Power Plant is a unique gathering bringing together sustainable business leaders, social entrepreneurs, eco-adventurers, green artists and media activists for socializing and learning about great ideas. The event takes place every few months at different venues around the city, offering an innovative and casual approach to networking with the aim of celebrating success, sharing ideas and knowledge, creating strategic partnerships and promoting the growth of Vancouver’s green economy.
This first-time “Special Edition” of Power Plant was focused exclusively on 1% for the Planet, a global movement of more than 1,000 member companies in 45 countries that donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide. Representatives from 1% for the Planet were on hand to mix and mingle with the sold-out crowd of 185 people, Power Plant’s largest event to date.
After an hour of purposeful connecting in the foyer (while snacking on delicious appetizers and sipping local wine and beer), the group moved into the theatre’s auditorium, where Melody Badgett, Senior Vice President of 1% for the Planet, kicked off the presentations by giving a high energy overview of the benefits businesses gain from joining 1% for the Planet.
Each presenter followed the Power Plant format, giving a three-minute and 20 second presentation accompanied by 10 slides appearing on screen for exactly 20 seconds each, lending a snappy tone to the presentation portion of the evening.
Other speakers included:
-Devon Page, Executive Director of Ecojustice, a charity made up of some of Canada’s leading lawyers and scientists who work to fulfill their mission of using the law and to protect and restore Canada’s environment. Devon talked about Ecojustice’s conservation work, funded in part by 1% for the Planet member Mountain Equipment Co-op, consisting of law suits representing animals such as the caribou and the orca, fighting against the federal government for not following their own regulations around species protection.
-Monica Pearson, a biologist who discussed her work conserving Oregon spotted frog habitats in the Fraser Valley through the BC Conservation Foundation, a non-profit supported by 1% for the Planet member Frogbox. She pointed out that 67 animal species in the Fraser Valley are currently under threat of extinction, and how the work she and her colleagues are doing in riparian restoration is making a difference in stopping that momentum.
-Michael Ableman, an acclaimed farmer, author and founder of SOLEfood Farm, who spoke about this innovative social enterprise that provides urban agriculture employment and training opportunities for Vancouver’s inner-city residents.
-Kris Holm, a mountain unicyclist, who spoke about what inspired him to make his business the first Canadian company, and internationally the first cycling brand, to become a member of 1% for the Planet. Kris is also a 1% for the Planet Ambassador.
Sponsors of the event included prominent members of the 1% for the Planet in Canada: Mountain Equipment Co-op, Salt Spring Coffee,Nature’s Path/EnviroKidz, and Frogbox. Each sponsor had an information table for attendees to visit during the networking portion of the evening, highlighting the work of the nonprofit organizations they partner with and support through their 1% for the Planet commitment.
MEC’s table hosted information from Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society about their joint Dare to be Deep campaign, calling for 12 new marine protected areas. Salt Spring Coffee’s table was dedicated to the work of LOCO BC, an alliance of local companies working to strengthen communities, grow the local economy and build strong, sustainable businesses.
In 2013, Junxion will continue its work with 1% for the Planet to expand the breadth and depth of its network in Canada, bringing more organizations into this strong and growing movement.
Nature’s Path Foods “EnviroKidz” brand has announced their annual grant program. As a member of 1% for the Planet, each year, Nature’s Path donates 1% of the sales of EnviroKidz products to environmental organizations. If your charitable organization works in North America to support the environment, and educates youth about what they can do to help, then they want you!
Grants of up to $20,000 are available to qualifying projects. Applications are being accepted up to November 30th through Nature’s Path’s Facebook page. Full rules and regulations can be found online.
Nature’s Path is excited to support innovative environmental leaders and they can’t wait to hear from you! It’s not everyday that you have the chance to partner with koalas, gorillas or lemurs, so get your application in soon!
This past weekend, Waitsfield, VT community members helped build sandbag barriers and secure plywood to window frames in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. While Vermont was lucky this time, our hearts go out to hard hit communities along the East Coast.
We’ve heard from many of our business members who want to use their 1% contributions to assist recovery efforts—and we’re here to help you connect with groups making a difference.
