Posts tagged sustainability

Generation Waking Up

by Liz

Generation Waking Up is igniting a generation of young people to bring forth a thriving, just, sustainable world.  I’m not doing enough, you probably aren’t doing enough.  Let’s be part of history in a good way.  Please watch the video below:

What will our legacy be?

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Let My People Go Surfing: Patagonia’s Business Model

By Erica

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Patagonia is a producer and retailer of outdoor adventure goods, from rock climbing gear to clothing specifically designed for those being active outside, braving the elements.  My original impression of Patagonia was that it was quite expensive, and the steep price tag was due to brand image (i.e.it costs a lot because people will pay to be associated with the brand because they feel cooler).  However, after reading Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard’s book ‘Let My People Go Surfing’, and as well from speaking with outdoor enthusiasts who support the company, I discovered that the reason you pay more for Patagonia is because when you buy something from them not only are you getting top quality, specifically meant to handle outdoor pursuits, that will last a long time, you also are getting a product that is as environmentally friendly as possible, from a company who treats their employees extremely well and supports more charities and activist groups than most organizations.  Here are some important parts of the Patagonia business model that all business should follow:

1) They donate 1% of sales to environmental causes.  The fact that it is ‘sales’ not ‘profits’ is important.  Even if they take a loss that year, 1% of their sales will still go to a good cause.

2) The company is based on organic growth.  This means that they will not sacrifice quality or their values to make more of a profit.  In fact, they took a big hit financially when they switched from regular cotton (which is REALLY bad for the environment) to organic cotton.  Every step in making their clothing is based on its environmental impact rather than profit. Beyond organic cotton, they use less harmful clothing dye, minimal packaging, fleece made from recycled pop bottles, and way more.

3) If you work for Patagonia, you can take up to two months, with pay, to go work for any environmental cause or non-profit, rather than be at the office or store.

4) Patagonia employees have fought and won to have massive pieces of beautiful and ecologically important land reserved to remain in its natural states in British Columbia, Nevada and Argentina.

5) Patagonia was one of the first companies to have on site day care for staff.  If employees want to take an afternoon to go surfing, climbing, skiing, they are free to do so.  Patagonia gives $2000 to each employee towards buying an environmentally friendly car.

Businesses may argue that focusing on the sustainability negatively effects the bottom line, but Patagonia’s business model of supporting quality and organic growth, leaving the smallest ecological foot print possible, and treating your staff extremely well has actually rendered them one of the most successful clothing and gear retailers of our day.  Take that Koch brothers.

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Fun Fridays: Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is very well known for his various movie roles such as the Basketball Diaries, Titanic, Blood Diamond, and Inception.  What you may not know is that Leonardo is an avid environmentalist.  Among his movies is the 11th Hour.  The 11th Hour is a documentary written and narrated by Leonardo.  It is about the state of our planet Earth and some practical ideas to help save the Earth.  It is definitely worth watching.

Leonardo DiCaprio is also known for driving a hybrid car, going on commercial flights instead of a private jet as well as having solar panels installed on his home.  He has a website (www.leonardodicaprio.org) which is for the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation which aims to secure a sustainable future for our planet and all of its inhabitants.  He brings awareness to the dwindling tiger population among other campaigns.  He also gives lists on which documentaries to watch and what books to read which will help people realize how bad our planet is being destroyed.  He also teamed up with Al Gore to help bring awareness to Earth’s environmental problems.  So needless to say, Leonardo is not just a pretty face.  Join in Leonardo’s mission and help spread awareness on our Earth’s environmental state.

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