Posted on April 15th, 2013 by jon
Why drive from the Adirondacks to northern Maine, when you can take a canoe! That’s right, because of the hard work of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, you can now take a continuous paddling trail from Old Forge, through Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire to Fort Kent, ME. This 740 mile trail represents a world class model of recreation management for public access to waterways, trail stewardship, economic development, and rural youth outdoor education.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s Northern Forest Explorers Program connects rural youth aged 10-14 to the natural wonders of their own backyards by taking these young people on five-day canoe-camping trips along the trail. The program completes roughly 20 trips a year, with 9-12 youth participating in each trip. These trips immerse kids in natural settings, planting the seeds of desire for future outdoor recreation opportunities and increased environmental awareness. NFCT makes this possible for as many children as possible by subsidizing the cost of these adventures.
- In 2011, named “Best Canoe Trail” by Outside Magazine
- In 2012, named “Best East Coast Adventure” by Outside Magazine
- Between 2011 and 2012 the program grew by 66%
- Through generous donations, NFCT supports 20 trips each year
- Partnerships with 70 communities along the 740-mile trail, enabling both education for the kids and economic development for the communities.
- Subsidizing the cost of participation for over 150 participants in 2013
- Forming partnerships with additional outdoor education/recreation organizations
NFCT is looking for support to keep the kid’s trip program in action.
To sponsor a child or a full excursion and to learn more about this critical program for rural youth in New England visit: http://www.northernforestexplorers.org/. To sponsor a child or a trip contact Kevin@northernforestcanoetrail.org
Sponsorship is easy: At $600 you can sponsor a single child from Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont on a trip of a lifetime on their backyard waterways. Or sponsor a trip of 10 young people for $6,000.
The success of this program is gauged by the increasing demand from local communities for this program to touch the lives of their young people. As a result of this experience, the NFCT hopes to provide a growing awareness of the power of landscape and its ability to support healthy communities. Providing a trip such as this will help to create the environmental stewards of the future.
Contact Kevin Mack, NFCT’s Director of Partnerships & Marketing, Kevin@northernforestcanoetrail.org, 802-535-5855 with any further questions.
Posted on April 12th, 2013 by pauline
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.
Posted on April 12th, 2013 by jon
Cycling 4,500 miles across the USA, that’s the easy part. So what’s the hard part? How about doing it completely off the grid? For three months, adventurer and 1% for the Planet member Rob Greenfield will be showing and inspiring Americans how to live sustainably and decrease their environmental impact. He will be:
-using electricity generated by portable alternative energy devices
-creating near zero trash
-using water from natural sources
-eating locally produced organic and unpackaged foods
-composting all food waste
-shopping at businesses that are committed to creating a healthy planet
The adventure begins at the San Francisco Earth Day Celebration on April 20th and will take Rob through 19 states. Traveling mostly on ‘blue highways’, he will also be spending time in cities including Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York, Providence and Boston. The journey is scheduled to end on August 1st at the 1% for the Planet Headquarters in Waitsfield, Vermont. During the three month trip Rob will be raising $10,000 for 1% for the Planet non-profits, including Guitars in the Classroom and Below the Surface, as well as speaking with new businesses about joining the 1% for the Planet movement.
Along the way, Rob will be hosting zero waste events and bicycle rides, visiting environmental causes and businesses that practice corporate social responsibility, promoting sustainable products, working with community gardens and hosting do good giveaways via Facebook. The journey will be documented by professional cameraman, Brent Martin, and can be followed online at www.GreenfieldAdventures.org and www.facebook.com/GreenfieldAdventures.
Key ingredients of the adventure include sponsorships by Goal Zero, Drips Water, Kala Brand Music, PowerPot, neat-os, Dinkum Systems, Volontourism, and Bokashi Earth.
About Greenfield Adventures
Rob Greenfield is an adventurer at Greenfield Adventures, where his mission is to entertain, educate, inspire and give back through adventures and traveling. He has traveled to 25+ countries on six continents. He lives a sustainable life in San Diego, where he has started a community bike program and a community CFL bulb exchange and has hosted trash cleanups. He’s also the founder of The Greenfield Group, an environmentally active marketing company that uses five percent of its revenue for green projects. Rob is a 26-year-old native of Wisconsin and a graduate of University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in Biology and Aquatic Science.
To learn more about the trip, please contact Rob Greenfield at 715-292-0879, Rob@GreenfieldAdventures.org
Posted on April 10th, 2013 by jon
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.
Why there is a need for Greentag
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.
Check them out!
Posted on April 9th, 2013 by pauline
1% for the Planet member PONOinfusions, a Hawaii-based tea and herbal infusions company, is looking for your support. Help them reach their Indiegogo campaign goal of $10,000- and try some of their tea blends!
Alex and Andrea de Roode have been working hard to get their company off the ground. Once their five tea blends hit the shelves, they plan on supporting a number of local nonprofits who are working to protect Hawaii’s natural environment. These organizations include the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership, East Maui Watershed Partnership, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and others! By supporting their campaign, you will not only be sent some of their tasty tea, but you will also be giving back to these nonprofits- so donate today!
Posted on April 8th, 2013 by pauline
1% for the Planet member KOR is looking for your support in getting their newest water vessel on the shelves. After 18 months of development, they have created a solution for people who ‘only drink bottled water’. Their newest “Nava” vessel is a revolutionary filtering water bottle that will end the need for people to buy bottled water.