Until we can get a comprehensive list of organizations doing work on the ground, we encourage you to support our partners working to reduce the chance of storms like Sandy happening in the first place. Climate change is a reality that must be taken seriously.
Please consider donating to the following organizations, and if you know of others that can use our help, let us know!
350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis (350.org/mission). 350.org is known for pulling together massive groups of people worldwide who want to fight against the fossil fuel industry- our largest carbon emitters. By solving the climate crisis, they are lowering the likelihood of storms like Sandy occurring as frequently. Along with asking for your support, they are asking Big Oil, Coal and Gas to help pay for the damage they have created.
Another organization that is doing great Sandy-related work is Climate Central, based in Princeton, NJ. Climate Central conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings (climatecentral.org/about). Climate Central is not an advocacy organization; they are conveying the scientific facts so citizens and policymakers can work to stabilize the climate and/or prepare for the impacts it will have on us.
Please keep in mind that while you cannot count donations to unapproved organizations toward your 1% contribution, organizations like the Red Cross can always use your help during times like this. As news comes in we will be in touch via our Facebook and Twitter pages to share other ways you can help!
1% for the Planet member Smock (and parent company Boxcar Press) make beautiful letterpress products using sustainable printing and business practices in Syracuse, New York. Printers have historically played a role in negatively impacting the environment through deforestation, which is why Smock wholeheartedly believes in making the planet a better place.
Earlier this year, Smock introduced the “Change the World” card series, with 100% of profits donated to nonprofit organizations focusing on critical environmental issues affecting our planet. For the series’ second card, Smock teamed with Earthworks to raise awareness of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking).
All profits from these cards are donated to Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project, which reforms the oil and gas industry and supports affected communities. The card comes with a temporary tattoo that reads “Gas and Water Don’t Mix.” Both Smock and Earthworks are encouraging citizens to don the temporary tattoos in solidarity with the people living in 34 states where drilling and fracking is underway. You can join the dozens of people who have already shared their photos and personal stories by uploading yours to Tumblr. Here is a picture of the 1% staff with the tattoos on…
Why the focus on fracking? Smock is located in upstate New York, close to the Marcellus Shale, so the environmental threat that fracking presents hits close to home. Each month, around 2,000 new oil and gas wells are drilled in the U.S., and about 90% of these new wells are fracked. To get the natural gas out of the ground, each well requires anywhere from 3 to 15 million gallons of water and lots chemicals to extract the gas. A large percentage of this chemical laced water remains in the earth, threatening our clean water supply. Rarely do we know what these chemicals are: the oil and gas industry is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Superfund law. This is a serious problem that puts the environment — and our drinking water — at risk. Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project is leading the way to protect public health, the environment and our climate from these dangers.
We’re excited about this partnership and hope you join their movement by submitting pictures for their Tumblr, or buying some cards!
The following entry and pictures were sent to us by our friends at the Coastside Land Trust, a 1% for the Planet recipient. We hope you take a minute to read it, and learn about the importance of land stewardship!
What do you do when you have a large conservation easement that has been overgrown with thistle, grasses and other plants and you want to “mow” it in an environmentally sensitive way? Who are you going to call? “Goats-R-Us” of course!
The community of Half Moon Bay is located on “The Peninsula” in San Mateo County, California. It is a 30 minute drive from San Francisco International Airport and Silicon Valley, and just a hair longer from San Francisco. But this community is a world away from these urbanized areas. It is defined by dramatic coastal bluffs, working farmlands and stunning open space. One of our nonprofit partners, the Coastside Land Trust (“CLT”) is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing this beautiful open space environment.
One of the parcels for which CLT has a conservation easement, is the right of way for the abandoned Ocean Shore Railroad, which ceased operation in 1921. This beautiful area parallels the western-most street in the southern portion of Half Moon Bay and is a gateway to the casual trails of the coastal bluffs. It is vegetated in grasses, thistle, native wildflowers and other native plants. In the late summer the vegetation browns and requires mowing, but using a tractor-pulled mower would kick-up lots of dust and debris, spread the seeds of non-native species and thistle and possibly harm some of the native plants.
