blank tees. Greentag also makes salvaged leather wallets with a zero-waste initiative. The leather comes from other Los Angeles-based fashion lines that cut leather to make jackets.
Greentag’s Kickstarter Project
Greentag needs crowd funding to help produce their first run of inventory because textile resellers ask a high minimum. They also want to educate the public about the environmental cost of producing each cotton t-shirt.
Founders Armand and Chris started Greentag hoping to make a difference. They grew tired of seeing recycle symbols printed on crisp new t-shirts pretending to be Eco-friendly. Isn’t the mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? That’s exactly what Greentag does with their t-shirts. It takes more than 700 gallons of irrevocably damaged water to produce one cotton t-shirt. That’s enough water to quench a person’s thirst for 900 days. Greentag is dedicated to salvaging shirts and other materials, turning them into great products without harming the planet. They hope to inspire a change within an industry fostering the wrong type of green. Greentag hopes that its new methods of sustainable clothing production will replace organically farmed cotton or recycled plastics as the spearhead of ‘green’ clothing.
Across the world as development continues, small farms are at risk of extinction. Often they become unaffordable and this growth threatens some of our last remaining open places. We have one of these examples right here in our back yard, the Bragg Farm.
Luckily, the diligent work of land trusts are helping to protect these places and reenergize sustainable local agriculture. The Vermont Land Trust’s (VLT) conservation efforts change the lives of families, invigorate farms, launch new businesses, maintain scenic vistas, encourage outdoor recreation, and foster a renewed sense of community.
This spring, VLT is asking for you to help save Bragg Farm! The Bragg Farm has been an important part of the Mad River Valley’s agricultural landscape for more than 200 years. Perched high above the Mad River, the farm’s iconic barn, hay fields and incomparable views of the Green Mountains showcase the beauty and agricultural productivity of the Valley’s working landscape.
In 2012, the Vermont Land Trust worked with Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership to purchase the 48-acre property. VLT then searched for a new farmer through through our Farmland Access Program, which helps experienced farmers gain access to productive, affordable farmland.
Marisa Mauro was selected to purchase the farm from VLT. In 2008, Marisa started Ploughgate Creamery, which produced award-winning cheese until a fire destroyed the place she was leasing. If VLT is successful in the fundraising effort, Marisa will restart Ploughgate Creamery’s operations and establish a grass-based dairy farm that produces artisanal butter, fresh cheeses, buttermilk and suckling hogs.
Contributions will help VLT to raise the last $85,000 to protect this special Mad River Valley farm, forever!
And if you’re local to the farm, Have glass a wine and help conserve the Bragg Farm! VLT and Cork Wine Bar invite the public to an evening fundraiser on Wednesday, April 10, starting at 6 pm. $1 of every glass of wine poured will go towards the remaining $85,000 needed for the property’s protection. http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/bragg
Protecting the Bragg Hill Farm will:
Permanently conserve scenic and productive farmland
Ensure the long-term affordability of the farm to Vermont’s farmers
Preserve the historic barn, a treasured community landmark
Revitalize the Bragg Farm with a new agricultural operation
Partners collaborating on the project
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), local conservation commissions and local land trusts are vital to raising the funds needed to protect the more than 50 properties VLT conserves each year. VHCB, the Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership, and the Town of Fayston are key partners in the Bragg Farm project.
Successes and Challenges
VLT purchased the farm using bridge financing for its appraised value of $760,000 and will sell the farm to Mauro at its appraised agricultural value of $175,000. VTL is raising money for the conservation easement, appraised at $585,000, as well as funds to preserve the historic barn. The total fundraising goal is $792,000.
With funds already raised and additional grant support from the VHCB, only $85,000 is left to go.
Call to Action
Make a tax-deducible gift until May 1, 2013 by sending a check to Vermont Land Trust with “Bragg Farm” in the memo line. To learn more about Bragg Farm and the Farmland Access Program, or to donate on line, go to http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/bragg
“As a farmer and Vermonter, I am so proud to be part of the Mad River Valley community. With this opportunity, I can’t wait to get to work at the Bragg Farm with my family, friends and neighbors and contribute to our working landscape.” – Marisa Mauro
Vermont Land Trust
Since 1977, VLT has permanently conserved more than 1,650 parcels of land covering more than 500,000 acres, or about eight percent of the private, undeveloped land in the state. The conserved land includes more than 700 working farms, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forestland, and numerous parcels of community land. As a member-supported, nonprofit 501(c)(3) land conservation we provide technical and legal assistance to individuals, communities, and local land trusts to help them achieve their conservation objectives. We also have an ongoing stewardship relationship with landowners to ensure that conservation goals are upheld in perpetuity. Learn more about VLT here.
