Five days of torrential rain—with temperatures in the 60s—combined with a leaky tent that soaks you on night one, and just two pairs of sopping chammy to get you through… I doubt any of those components would make it on to your list of perfect conditions.
Nonetheless, after pushing for a week through malevolent storms, sopping roads and long, grinding hills, 1% for the Planet member Victoria Vox made it from Eureka to San Francisco undaunted last October. In fact, she recently said of her first Climate Ride “the sum was greater than its parts, and I can’t wait to be a part of that sum again!”
And she was true to her word.
Congratulations to Victoria, who got back on the bike and completed her SECOND Climate Ride, this time under more seasonable skies but with the same goals: to spread awareness about the climate crisis facing our planet, and to offer proactive solutions. If 100+ people can ride their bikes (in work clothes no less!) over 300 miles, there is real hope for the future.
The 1% for the Planet crew couldn’t be more proud of Victoria and all the other Climate Riders who made the journey from New York to DC last week.
We’re looking forward to sharing a post-ride report from Victoria, so stay tuned.
In the meantime I want to take this opportunity to welcome the companies who were motivated to make real change as well—using their businesses as the engines of positive change—but passed on the soaked chammy (and I’m not blaming them).
Congratulations and thank you to the following newly-minted member of 1% for the Planet!
Disadvantaged children in Sacred Valley, Peru participating in "Operation Genius" with the World Shamanic Yoga Institute.
The reasons businesses join 1% for the Planet are almost as diverse as the companies themselves, but Russ at World Shamanic Yoga Institute summed up his motivations particularly well:
The World Shamanic Yoga Institute is proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet. We have been working to foster health and well being at the individual, social and environmental levels for years and when we saw how well thought out the 1% program was, it was an “ah-ha!” moment.
We cannot possibly expect that government will take care of all the environmental issues our planet faces. Economic activity is a fact, and that economic activity MUST be tied to environmental programming if we are to hope for a tomorrow with healthy ecosystems for humanity and the other species on our planet.
1% helps make this a reality by channeling a percentage of gross economic activity back to well-conceived and vetted environmental programming. We look forward to doing our part by supporting organizations like Amazon Conservation Association.
We hope that in the future, 1% or more for the environment will be a standard and not an exception. We all share this beautiful planet. Let’s be intelligent citizens!
A good friend recently turned me on to a book by David Owen. While I’ve yet to read The Conundrum it’s next on my list, as soon as my boss Brittany lets me put down the Hunger Games.
Watching the promo video for Owen’s book got me thinking about tough, personal questions. I like to think I’m a fairly environmentally conscious person—I buy local, organic food when I can, ride my bike to the office more often than not and turn out the CFL’s whenever I leave a room.
Still, as Owen bluntly points out, there are glaring contradictions in the way I live. My passion for backcountry skiing and mountain biking has me driving Libby, my aging Volvo manwagon, around the northeast most weekends. I’ve forgotten my reusable shopping bags at home more times than I’d like to admit. In a week’s time I’m flying to Alaska in search of the snow that has eluded Vermont this winter.
Breaking news: it takes a lot of bike rides to the office to offset a flight to Alaska.
As much as I hate to admit it, Owen is right. Many of the innovations we think of as greening our lifestyles actually lead to increased resource use in the long run, as efficiency allows greater consumption. Damn, it’s depressing.
So how do we shake the funk?
The only answer, as I see it, is advocating for the kind of change that co-opts everyone as part of the solution, from the darkest green consumer to the most mainstream American. What better way to do just that than for businesses–who provide for almost all of our needs–to be the solution?
Companies that join 1% for the Planet are the leading edge of a paradigm shift. So pick up a copy of The Conundrum, and join me in welcoming the following businesses who have decided to be the solution:
One of the most amazing facets of working for 1% is learning about diversity among our member companies. No two companies are quite the same, except when it comes to their dedication to protecting our planet and promoting sustainability. This point is exemplified with two of our newest members, Four Crows Photography and Polar Pillow.
