While we’ve always been passionate about sustainability and being good stewards of planet Earth, this year we decided we want to do more to have a positive impact. We’re starting to write more about environmental topics we are passionate about, like how a plant-based lifestyle can dramatically reduce our individual impact on the planet. With the help of our partners and community last year, we also donated nearly $20k to organizations working to make the outdoors more accessible to all. And most recently, we took the leap to join 1% for the Planet and made the commitment to give 1% of our annual revenue back to the environment.
Although we’re a small business, we feel it’s our responsibility to give back and do whatever we can to have a positive impact. We’ve joined the ranks of brands like Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, and more in a commitment to give back 1% of our income to environmental causes. Making this commitment is just one way we can hold ourselves accountable for taking action in support of the environment.
Below, we share what 1% for the Planet is all about, why we decided to join, and how you can make an impact too.
Giving Back with 1% for the Planet
What is 1% for the Planet?
1% for the Planet was started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies. As lovers of the outdoors, they knew they had a responsibility to protect our planet, as do we all, and decided to give 1% of their sales back to the environment. Since then, 1% for the Planet has helped direct hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental nonprofits around the world.
Today, 1% for the Planet is a global movement that inspires businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions. There are more than 3,000 members each contributing 1% of their annual revenue to nonprofits doing important work to protect our planet.
How does 1% for the planet work?
1% for the Planet supports a wide variety of non-profit partners that are already working to address some of the most pressing environmental issues. That way, these organizations are empowered to continue to drive on-the-ground change and expand their impact.
1% for the Planet members give directly to these highly vetted environmental nonprofit organizations of their own choosing, so each member can choose where they want their impact to go. Contributions go directly to these organizations so that these donations can make the most impact possible.
Some of the environmental nonprofits in the 1% for the Planet network that you might recognize include:
- Protect Our Winters (POW)
- The National Forest Foundation
- The Sierra Club
- Conservation International
- Global Wildlife Conservation
- The Surfrider Foundation
You’ll also find a variety of nonprofits working in the areas of equal access and diversity outdoors, including organizations like:
- Soul Trak Outdoors
- Greening Youth Foundation
- Big City Mountaineers
- Outward Bound
- Venture Out
And many more. There are also plenty of smaller, local non-profits in 1% for the Planet’s network so as a member, you can really choose where you want to contribute and make an impact.
You can learn more about 1% for the Planet’s vetted nonprofit environmental organizations as well as how to become an approved nonprofit partner here.
What Issues does 1% for the Planet Support?
1% for the Planet is currently focused in six core issue areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water, and wildlife. These categories broadly encompass many key issues that 1% for the Planet and its membership organizations support.
For example, 1% for the Planet nonprofits do work in areas including:
- Outdoor access and recreation
- Biodiversity and habitat
- Environmental justice
- Sustainable fisheries
- Human health
- Organic agriculture, sustainable farming, and food access
- Youth education
- Resource conservation
- Air and water quality
- Recycling & upcycling
- Law and public policy
- Ocean conservation and cleanup
You can learn more about the issues 1% for the Planet and their nonprofit partners support here.
What you can do as a business
As a business, you can join 1% for the planet as a business member and commit to giving 1% of gross sales each year, whether overall or from a single product line, to the approved nonprofit partners of your choosing. It’s one way to ensure you’re doing something annually to give back.
Plus, 66% of people (and 73% of Millennials) say they’re willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact according to a 2015 Nielsen Global Sustainability Report. Another study found that more than 9-in-10 millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause. This clearly shows that people are demanding more from brands and are becoming more conscious about their purchasing decisions.
You can learn more about 1% for the Planet business membership here.
What you can do as an individual
One thing you can do to support 1% for the planet and the environment is to be a conscious consumer – that means keeping the planet in mind when making purchases. Think about the lifecycle of the items you purchase – where were the products made, what resources went into them, what impacts might their production have had on the environment, and what will happen when these products reach their end of life?
You can also choose to buy from brands who are 1% for the planet members and donate 1% of their revenue to environmental causes.
Here are a few of our favorite brands who also happen to be 1% for the planet members:
- Jelt Belt
- Chico Bag & To-Go Ware
- La Sportiva
Another thing you can do is to join 1% for the planet as an individual member. We weren’t aware of this option until a grad school friend who works in environmental policy and conservation shared with us that she was a 1% member, meaning she’s committed to giving 1% of her personal income back to the environment. How cool is that?
Becoming an individual member is a great way to be part of a larger solution and ensure you’re doing something significant to give back each year. This 1% commitment can be met with a combination of monetary donations to approved nonprofit environmental organizations of your choice and/or volunteer hours with an approved organization of your choice as well. What a great way to ensure you’re giving back and making a difference in the world!
If you’d like to learn more about 1% for the Planet’s individual membership options you can do so here.
We know that we can and need to do better for our planet. This is one big step we’re taking and a big commitment for us as a small business but we know it’s worth it. We all need to do our part to protect this planet we call home and to create the kind of world we want to live in. As 1% for the Planet says, “All together for the planet”.