Did you know the largest 6% of US farms now produce 75% of the country’s agricultural products? Large-scale industrial agriculture is driving family farmers from their property, is reducing the connection between consumers and their food and are potentially unsustainable and could have severe consequences for the environment. There are also concerns that the food being produced is less nutritious.
Farm Aid Mission
Since 1985 Farm Aid has been at the forefront of protecting the nations family farms; family farms are essential components of the economy, providing good jobs, growing healthy food, and acting as stewards of the environment. Along with hosting the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline, they provide the most comprehensive national database of farmer resource referrals available.
Farm Aid also provides the Farmer Resource Network, an online space where new and established farmers can find the information and tools they need to thrive.
1% for the Planet Partners
Farm Aid works with a wide variety of partners including a number of 1% for the Planet partner. Some of these include:
- Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985.
“Shoppers! Buy with a conscience and save the family farm.”
– Neil Young
- Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001
- Farm Aid has raised more than $40 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system
- For over 27 years, Farm Aid has answered 1-800-FARM-AID to provide immediate and effective support services to farm families in crisis
- Fielded 800 farm contacts via the hotline in 2012 alone
- Provided drought assistance funds to 45 farm and ranch families in 2012
- Provided emergency support to 7 farm families in 2012
- Over the last 30 years, America has lost an average of 350 small and mid-sized farms each week
- According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, between 1982 and 2007, the US lost over 40 percent of its small and mid-sized farms - or 460,000 farms
- 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the US are under the control of one company
- The effects of climate change make running small and medium-sized farms even more challenging
Call to Action
1. Anyone can help to support Farm Aid’s cause by first and foremost, supporting your local farmers.
2. You can also check out, Farm Aid’s Action Center, where you can use a number of tools to make your voice heard for family farmers. Issues discussed include the US Farm Bill, mandatory labeling of GMO’s, fair markets for all farmers, and farm to school programs.
3. There are also a multitude of opportunities for volunteering at Farm Aid’s annual concert.
A Brighter Future for Farm Aid and America
Farm Aid’s longevity and commitment to the American family farm make them a unique and inviting resource for independent farmers. As new resources and new organizations spring forward to service the next generation of America’s family farmers, Farm Aid is committed to the task of mapping out and promoting these educational opportunities and tools. If Farm Aid is successful, it will meet these objectives:
- Farm Aid’s Farmer Resource Network is known, utilized and effective in getting farmers the resources they need.
- Family farmers are no longer driven off the land by corporate greed and outdated governmental programs.
- Fair farm policies are enacted to defend and bolster family farm agriculture.
- Strong markets exist to support more family farmers.
- Consumers prefer food from family farms, and reconnect with their local farmers.
- Everyone can afford good food from family farmers to feed their families.
- There is no longer a need for Farm Aid! Hopefully everyone who wants to grow can successfully make a living farming
Contact Kari Williams, Farm Aid’s Development Director, email@example.com, 617.354.2922 with any further questions.
While the calendar says that it’s Spring, the last week has felt much more like winter. With a couple feet of the white stuff falling in New England, it has been a great chance to get out and enjoy the snow before the thaw begins in earnest. Although it might not look like Spring around the office, the number of new members joining the network has definitely felt refreshing. Recently, 1% for the Planet welcomed both Quesnel Construction and For Our Grandchildren Holdings to the network.
Quesnel Construction is a full service construction company that was established in 1997. They assist clients from the conception stage of a project through completion. The company began by working in Government buildings and medical centers in Ottawa, Ontario and expanded to Vancouver in 2008. Quesnel Construction had the opportunity to be involved in the re-branding of a Best Western into a Sheraton, updated 158 bathrooms at the Holiday Inn at the Whistler Village Centre, renovated both a fitness center and a concierge lounge at the Marriott in Richmond, as well as several other projects in preparation for the 2010 Olympics.