Four Crows Photography is dedicated capturing the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us, and those moments of serenity that too often go unnoticed in the frantic pace of daily life. Photographer Dave Mangels launched Four Crows with the mission to practice mindful photography, as well as contributing back to the planet in which inspires him. Shedding his life in a cubicle and armed with a camera and an amazing eye, these photographs capture the majesty and beauty of the world that we strive to protect.
“As someone launching a new business, I thought it was vital to build an ethical and moral foundation to Four Crows Photography. My participation in 1% For The Planet is an essential way to demonstrate my commitment to the environmental causes that are so important to my artistic inspiration. Four Crows Photography plans to support a variety of causes as it grows, but foremost among them will be the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance for its work defending the Redrock wilderness, and the Trustees of the Reservation for its preservation of open spaces in my home state of Massachusetts.”
1% also welcomes PolarPillow to our family. As a person who is all-too-familiar with erratic sleep patterns and insomnia, I was fascinated to learn more about this company and what it offers for people who cope with the same issues.
PolarPillow is an award-winning cooling pillow that uses specialized gel technology to generate coolness. By bringing science-based innovation to the pillow market, the company aims to help its customers sleep better and live healthier. The pillow itself is kept cool, which in turn promotes a better and more restful night of sleep.
The PolarPillow team has joined the 1% movement to demonstrate their belief that the health of the planet is critical for entrepreneurship to thrive. PolarPillow has identified Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International as its first beneficiary. EarthEcho creates programs that empower youth to restore and protect our oceans.
From breathtaking natural photography to pillows that help people rest better and promote health, our members continue to be as diverse as the planet that we share. Aligned by their dedication to protecting the world around us, we welcome these amazing companies to our 1% family and are so happy to have you!
It’d be easy to let the state of the world get you down. We’ve got a polarized political system that makes rational dialogue seem impossible, a stagnant economy, freaky weather that brings floods followed by droughts and a skyrocketing global population thirsty for the material comforts that got us in this mess. And that’s not half of it.
Still, it’s hard to feel hopeless when you see people coming together to create the change we need so desperately. Yesterday, when news that the Keystone XL pipeline was once again a threat, 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner 350.org mobilized more than 800,000 people in just 24 hours to send Congress an emphatic NO. The message couldn’t have been clearer.
Last night Bill McKibben had the spotlight on The Colbert Report—check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.
The motivation that gets 800,000 to coalesce around something they care so deeply about is the same energy that motivates businesses to be part of the solution—they’re working hard to create a world that we all want to live in.
We’ve been growing at a rate of more than one business per day for the past two years, but January was a particularly wonderful month here at 1% for the Planet. 49 businesses started their membership during the past four weeks. For those of you nervously watching the 260-day Mayan Tzolkin calendar this year, that works out to an impressive 2.2 members per day this month.
We’re tweaking the way we introduce new members in light of all the activity in the network and the addition of our talented new staff members James, Pauline and Tom. Look for an initial post announcing the folks who have joined most recently, followed by entries going deeper into the stories of the people, places and motivations that inspired them to join 1% for the Planet.
Hiking early season turns at Mad River Glen with the 1% crew
Waitsfield, Vermont, like most ski towns, is filled with people who are generally pretty darn happy. The social life of a Valley resident (or a 1% for the Planet employee) revolves around enthusiastic discussion of the outdoor pursuit du jour, or actually getting out and partaking wholeheartedly in that activity. Grins are standard. But this December has been a different story.
When weather doesn’t cooperate, people take a turn to the dark side… especially in the early winter when memories of the previous season’s bounty tantalize us. This past week I’ve seen people stare up at the sky with looks on their faces usually only employed by seven year olds hoping to reprimand their parents for withholding desert. The feeling of tension in town is palpable, and our office is not immune.