So CLT turned to Goats R Us. This family-owned company contracts its specially bred and trained goats throughout Northern California for grazing. The goats are trained to eat just about everything on the ground: Bristly Ox-tongue, thistle, and native and non-native grasses, Monterey Pines and willow. A shepherd erects a portable electric fence around the site, the goats are hauled-in and he and his two dogs watch the herd while the goats eat to their heart’s content. When they finish grazing a section, the shepherd moves the fence and the dogs herd them along.
CLT leveraged the goats into an opportunity to involve and educate the community in good stewardship practices. Flyers were distributed to residents in the immediate area alerting them to the impending arrival of the goats. Volunteers and staff went door-to-door seeking donations of water for the goats. (Hoses had to be run from the houses to the right of way, and water is expensive on the coast). A donor stepped-up to defray much of the cost of the herd. CLT created an “adopt a goat” program to raise money to bring the goats back next year: for a $10 donation a person can adopt a goat for 2013. One of its volunteers photographed the goats in action and created note cards available for purchase from CLT. All of these donations and proceeds will go into a special “2013 Goat Fund.”
The program was a great success. Over 200 goats were on the site for about 10 days; their fenced area was moved almost daily. They became a local “hit”, and many residents came to the site with their families to watch the goats in action. The site was eaten clean, with the exception of some of the thistle stems and larger shrubs. The seed pods on the thistle stems will be clipped by hand and bagged by CLT volunteers in order to prevent seed spreading. And so far CLT has 30 goats sponsored for next year – far short of its goal, but a good start!
Some people think of land trusts as merely land owners but CLT makes an extra effort to be a good steward of the lands it owns and manages. Through its volunteers and generous donations, both large and small, CLT has been able to improve and enhance the beautiful open space areas of the Half Moon Bay community. 1% for the Planet members are invited to visit the CLT office and its art gallery on Main Street the next time they are in Northern California. The goats may be dining elsewhere, but visitors will be impressed by the beauty and wildlife of the coastal bluffs, and they will understand why CLT volunteers work so hard to keep the bluffs in their natural state.
As the last ears of corn return from the grill and our white pants get packed away until next year, here at 1% for the Planet we are reflecting on a summer of environmental innovation from our non-profit partners.
Clean Air-Cool Planet’s Summer Climate Fellowship program is one of our most exciting summer initiatives. For five years they have been pairing outstanding students with challenging real-world projects in order to help propel society toward a low-carbon future.
The students either work directly with Clean Air-Cool Planet or they are placed with a private and public sector sustainability partners. Pax World Funds, Poland Spring, Sustainable Nantucket, Yale’s Office of Sustainability and Portsmouth NH’s Chamber of Commerce have all hosted Fellows in recent years.
Remarkable projects emerge from these summer placements, and the students come away having had a fantastic experience and a lot of professional mentoring. Each Fellow works full-time for 10 weeks and receives a stipend of $5,000. The Climate Fellows represent the next generation of environmental leaders and through the collaboration with Clean Air-Cool Planet accomplish some high-impact projects for a low carbon future.
This summer, recent Connecticut College graduate Davey Ives, worked in the Bridgeport (CT) Mayor’s office of Sustainability came up with a way to save the city and residents in its vulnerable low-income coastal neighborhoods $170,000 annually through flood insurance programs. 2009 fellow, Meg Giuliano, a Masters candidate at Duke University, created a guide for energy efficiency and renewables for Historic District Commissions that has now been used all over the country.
CA-CP partners enthuse about the benefits of having a Fellow: “The Fellow from Clean Air-Cool Planet made the difference between our city’s moving forward on climate planning and action or losing ground. This is a terrific opportunity all the way around. “ Troy Moon, public works director, City of Portland, Maine
During the past five years, Clean Air- Cool Planet has built a prestigious and competitive program with a growing and thriving alumni network. Nearly 50 exceptional fellows have passed through the program, and almost 240 applicants from across the country competed for 10 positions in 2012.
Most of the Fellows program alumni have gone on to continue their work in fields related to the environment and sustainability.
