Why we participate in 1% for the planet AND why you should too!

Posted on Sep 28, 2014 in Blog

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.

One Percent

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

Suntoucher’s Support

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.

Today’s Sermon

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.

Join Me

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
SummerLove Swimwear Creston www.happyendingz.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.