Thankfully, release came today with 2-6 inches of new snow over fast grass at Mad River Glen. The 1% team, sporting grins once more, was there early to welcome winter to the valley by hiking a few early morning runs. All this welcoming has me thinking about another long-overdue welcome–the one we owe our most recent 1% members!
Bamboodha is the first out of the gate this week. They’re based in Australia but will ship their bamboo towels anywhere. And best of all, they’re giving away copies of the 1% for the Planet CD! If you haven’t heard it yet, check it out.
The Aromatropolis The Aromatropolis retails printed materials online which concisely convey the complex properties of essential oils. This is an emerging, woman-owned business developing media in different formats to enhance the experience of the essential oil enthusiast. Currently they offer a limited-edition, 18″x24″ print and carrying card relating the properties of the twenty most common essential oils. Future plans include the development of brick-and-mortar locations to retail their products and create healing environments for patrons. The Aromatropolis and parent company Bright Blue Green LLC seek to raise the bar for environmental and social responsibility in business.
David C Dixon LLC offers LEED and sustainability consulting to Food and Beverage corporations. David, proprietor and avid outdoorsman (who would have fit in well at Mad River this morning), has been involved in some of the largest LEED food manufacturing facilities built in the past 6 years, and has helped name brand companies reduce their environmental impact and pursue “closed-loop” technologies. David says that “1% for the Planet is a great initiative which can offer corporate decision makers a “brand” similar to LEED that they can trust, that earns them recognition, and provides funding for vetted organizations.” Glad to have you David!
Keep your eye on Exout for deals on outdoor gear for every sort of pursuit, summer or winter. You’ll find steals for members as low as 70% off retail–stock up and feel good that 1% is going back to the environment!
Gone Surfing Hawaii specializes in surf lessons and customized surf tours in the Hawaiian Islands. Need a break from winter? Check ‘em out!
The Green Line‘s proprietor Janine on coming to 1%: “Discovering 1% For The Planet was the missing to piece to my puzzle. I always knew I wanted to give back but I didn’t have the proper platform. Since becoming a 1% member, now I have the resources to do what I always wanted to do: Give back to something meaningful to me.” Janine is giving to Oceana, so when you purchase her jewelry you’ll know her 1% is going to a good cause!
Hug on a Rug is based in our very own state of Vermont and offers hand-made rugs. They’re still working on their web presence but check back soon to see what they’re up to.
Integral Dialogue Project is a consulting company committed to the greater purpose of “co-creating a better world by empowering people to lead.” They believe we all possess interpersonal greatness. By facilitating and engaging individuals and organizations in generative dialogue there exist the potential to create this ‘better world’ through a sharing process of innovative perspectives – and transformational change.
KAVAJ has you covered when it comes to protecting your iPad, Xoom or other tablets with great looking cases.
Ever hear that Uncle Cracker song with the line about being “as cool as the flip side of my pillow?” Well… Polar Pillow is an award-winning cooling pillow that uses specialized gel technology to generate coolness. PolarPillow has identified Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International as its first beneficiary, and will be helping to inspire the next generation to care for the earth.
Tulan supplies everything you need for yoga, from mats to clothing and you can feel good about buying from them!
When I pick up the phone at 1% I’m always prepared for a surprise. Eight months after my first phone call I’ve finally figured out that solicitations from Publishers Clearing House usually don’t pan out, but I still get excited. While I’ll be the first to admit that I consider myself among the “One Percent,” our fringe benefits come in the form of lunch time yogs, not yachts. An extra million here or there wouldn’t hurt. When I answer and it’s Jeff Denholm, founder of Atira Systems and Patagonia ambassador on the line, it’s almost as good as winning big.
Jeff’s company provides fire protection services that mitigate the highly detrimental environmental and health effects of fighting wildfires. He and his team (advised by luminaries including Nell Newman and Rick Ridgeway) have reworked every facet of the industry to eliminate harmful chemicals and carcinogens that are hazardous to firefighters on the front line and equally bad for the ecosystems they work to protect. To top it off, Atira Systems is now a 1% for the Planet member.