Neda Arabshahi (CA-CP ‘09) is now with Vestas Wind in Denmark
CA-CP has big plans for the expansion of the Climate Fellows Program to 50 students annually by 2017, and create cohorts each summer focused on specific areas of work or in particular regions. In 2013, in addition to the Climate Fellows in the Northeast, CA-CP looking for partners to host and fund a cluster of Fellows out West in Montana and Wyoming and into the San Francisco Bay and Chicago areas.
Clean Air-Cool Planet is about practical solutions to climate change. We focus on accelerating the transformation to sustainable campuses and resilient communities. Our nationwide efforts are linked to the work nurturing young emerging leaders and our free Campus Carbon Calculator™ is the carbon management platform of choice for more than 2,100 colleges and universities.
Top: The Great Works Dam original timber cribworks was built in the 1800's. Photo (c) Penobscot River Restoration Trust
The Penobscot River Restoration Trust is working to restore access to critical habitat for sea-run fisheries of New England’s second largest watershed. Atlantic salmon and the 10 other species of migratory fish in the Penobscot are at less than 1% of their historic numbers yet amazingly can all still be found hanging on below the first dam.
“It is amazing to see – and hear! – the Penobscot River flowing freely where the Great Works dam stood just weeks ago! Our sights are now set on removing Veazie – the head-of-tide dam – next year,” Laura Rose Day, Executive Director of Penobscot River Restoration Trust.
By addressing the root of the problem – too many dams – this innovative and cost effective project will have a wide range of benefits for fish and wildlife populations, water quality and communities along the river while continuing to supply hydropower.
The Penobscot River Restoration Trust is an unprecedented public-private collaboration that has raised $60 million to date. In order to complete restoration, an additional $3 million must be raised. Funds will be directed to the removal of the Veazia Dam and the implementation of an innovative bypass channel around the Howland Dam over the next two years. By targeting restoration efforts on the Penobscot, we are not just saving a river we are empowering a watershed.
Great Works Dam was breached on June 23rd, 2012- Another step forward in re-opening the Penobscot River from Old Town to the sea! Photo (c) Penobscot River Restoration Trust
Fully implemented, the project will remove the two dams closest to the ocean, Veazie and Great Works, and bypass the Howland Dam with a natural river channel. At the same time, the power company is building state of the art fish passage what will be the only remaining dam on the main stem, improving passage at other dams, and increasing power production at several facilities so there will be no overall loss of hydropower produced in the watershed.
“When it is gone, half of the Penobscot’s sea-run species, including ancient and now endangered sturgeon, will have access to 100 % of their historic habitat. A new fish lift and a bypass upstream will soon enable the leapers like the nation’s last remaining wild Atlantic salmon to reach inland water inaccessible to them for generations,” said Day.
Volunteers removed approximately one ton of broken glass, rusty metal, pottery shards, and other debris left in the river after nearly two centuries of industrial use and past practices of dumping waste directly into the river. Photo (c) Jim Mitchell
For the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), a founding partner in the project, this project offers real hope for preventing the extinction of Atlantic salmon in the US. It also complements ASF’s Tributary Project, which over the past decade has removed four dams and built four fishways on key spawning tributaries in the Penobscot.
The Penobscot River Restoration Trust is focused on opening up the sea-run fish-migration corridor on the Penobscot River to restore free-flowing waters, fish, wildlife and natural river functions that have been compromised by industry for nearly two centuries. Wildlife, fisheries, culture, recreation, tradition and opportunities to experience wildness all will benefit. 1% for the Planet members are joining together to support such a profound project and to date have donated nearly $40,000 to the effort.
Please consider supporting The Penobscot River Restoration Trust as they work collaboratively to restore and repair two centuries of ecosystem damages and utilizes appropriate technology for continued hydropower production. For more information contact: Cheryl Gerrior, Finance Director, 207-430-0146.
The Peconic Land Trust is one of our non-profit recipients based in Southampton, NY. The Land Trust’s mission is to protect Long Island’s working farms, natural lands and heritage. Since 1983, they have preserved over 10,000 acres of land, making them the largest conservation organization on Long Island!