Quesnel Construction has recently expanded and now offers QC MultiServices, a residential division servicing Barrie, Ontario and the surrounding area. QC MultiServices offers residential cleaning services, professional window washing, and additional services. They are committed to impeccable customer service, attention to detail and customer satisfaction.
Quesnel Construction understands the growing responsibility that the construction industry has to help create healthy, accessible, and environmentally sensitive spaces while maintaining integrity, beauty and efficiency for their clients. This is what sets them apart from other firms and keeps their clients coming back to them for all of their construction needs. As a member of 1% for the Planet they will be able to partner with nonprofit partners that are making similar commitments to creating a more sustainable world.
For Our Grandchildren Holdings Inc. is a small venture firm located in Vancouver, British Columbia that has a passion for creating and investing in companies and people that our grandchildren will be proud of. According to the firm, “Our interest reaches almost every sector of industry and community and membership with 1% for the Planet is simply an expression that we know our grandchildren would be proud of both of our organizations. We appreciate such a responsible perspective and hope that we can do our part to help you achieve these goals.”
1% for the Planet is proud to have both of these fine organizations as part of the network!
Like many locations, Vermont faces two significant threats: climate change and the development of wild and open spaces. As the length and intensity of winters diminish, the state sees that the time is now to highlight it’s year round benefits. Every year more of the state’s most beautiful locations are developed. Vermont and other locations facing these threats must find innovative solutions to access nature and enjoy an uninterrupted outdoor experience.
The Vermont Mountain Bike Association works on these issues through its dedication to building and maintaining high-quality mountain bike trails. VMBA serves as the statewide voice of riding and advocates for sustainably constructed trail resources. Not only does it help to protect and conserve Vermont’s natural heritage, but it is reconstituting what it means to be a working landscape. A thriving mountain bike trail system will help to reinvigorate Vermont’s outdoor tourism industry, promote healthy lifestyles, protect the natural environment, and provide a model for other state’s to follow.
“Vermont has long been revered as an outdoors destination for hiking and snowsports; attracting millions of visitors to its beautiful and invigorating landscape annually,” says Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith. “Presenting Vermont as the ideal mountain biking destination that it is, is not only a natural step in the movement toward increasing healthy, outdoor recreation in the Green Mountain State, but it also has great potential to drive our tourism economy.“
In addition to working with individual mountain bikers, VMBA partners with a wide variety of public and private organizations.
Current Partners include:
The State’s Tourism Department
Darn Tough Socks
Vermont Peanut Butter Company
Long Trial Brewery
Successes to date:
- 23 regional chapters working together under VMBA’s leadership
- Maintains over 800 miles of single-track
- Built over 30 miles of new trails in 2012
- Incorporated over 12,000 hours of volunteer and community involvement in 2012
Challenges to date:
- Vermont is within a day’s drive of 80 million people. The demand on trails resources continues to escalate
- Due to budget cuts at the federal level, there are no Recreation Trails Program funds being allocated in 2013. This pool of funds supports numerous trail projects each year (six in 2012)
- 70% of Vermont’s trails are on private land, which requires landowners to remain confident that these partnerships are good for the community
- Developing the VMBA Trail Grant will enable the association to build and more importantly, maintain fantastic trails
Call to Action
VMBA will be hosting its first ever membership campaign in 2013. The new membership program will allow VMBA to connect with individual riders and better engage their goals as a riding community. Expanding membership will also provide opportunities for partner businesses to connect with a passionate group of people that share a strong connection to place and an allegiance to companies that demonstrate a commitment to environmentally sensitive practices.
Individual chapters of the organization take part in numerous projects each year. There will likely be 20+ projects worked on this riding season. Businesses who contribute to VMBA will help enable the organization to offer more robust trail grants for these chapters while also allowing VMBA to better track and provide guidance for building the most sustainable trails possible.
A more sustainable mountain biking future
VMBA’s 23 independent chapters throughout the state do a fantastic job building and maintaining trails. As the number of chapters grow and relationships with landowners continue to develop, trail networks will hopefully merge into larger contiguous trail networks. It is possible for these networks to link hundreds of miles of trails. Within five years, riders will be able to reach Vermont’s northern boarder from Massachusetts spending almost 100% of their journey on dirt track.
Goals & Strategies for 2013
- 1000 participating members starting at $30 for VMBA chapter members.