New member Château de Chéronne can take you back to the 1500′s when the castle-turned-weekend-escape was constructed on 400 hectares of woodlands in the Perche Sarthois. The moat and drawbridges were removed in the 17th century to make it easier for guest to join them for overnights and special events.
Dancing Snow is a Japan-based company that specializes in providing their clients to the deepest powder turns of their lives. Let them introduce you to the kind of fluffy white stuff that makes you drool at Teton Gravity Research premiers every fall. In the summers they offer kayaking tours to boot!
Eden Groupe joins us from France and specializes in real estate development with a conscience, giving back 1% of everything they do!
Expedition Broker is based in Haines, Alaska, a recreation paradise (having lived there for two summers I can vouch!). Let owner Greg Schlachter set you up with the finest guides the area has to offer for your next fishing, skiing, climbing or surfing–yes, Alaskan surfing–adventure.
Earthtec founder Dennis Randall insisted his company be green from the get-go. Combining his commitment to sustainability with his love of the outdoors and his knowledge of technical knits, Randall created a company that produces fashionable, functional clothing made from recycled or renewable materials. Using a streamlined design and manufacturing process, Earthtec does its own product development, knitting, dyeing, finishing, and garment production, resulting in a greener manufacturing with less waste.
In recognition for its innovation, green manufacturing and leadership in bringing the sustainability message to consumers in multiple ways, Earthtec was presented with the 2011 Greenerpalooza Award, given each year to a NH-based person, organization or initiative dedicated to energy efficiency. The award recognizes the accomplishments of those who support and promote green efforts throughout the Granite State and who work tirelessly to ensure that New Hampshire maintains its position as a state which celebrates sustainability.
The presentation was made during the Greenerpalooza IV festivities at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion. Greenerpalooza, which is presented by the NH Business Resource Center and the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in coordination with key sponsors, is a celebration of energy efficiency efforts in the state. With the backdrop of a concert by Alison Krauss and Union Station, attendees were able to learn more about the latest energy efficient products and services offered in the Granite State.
“Earthtec, is quite possibly the best example of a company that encompasses all that’s good and right about living and breathing the green lifestyle,” said for NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy in making the announcement. “This apparel manufacturer takes plastic bottles and transforms them into something very special – clothing that is both stylish and earth friendly. At a time when space at landfills is at an all time premium, what better way to reuse our resources in a fun, creative and productive way?”
Randall and his company are on a mission to bring the message of sustainability to consumers in many different ways. For example, for the past two years, Earthtec has handed out 6,000 free knit hats made from a blend of recycled plastic and organic cotton at hockey games between the UNH Wildcats and Boston College at the Whittemore Center. Earthtec also participated in the Providence Rock and Roll Half Marathon, collecting recyclables that could be turned into apparel.
A member of 1% For The Planet and the Green Alliance, Earthtec has developed the Earth 360 program, designed to capture plastic bottles and other #1 plastic at sporting events, concerts, conferences, schools and other gatherings; and to then process them into flake, then into fiber, yarn, fabric, and finally into apparel and accessories.
“Earthtec has been a fixture at Meadowbrook this season collecting recyclables and is currently embarking on an effort with our office to start similar collections at venues throughout the state,” continued Duddy. “Next week, they will join forces with the Division of Economic Development, PSNH, WTPL and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to hold the first inaugural Green Scene Night where they will collect over 1,000 plastic bottles and turn them into blankets that will be given out at the New Horizons homeless shelter in Manchester.
“Earthtec is a terrific example of how a business can not only be profitable, but also be environmentally aware and a good neighbor,” Duddy added. “The Greenerpalooza Award is designed specifically for model companies like this.”
To learn more about Earthtec, visit www.earthtec.com. To discover the latest happenings with Greenerpalooza, visit Greenerpalooza IV Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greennh.