Support their Kickstarter campaign at the $35 level (or higher!) in the next thirty days and you will be sent one of these attractive bottles. They are not only BPA-free, but the filters are made from coconut shells- how cool is that?! Spread the word, and let’s get these bottles on the shelf!
Posted on April 8th, 2013 by jon
It was another fine early Spring weekend here in the Mad River Valley. With a little bit of sun and mild temperatures it’s a little difficult to get back in the office. Luckily speaking with our member businesses and NGO partners is always an invigorating experience and gets us excited to be back to work!
Based in Laguna Beach, California, La Vida Laguna is a must-stop if you plan on partaking in a variety of outdoor activities. Whether you plan on paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, or even biking along the coast, they have exactly what you need. La Vida Laguna offers private and group tours, lessons, and rentals at the best prices around. In other words, they definitely have what you need to enjoy what coastal California has to offer: a rugged and dramatic coastline, thousands of acres of conserved wilderness, world-class surf, protected coves and beaches, abundant wildlife, and unsurpassed beauty.
La Vida Laguna joined 1% For the Planet because they are committed ocean stewards with a great respect for the environment. According to the company, “everyday we witness the degradation to our oceans and the threat to our planet’s survival. We hope to direct some of our contributions to local non profit, Get Inspired. This organization has inspired us with their commitment to restore the kelp beds in Laguna Beach, re-populate abalone, and educate school children on our fragile eco-system.”
Now you can have a great time enjoying the outdoors and feel great about what your purchase has helped to support. Welcome La Vida Laguna. We’re psyched to have you!
project^ also recently joined the 1% for the Planet network. This firm is a values driven real estate developer providing resources, practices, and stewardship for their partners. They maximize environmental, social, and economic benefits inherent in meaningful places.
“Our practice is based on the fact that there is an interdependence between the natural and the built- a kind of symbiosis. The way we develop urban land helps to conserve precious (natural) resources and enables access to the natural environment. We joined as an acknowledgment that our work is only possible with, and is directly benefitted by, a healthy ecosystem. The people and companies associated with 1% for the Planet are shaking things up with innovative products, industries, and ideas. Those kind of people inspire and influence our own work”.
We’re thrilled to have project^ in the network!
Posted on April 4th, 2013 by pauline
Next time you’re at your local health food store, check out the tasty juice sweetened fruit snacks called Surf Sweets. I would recommend trying the Gummy Bears or Gummy Swirls- they’re amazing!
At the beginning of this year, I was thrilled to learn that Surf Sweets would be joining 1% for the Planet to formalize their environmental giving. And we just got word that they have started making their 2013 contributions with a donation to Climate Cycle.
Surf Sweets told us that they “share an affinity with organizations like Climate Cycle because, like us, they’re dedicated to kids AND improving the environment. We’re thrilled to support causes like Climate Cycle that are authentic and relevant to our customers.”
We would like to thank our friends at Surf Sweets for not only being on the ball and making their donations early, but also for sharing this great news with us!
Surf Sweets is an American-based candy company whose products are gluten free, allergy free, natural, and organic.
Climate Cycle, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 2008 out of a concern that today’s youth lacked the tools necessary to respond to global warming or benefit from the emerging green economy. Today, Climate Cycle leads the charge in catalyzing environmental education in the classroom and in our communities by developing young leaders in sustainability.
Posted on April 4th, 2013 by jon
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.
Posted on April 3rd, 2013 by pauline
The following blog was written by Rob Thomas, the owner of Social(k), based in Springfield, MA. Social(k) joined 1% for the Planet in 2006 and recently completed their 2012 certification early with support of the Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary. We appreciate Rob’s support of our network and would like to share the following blog post with the rest of our network, so they can learn how to add socially responsible investment (SRI) options to an employers retirement plan.
Download this valuable step by step guide on how to get your employer or organization to add Socially Responsible Investments to a retirement plan. Please download it and make use of it. Here’s what you’ll find:
-An outline of what a retirement plan involves.
-What the pieces of this sometimes confusing puzzle are.
-Who does what. How to add Socially Responsible Investing, and why.
-What the steps are to add a new employee benefit or change an existing one to better reflect your organizations DNA.
Green America went through this process and the employees decided to choose Social(k) as their 403(b) plan. With that experience we bring you this guide to use when beginning the discussion at your place of employment.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to download and read through the process and considering taking necessary steps to get screened funds added to the retirement plan for organization.
An excerpt from the SRI-Retirement-Guide:
Whether you are an employer or an employee, you’ll want to understand the benefits of offering employees a retirement plan with investments aligned with the employer’s and/or employees’ mission or ethics and their investment goals. It is important to state the benefits of SRI in order to better support the business’s mission and to strengthen the case for SRI in your retirement plan.
Reasons for offering SRI retirement options include:
-Having a retirement plans that reflects the employer’s values or mission (for example, if you are a producer of solar panels, chances are you want to eliminate or reduce investments in fossil fuels).
-Helping to strengthen the employee’s long-term financial well-being by providing greater investment choice by adding SRI to an existing plan.
-Building employee morale and staff retention by expanding the benefits package.
-Providing an important employee benefit of enduring value since numerous studies have shown that SRI investment returns are competitive with conventional funds over the long term.
According to a September 2011 report by the US SIF Foundation and Mercer, US defined contribution retirement plans that offer SRI options could double in the next three years.2 The results of the survey indicate that four out of five plan sponsors respondents (84%) believe that demand for SRI retirement options will increase or remain steady during the next five years. It is clear that more and more employers are considering SRI, especially in response to employee demand. In fact, legislation has been introduced to make SRI options available to federal employees.
Download the 18 Page guide here