I Love Where I Live
Why do you live here? It’s certainly not affordable. Why do you work here? It’s not hard to find jobs that pay better just four hours away.
If you’re like me, you live here because – almost everywhere you look – it’s simply beautiful. I have friends and colleagues here whom I cherish. There are great shops and restaurants. But sometimes all I need to do to appreciate my life is look up at the hills, or hike Bishop’s Peak, or take my dog Raven to Port San Luis on a Saturday morning. Everywhere you look, it is indeed beautiful here.
Today’s blog is about that beauty.
And my personal interest in preserving it.
And my appeal to you to join me.
Long before the Occupy Wall Street protests brought the notion of the 1% to our nation’s attention, there was another 1% movement quietly building momentum of its own. I am a member of that group, and I’d like to plant the seed for you to consider joining me.
The organization I belong to and support is called 1% for the Planet. It was founded in 2003 by Yvon Chouinard (of Patagonia) and Craig Mathews (of Blue Ribbon Flies), who aimed to create a model for environmental responsibility among business owners. The notion is simple: member businesses donate at least 1% of their gross annual sales to nonprofit organizations whose work protects and preserves the environment.
1% is a Tiny Number
If you raised your prices 1%, would anyone notice? If you had to pay a 1% eco-tax, would it really be that painful? When you consider your annual expenses – what you pay for coffee, or for electricity, or for a new cell phone – suddenly 1% of your annual sales is not very much money at all. Especially when you consider the impact that 1% can have.
1% is a Huge Number
Many of us enjoy and appreciate our natural environment, but don’t have the time to make a difference. Directing a small fraction of our revenues to environmental groups enables them to do what they do best.
The nonprofits that 1% for the Planet members support do vital, honorable work:
- they save land
- they protect forests, rivers and oceans
- they make agriculture and energy production more sustainable
- they get toxins out of the environment and plastics out of the ocean
When you join, you can choose the nonprofit organizations you wish to support, and even though you’re not out there personally saving the whales (or the trees, or the planet,) your donations will be.
By the Numbers
1% for the Planet is
- 1,200 member companies in 48 countries
- giving 1% of their sales to over 3,300 nonprofits
- totaling more than $100 million over the past 10 years
Each quarter, The Land Conservancy receives a gift from Suntoucher. This philanthropic gesture sends a message to Suntoucher’s clients that the company truly values conservation, which is an important part of their business model. As a sustainable giver to The Land Conservancy, Suntoucher’s actions show that they are truly committed to our mission. We are extremely grateful for their unwavering support. – Kaila Dettman, Executive Director
Since I’ve been a member, I have directed 1% of Suntoucher’s annual sales to the San Luis Obispo County Land Conservancy, an organization that has conserved over 15,000 acres of land since 1984. They recently raised $12.3 million to purchase the Pismo Preserve which will be permanently conserved and open to the public. Their work helps prevent poorly planned development, protects drinking water sources, restores wildlife habitat and promotes family farmlands and ranches. And at Suntoucher, we take the sting out by splitting our 1% into four quarterly donations instead of one year-end lump sum.
I don’t like to preach. And I don’t like to be preached to. But I believe our health and wellness is affected by the environment. I believe that businesses are responsible for positive change. I believe we owe respect to the people who came before us and protected the environment we enjoy today. I believe we owe our children the legacy of a clean, safe and healthy planet for them to raise children of their own. And I believe, even as a small business owner in a small town, that I can make a difference that matters.
This year my goal is to convince 10 Central Coast businesses to join 1% for the Planet this year. Whether you’re a small business owner, or employed by a larger company, I am asking you to learn more about the many benefits this organization offers. And then join.
Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
Here are the local businesses who are currently members of 1% for the Planet, as well as the local nonprofits their donations support.
Members in SLO County
|Elemental Herbs||Morro Bay||www.elementalherbs.com|
|G Squared||Avila Beach||www.G2art.com|
|Niel Dilworth, Architect||San Luis Obispo||www.nieldilwortharchitect.com|
|Bridge Street Inn||Cambria||www.bridgestreetinncambria.com|
|Suntoucher||San Luis Obispo||www.suntouchersoftware.com|
Nonprofits Supported in SLO County
|Central Coast Vineyard Team||Atascadero||www.vineyardteam.org|
|Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB)||Cayucos||www.cccmb.org|
|Morro Coast Audubon Society||Morro Bay||www.morrocoastaudubon.org|
|Morro Bay National Estuary Program||Morro Bay||www.mbnep.org|
|Central Coast Wildlife Rehabilitation Guild – Pacific Wildlife Care||Morro Bay||www.pacificwildlifecare.org|
|Coastal Alliance on Plant Expansion||Morro Bay||www.morrobaypowerplant.org|
|Lifewater||San Luis Obispo||www.lifewater.org|
|Environment in the Public Interest||San Luis Obispo||www.epicenteronline.org|
|San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace||San Luis Obispo||www.mothersforpeace.org|
|San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition||San Luis Obispo||www.slobikelane.org/cm/Home.html|
|Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo||San Luis Obispo||www.ecoslo.org|
|The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County||San Luis Obispo||www.lcslo.org|
Want to Know More?
Call me (805-550-6381) or email me kristen [at] suntouchersoftware.com! I won’t give you the hard-sell, I promise, but I will happily answer any questions you have.