The Peconic Land Trust would not be able to complete this work without the help from their donors and volunteers. They recently shared a great story about their connection with Apartment Therapy through 1% for the Planet. After Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Apartment Therapy’s owner, read Yvon’s Let My People Go Surfing, he was inspired to join 1% for the Planet. Apartment Therapy, which is an online blog/magazine devoted to helping its readers make their living spaces beautiful, organized and healthy, launched in 2001. They joined 1% for the Planet in 2007 without knowing exactly what organization(s) they wanted to support with their 1% contribution. After listening to some recommendations from 1% for the Planet staff, Maxwell realized that there was a place close to his heart that would benefit from his donation. He asked the Peconic Land Trust to become an approved non-profit partner so that his 1% donation could support their great work.
(Photo taken from the Peconic Land Trust’s Spring/Summer 2012 Newsletter)
Having summered and spent many weekends in East Hampton, Maxwell was very familiar with the area and wanted to support a local project. Quail Hill Farm is an organic farm that was donated to the Peconic Land Trust and distributes food to local schools, food shelves, and restaurants, in addition to having a CSA and selling at the local farmers market. Maxwell decided to donate 1% of his income annually to the Land Trust to ensure that this land would be used productively for many years to come.
Maxwell is glad to have joined 1% for the Planet, because it is clear to him that through his business he is able to make a huge difference. While a part of a larger global network, Maxwell is thrilled that he can still independently choose precisely what causes his dollars support! The Land Trust is very thankful for Apartment Therapy’s support and enjoys working with Maxwell. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story with us, and if any other businesses or non-profits have similar tales, please email them to Pauline at Pauline@onepercentfortheplanet.org
As you know, our business members are frequently featured on our blog, and our non-profit partners do not get much attention. To change this, we are going to start a new series of blog posts where we feature stories about our non-profit partners! So if you want us to feature a story about your non-profit here, please email it to Pauline at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our first post (and pictures) were sent to us by our friends at MESA, who have received a number of donations from 1% FTP members… Enjoy!
Ana owns a grocery store in her home community of Mala, Peru – but her contribution to Mala goes much farther than her store.
In 2008, Ana became a Steward with Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), a 1% non-profit partner dedicated to advancing the next generation of farmers through sustainable agriculture training and cultural exchange. As a MESA Steward, Ana trained with Terry’s Berries Farm in Washington state to learn more about organic food production and distribution. She returned to the U.S. in 2011 to complete MESA’s Next Level Program and spent the year learning about organic food marketing and store management with the Natural Grocery Company in El Cerrito and Berkeley, California.
Armed with these two experiences, Ana returned to her home community not only more informed and prepared to expand her business, but inspired to create positive change for her fellow farmers in Mala. During her time as a MESA Steward, she experienced working environments in which men and women can work side by side as equals and are given the same opportunities for advancement – not something she knew to be true in her home community. As many MESA Stewards choose to do, Ana decided to develop a Home Country Project – an initiative designed by the Steward and funded with the help of MESA and individual donors. Ana’s objective is to establish a women farmers association – Mujeres Unidas por Agricultura – to serve Mala and surrounding communities and improve organic production and local distribution. Check out her video about this project here.
Stories like Ana’s make up the roots of the sustainably-grown planet that MESA is working to realize. As an organization dedicated to global change, MESA is a proud part of the 1% for the Planet community. Learn more about MESA on their website!
Our dedicated followers may remember our series of posts about the Ecotrust Sundown Concert Series last summer; well, even though we aren’t sponsoring the series this year our members have still been highly involved. LiFT Label Bobby Bonaparte recaps, “Portland 1% for the Planet members, Ecotrust,Patagonia & LiFT Label, kicked off Sundown at Ecotrust 2012 concert series with a flash mob fashion show and a band try out. When opening band AU finished their set, Bobby Bonaparte and Anthony Villella of LiFT Label took the stage to hold open auditions for local band Typhoon. The crowd was stoked about the dancing and everyone was looking fly the audition turned into a fashion show. Silvania, El Karti and Sticks & Stones joined for an epic fashion show that emphasized local and organic apparel.”
It’s great to see that our members are continuing to collaborate in the Portland area and are so eager to share their 1% for the Planet commitments with the community! Bobby says, “It was a great time to have the 1% for the Planet members working together the make the show a success!”
Thanks again, Portland members! If you want to see a video of the fashion show you can view it here.