- Raising $25,000 to fund the VMBA Trails Grant
- VMBA will expand relationships with state agencies
- The Department of Forests Parks & Recreation recognizes VMBA as the corridor manager. – A new relationship with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife is underway that will establish VMBA as an official conservation partner
VMBA strives to provide healthy, family friendly, and sustainable mountain biking opportunities. As a unified community, Vermont is host to the best mountain biking culture in the country.
Contact Tom Stuessy, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802.342.7568 with any further questions.
By now you’ve probably heard about our big 10th Anniversary event coming up this summer. We’ve joined forces with the Mad Marathon here in our hometown of Waitsfield, VT to create the 1st ever 1% for the Planet Mad Marathon. Dedicated to sustainability and environmentalism in New England, this event will help us to provide awareness and funding for the nonprofits and partnerships that protect the places we play. Not only should all of our partners plan on attending, but we also want to help raise money for your important causes. How can we do this you ask?
Form a Team:
• Create a team for your organization and encourage people to sponsor your runners! Your organization’s tile will show up on our leaderboard and potentially attract additional donations.
• Ask participants on your team to spread the word about the race and your organization. People love supporting these types of fundraising activities.
• Ask individual supporters of your organization to participate in “The Most Beautiful Marathon in the World,” so they can raise funds by running on your behalf. Runners have the choice of running the full marathon, half, or creating a relay team. They will be sure to have a blast, while doing a good deed at the same time.
• Have you already received donations from 1% member businesses? Encourage these partners to form a team in support of your organization.
• 1% for the Planet will be supporting this event by providing numerous activities throughout the weekend and by publicizing it through our various marketing channels. We can’t wait!
Last year, one nonprofit who fundraised using this race earned $27,000! We’re looking for nonprofit partners who think they can blow this record away. With a little effort and our support, we’re sure you can.
• Please let us know if you are planning on participating. We’ll send you directions and help spread the word! Email us at email@example.com or call us at 802-496-5408
• Let us know if you are joining on our Facebook event page and invite others
• Stay tuned for additional ways to participate over that weekend
We’re looking forward to celebrating all that you do. Start your training!
Long-standing 1%FTP member Alf Alderson has just launched a new digital magazine Church of the Open Sky, featuring eclectic outdoor adventures from around the world along with great imagery and video footage.
“I should point out for anyone who is alarmed by the title that’s there’s absolutely no religious content!” says Alf. “The title was inspired by the description of our outdoor playground by pioneering Hawaiian surfer Tom Blake, and we’ll be featuring everything from ski touring in Iceland to surfing in Oz and mountain biking in Wales, plus gear reviews, hotel and book reviews and lots more”.
The magazine is only available to iPad owners at the moment and both the app and the magazine are free. “So we can’t really offer any special deals to 1 Per Cent members right now, but we eventually plan to start charging and when we do we’ll be happy to give members a good rate on subscriptions,” says Alf. Find out more at www.churchoftheopensky.co.uk
Environmental activist and race car driver Leilani Münter has partnered with 1% for the Planet, VegNews Magazine, and Wildlife Works to get a “VegNation” race car on the track, encouraging millions of race fans to adopt a more plant-based diet.
While most people associate their carbon footprint with their car, the United Nations found that more greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture than from all the world’s planes, trains, ships, cars and trucks combined. The goal of the VegNation race car is to show America that a plant based diet is a win-win for human health, animals, and our planet.
Leilani is actively seeking partners who support the ideas behind a more plant based diet in the food and beverage industry, environmental organizations, animal advocacy groups and health education organizations – to join them in this historic VegNation awareness campaign. Once fully-funded, Leilani will drive the car in a major 2013 ARCA race to be televised on SPEED Channel, available in 80 million North American homes.
“By adopting a more plant-based diet, we can each help curb climate change while also doing something good for our health, for animals, and for our taste buds,” said Leilani. “With more meat-free meals than ever being eaten today, we’re on the right track toward a more sustainable diet.”
1% for the Planet (1%FTP), a global network of businesses committed to giving at least 1% of their sales to environmental causes, is hosting a web page at onepercentfortheplanet.org/leilani seeking tax deductible donations that 1%FTP will use to sponsor the VegNation race car. Leilani is an Ambassador for 1%FTP.
