I am proud and elated to say that I am an ambassador for 1% for the Planet. I’m 26 years old now and if the 22 year old me would have been told that I’d be an ambassador for this incredible organization in four years I would have woken up every single morning with butterflies in my stomach.
Since I first learned about the organization nearly four years ago I have admired every single person involved and dreamed of being a part of the movement. I saw the logo on the back of Clif Bars, New Belgium Brewing beer bottles, and on Jack Johnson’s album, In Between Dreams.
The founder of 1% for the Planet, Yvon Chouinard has been an inspiration of mine since I first learned about him through the documentary 180 South. This documentary inspires the heck out of me and undoubtedly helped lead me to adventures on a few of the six continents I have traveled to. The only problem is every time I watch it I’m too excited to sleep.
Time after time the people with 1% for the Planet inspired me with their zest to make the earth a part of their business but do it in an adventurous and inspiring way. They make being good to the earth exciting and fun. I continued about my life with 1% for the Planet frequently in the back of my mind. Often the things I found myself doing were inspired by the people involved in this organization, Jack Johnson being one of them.
His music has accompanied me into the jungles of Borneo, on secluded beaches of the Andaman Sea, through remote wildlife parks in Africa, into northern Sweden where the sun never slept, at my seat in class, and in my comfortable room at home. His music and his messages bring me joy, but that’s not why he really inspires me. He inspires me because with all of his fame he is still a dude who just loves to be alive and embrace everyone around him. As his success grows so does his desire to give back to the earth and the people on it.
Guys like him are the guys I want to surround myself with. He is a member and an ambassador of 1% for the Planet I am honored to be in the same network of people as him. When I founded my first business, The Greenfield Group one of the first steps I took was to become a member of 1% for the Planet.
I got involved with Guitars in the Classroom and Below the Surface, two incredible 1% for the Planet non-profits, and a good chunk of my revenue went to them to do good things with. Beside that I had my own projects that I started such as a community bike program, CFL light bulb exchanges, and trash cleanups.
My business was a tool for me to raise funds to do great things for the environment. I think I’ve always had this desire to create a happy world around me but 1% for the Planet really inspired me to take action. I’d watch their promo video every week and it would inspire to get out and make the world a better place.
During the summer when I started the free bike program in my community I’d listen to their music volume that featured artists like Chris Velan, Garett Brennan, Jackson Browne, Josh Ritter, Jack Johnson and Mason Jennings. It inspired me morning, evening, and night and made it that much more fun to be out in my driveway fixing and painting bikes for my community to ride.
I put the logo on every single one of those bikes and everything I did with my business to let people know I supported 1% and to get other people involved in the movement. Often I looked at the 1% for the Planet website and dreamed of becoming an ambassador for them.
Then one day that dream came true. I told them I was biking across the United States to create a happier healthier planet and would be raising awareness for them and their non-profits. I came up with a long detailed letter of why they should accept me as an ambassador but I never had to give it to them, because they asked me first.
I’ll never forget that day when Brodie brought it up. Now here I am, 95 days into my ride across the United States and I’ve biked 4,400 miles. I’m just a few hundred miles from their headquarters in Waitsfield, Vermont where this 103-day journey across the country will end. But the end of this ride is just the beginning of my life of inspiring the world to love the earth and respect it.
By making my own dreams come true I’ve been helping the world around me and inspiring others to do the same, and that’s what I am going to keep doing. 1% for the Planet has been there along the whole ride and has been instrumental to put me exactly where I am today and I am darn proud of where I am.
So what does it mean to me to be a 1% for the Planet Ambassador?
It means doing what I know is right even when it is not the most convenient.
It means being part of a community of people who really care about the earth and who’s actions speak louder than their words.
It means supporting businesses that are doing their part to ensure our Earth is still going to be beautiful beyond our lifetime.
It means using business as a means to create a cleaner, healthier Earth for all of us to live on.
It means putting the earth and my community before myself.
It means taking the time to learn about and understand things that I know are important.
It means taking care of myself and living a happy, healthy, modest life that others can strive for.
It means being conscious of my actions and making changes to them when they are needed.
It means loving the earth each and every day and showing it through my actions.
It means surrounding myself with people who will inspire me to take the actions I want to.
Those of you who know me probably know how much I love and cherish the earth we are fortunate to live on. Those of you who don’t know me, well now you do. I promise, for as long as I live, to treat the earth with the utmost respect and to do my part to inspire everyone around me to do the same.
You can count on me to do good for my friends, my community, the environment, and myself. I’m not going to be perfect. I am going to make mistakes. But as big and beautiful as the earth is, it is also just as tough and it can handle some little mistakes. It just can’t handle the beating we’re giving it now if it’s going to remain the hospitable earth we know today and count on for survival.
I promise to do my part to keep the earth in business and to do it in an entertaining, inspiring, and enjoyable manner.
1% for the Planet is a growing global movement of more than 1,000 companies that donate 1% of their sales to a network of more than 3,000 approved environmental organizations worldwide.
If you own a business and would like to be involved with this network then contact us to join. Maybe you don’t have time or resources to do your own environmental projects but you can give 1% of your revenue to people who will make the earth a healthier place with it.
If you are an individual who wants to take action, you can support our businesses or volunteer your time to a non-profit in our network. One of the best ways to live a life that you can value is to do things that are beyond yourself.
But most importantly just get out there and be good to yourself, be good to others, and be good to the planet!