April 22nd marks the 49th annual celebration of Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is the world's largest environmental movement with a mission to support environmental protection. Throughout the years, Earth Day event organizers have come to a simple conclusion: When people come together and make small changes, the impact can be tremendous. Today, 193 countries participate in Earth Day through community-led volunteer events. For the 50th anniversary in 2020, the organization aims to reach 3 billion acts of green by inspiring individuals to make sustainable choices and commit to earth-friendly habits.
While there are well-known eco-conscious habit changes like avoiding single-use plastics and opting to bike instead of drive, how you shop and who you shop from can play a significant role in creating a lifestyle focused on sustainability. An organization by the name of 1% for the Planet supports this movement by bringing doers and dollars together to champion environmental giving at the consumer and business level.
Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) and Craig Matthews (founder of Blue Ribbon Flies) co-founded 1% for the Planet in 2002. Since its inception, the principle of commitment and action roots deep within the organization's values. The model is simple: members, both individual and business, engage directly with sustainability-oriented, thoroughly vetted, non-profit partners and provide financial donations, at least 1% of annual sales, volunteer time, and in-kind contributions. Members have donated millions of dollars to support environmental causes by way of nonprofit partners and you, as a consumer, may be aiding in this critical mission simply by shopping.
The industries of 1% for the Planet business members run the gamut: apparel, food & beverage, restaurants, travel agencies, even accountants. Want to know if some of your favorite brands and businesses are 1% for the Planet members? Read on. Here are six popular 1% for the Planet brands you might already be supporting.
A leader in environmental & social responsibility, Patagonia practices accountability and activism in all aspects of its business. A Certified B Corporation, Patagonia follows strict certification guidelines, adhering to social, ecological and employee interests. In a surprising twist for an outdoor clothing brand, the launch of its Worn Wear® campaign encourages customers to buy less and instead recycle, repair and share used gear at community events across the country.
Taking a holistic stance on product lifecycle and conscious business practices, Patagonia even encourages its labor force to reduce its footprint when coming to work. The company provides monetary incentive through its One Drive-Less program, encouraging employees to get to work using anything but a car.
Since 1985 Patagonia has donated over $100 million to grassroots programs working in the areas of climate, land, water, environmental justice, and biodiversity. The organization's giving approach supports hundreds of organizations with grants ranging from $2500-$15,000. In 2017, 954 environmental groups received a Patagonia grant.
Founded in 2010, Spindrift, the popular Boston-based, two-ingredient, sparkling water brand has evolved from a local craft beverage shop into a nationwide favorite. Committed to preserving the environment and supporting the groups that care for it, Spindrift has been 1% for the Planet business member since its beginnings.
As a part of its 1% for the Planet commitment, Spindrift has donated to more than 30 non-profit organizations in the past six years, each one supporting a joint mission to maintain earth's natural resources. Spindrift's support for a healthy environment begins with its intimate involvement with supply chain, visiting each family farm that provides ingredients for the beverage line. The company currently works with non-profit groups local to the East Coast and Massachusetts.
You can find Spindrift in your local store or on Amazon.
3. King Arthur Flour
Also a Certified B Corporation, King Arthur Flour has measured its social and environmental impact since 2007. The 100% employee-owned company has been named one of the best places to work in Vermont, providing a fair and competitive wage, $500 in yearly wellness incentives per employee, a year-round subsidy for local CSA programs, and 40 hours of paid volunteer time per year.
Supporting the community through donations and time is at the core of King Arthur's values. In 2018, King Arthur Flour donated more one million meals through its Essential Goodness Buy a Mix, Give a Meal program. As a 1% member, King Arthur donates to Feeding America, a network of more than 200 food banks that feed over 46 million people through community-based agencies, soup kitchens, and food pantries. Locally at King Arthur's flagship location in Norwich, VT (appropriately named, Camelot) the company hosts community events throughout the year, benefitting local food pantries and Hunger Free Vermont.
You can find King Arthur Flour in your local store or on Amazon.
The plastic waste equation goes something like this: Approximately 300 million tons produced annually and only about ten percent is recycled or reused. The rest sadly ends up in the natural environment, oceans or landfills. Earth Day Network created a specific campaign to end plastic pollution, and consumers can do their part by refusing single-use plastic items with the help of companies like Stasher.
A leader in the plastic-free movement, Stasher creates reusable alternatives to single-use plastic containers made of pure platinum silicone derived from sand. All Stasher products are BPA-free, non-toxic, temperature resistant, and 100% recyclable at select recycling locations. Stasher also provides a repurposing service with damaged bags sent to its Emeryville headquarters to create soft, playground pebbles. A women-owned, Certified B Corporation and 1% for the Planet member, the company provides support for non-profits in the areas of the environmental conservancy and female empowerment.
5. Raw Elements
Research links conventional sunscreen to killing our beautiful coral reefs. After realizing that a safe and effective sunscreen - for beaches and beachgoers - did not exist, ocean lifeguard Brian Guadagno sought to find a solution and Raw Elements USA was born. Raw Elements USA is reef-safe, meaning no ingredients in its products will cause harm to reefs or marine life. The sunscreen line is also safe for children and adults, use non-nano zinc oxide particles which means the sunscreen will only sit on top of skin creating a physical UV barrier, unlike sunscreens with nanoparticles which are small enough to enter the bloodstream.
Being a 1% member partner shows a deep commitment to environmental activism, but Raw Elements USA doesn't stop there. Rated 1, or low hazard, by Environmental Working Group (EWG) for seven years running and a founding brand as part of EWG's Sun Safety Coalition, Raw Elements USA is committed to consumer safety. A Champion Status Signer for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Raw Elements USA takes a firm stand against the adverse health impacts from cosmetics and personal care products. The brand is the only US screen whose entire line is verified by the Non-GMO Project and also Leaping Bunny Certified, guaranteeing that no animal tests were performed to create any of its products.
You can find Raw Elements on Amazon.
At first glance, Coyuchi is a home textile company, but it is are much more than that. The first group to bring organic cotton bedding to the United States more than 25 years ago, Coyuchi's commitment to ethics ensures that the creation of that every product with the Coyuchi label comes with compliance of strict social and environmental regulations. Coyuchi focuses on working with Fair Trade partners and carries a line of items which are Fair Trade Certified™. Committed to limiting the use of hazardous chemicals, Coyuchi is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, which is recognized as the strictest organic text textile standard, evaluating every step of manufacturing from farm to factory. Practicing what it preaches, Coyuchi certifies products with the MADE SAFE® seal, meaning safe ingredients, not suspected or known to harm human health, animals, or ecosystems, were used to make a product.
Coyuchi's 1% for the Planet contribution supports Fibershed, an organization that fights climate change through carbon-neutral farming. Implementing carbon farming methods, Fibershed helps develop regenerative fiber systems on behalf of independent farmers. Directly benefiting from Fibershed's work, the brand supports The Jensen Ranch and Stemple Creek Ranch where Coyuchi supplies its carbon-beneficial wool used for several items in the product line.
You can find Coyuchi on their direct website.
Just the beginning
This list is far from complete. Brands like Honest Tea (glass product line), Avocado Green Mattress, Klean Kanteen, Alima Pure, Three Twins Ice Cream, and Boxed Water are all 1% for the Planet members. There are hundreds of 1% for the Planet business members, and you can determine a brand's participation in one of two ways. Either by locating the 1% logo on the brand's merchandise, or website or by checking the 1% for the Planet business directory, linked here.
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