“1% for the Planet is all about inspiring business leaders, consumers and activists to support important environmental work,” said 1% for the Planet CEO Terry Kellogg. “Leilani’s concept is a great way to spread that message and engage the public on ways to solve key environmental issues.”
Wildlife Works, based in Mill Valley, CA is also a partner in the project; the organization will be donating 100% of the profits from its Kukanga line to the VegNation race car.
“We are honored to be supporting Leilani and her VegNation race car,” said Joyce Hu, Wildlife Works’ creative director. “She’s a brave, sexy advocate for the earth – our kind of girl!”
VegNews Magazine, based out of San Francisco, CA, has also come on board as a partner of Leilani and her VegNation race car.
“A vegan-themed race car that educates NASCAR fans about the global-warming effects of a meat-based diet deserves the full-blown support of the green community,” said VegNews founder and publisher Joseph Connelly. “Leilani has shown that she is the real deal, both walking — and driving — her talk. She’s a committed vegan, a dedicated environmental activist, and unafraid to take risks both on and off the track. VegNews is honored to be part of her crew.”
Leilani Münter is a biology-graduate-turned-race-car-driver and environmental leader. She has been named the world’s #1 Eco Athlete by Discovery’s Planet Green, is a recipient of ELLE Magazine’s 2012 Genius Award, has been featured on the front page of CNN, in the New York Times, and was named as one of the top ten female race car drivers in the world by Sports Illustrated. She is the fourth woman in history to race in the Indy Pro Series, holds the record for the highest finish for a female stock car driver at Texas Motor Speedway (4th in 2006), and was the first woman in the 45 year history to qualify for the Bettenhausen Classic late model race. An almost-lifelong vegetarian, and now vegan, Leilani’s motto is “Never underestimate a vegetarian hippie chick with a race car.” On the web at carbonfreegirl.com
About 1% for the Planet Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Files, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This global movement of more than 1000 member companies in 45 countries donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental programs worldwide, and new members join on a daily basis. 1%FTP annually reviews financial records to certify that member businesses meet their commitment. On the web at onepercentfortheplanet.org
About VegNews The premier vegan lifestyle magazine, VegNews serves up the latest in news, food, travel, politics, and buzz to this growing segment. Named one of the “Best 50 Magazines” by the Chicago Tribune (#18) and the country’s “Best Lifestyle Magazine” in 2008, 2009, and 2010, VegNews is read by more than 240,000 people in 38 countries. In addition to it’s flagship publication, the vegetarian media company also produces the award-winning VegNews.com along with a collection of popular e-newsletters, cookbooks, events, and vacations. On the web at vegnews.com
About Wildlife Works Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD project development and management company with a unique approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. The company established a successful model that uses the emerging marketplace for REDD carbon offsets as a sustainable and scalable funding mechanism for biodiverse forest protection and to help local landowners in the developing world monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are indigenous peoples, governments, communities, ownership groups or private individuals. Wildlife Works’ flagship “Kasigau Corridor REDD project” in SE Kenya was the first REDD project to achieve validation, verification, and issuance of REDD carbon credits under both the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB). On the web at wildlifeworks.com
There are many different ways to advocate for a healthier planet. This year, 1% for the Planet would like to extend the opportunity to join us in action to further sustainable solutions.
1% for the Planet has joined forces with Climate Ride for our 3rd year of climate advocacy on wheels. Trina Peterson will be leading the 1% for the Planet Team this year, training for the ride from her home in the mountains of Colorado. In addition to our team, 1% for the Planet has been named one of the beneficiaries for our dedication to sustainable solutions and bike advocacy. Trina will be riding over 300 miles to raise awareness of sustainability solutions and further 1% for the Planet’s climate action.
Climate Ride is a nonprofit partner that organizes life-changing charitable events to raise awareness and support sustainability, bike advocacy, and environmental causes. Each year, Climate Ride holds two week-long events: Climate Ride NYC-DC and Climate Ride California.
1% for the Planet will be represented during the California Ride (May 19- 23, 2013) and we are looking for additional climate advocates to saddle up. Cycle to a clean energy future through majestic Redwood Forests, famed wine country, and iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
You will be joining a community of active advocates who believe in 1% for the Planet’s ability to transform business as usual. All skill levels are welcome as are all levels of financial support. You can make a secure online donation today by clicking on the ‘Support Me‘ button. You’ll automatically receive an acknowledgment and I will be notified by email of your support.