On Thursday, February 13th, over 100 business leaders, nonprofit executives and 1% for the Planet members convened at Citrix in Goleta, Ca. for Connect the Dots, a conference that highlighted steps being taken by companies, NGOs and individuals to build resilient communities in an era of unprecedented climate change.
Connect the Dots brought together sustainability leaders including 1% for the Planet members Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, and New Belgium Brewing. They were joined by organizations including National Geographic, the Orfaela Foundation, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and many more.
Panelists and guests honed in on critical themes facing our planet including water, food, energy and transportation. The gathering invited participants to implement changes in their own businesses and lives, and culminated with attendees publicly announcing their commitment to new sustainability initiatives. We’re excited to share what we learned…
Here’s what you can do! Five steps anyone can take toward climate solutions:
BY 1% FOR THE PLANET
1) Change the Course: join Patagonia in pledging to reduce your water footprint.
“In the days ahead, the human story is a water story,” said Sandra Postel, a fellow for the National Geographic Research Institute as she introduced unique partnerships aimed at restoring water flows to ecosystems negatively impacted by climate change. National Geographic has partnered with the BEF, Participant Media and other sponsors to create the Change the Course initiative.
< With Change the Course, individuals pledge to reduce their water use while corporate sponsors underwrite this pledge by funding water restoration projects. Patagonia pledged $10k to the Change the Course campaign at Connect the Dots, and you can help too! 1 pledge = 1,000 gallons of water back into the Colorado River Basin! 2) Ride a bike: get healthy, save money, and reduce CO2 emissions. “At New Belgium, we give every employee a bicycle to help reduce the impact our workforce has on the environment,” said Katie Wallace, Sustainability Director at New Belgium Brewing Co. “Our employees become our ambassadors and help tell our story.” Throw a leg over your bike instead of taking the car the next time you head to work. Then spread the word. Talk to your employer about providing showers and bike storage so alternative commuting is easy. They’ll save on health care costs and reduce the company’s footprint substantially. 3) Say no to single use: join Klean Kanteen and take the plastics pledge. “Now celebrating our 10th year, Klean Kanteen continues its commitment to eliminating single use plastics,” said Jim Osgood, CEO of Klean Kanteen. “This mission aligns with our core values as a company and inspires us to do more.” Take the pledge to say no to single use plastics. Klean Kanteen and nonprofit partners Plastic Pollution Coalition, Keep a Breast and 5 Gyres are getting the word out about the benefits of going plastic free. Sign the pledge and join a community of people making change for the planet and their own health. 4) Eat local: fresher food, better taste and energy savings are all part of the deal. Did you know it takes 650 gallons of water to produce a SINGLE pound of beef?! There was lots of talk—and action—at Connect the Dots when it came to local food. The Community Environmental Council was inspired to research the possibility of a ‘food hub’ in Santa Barbara County to better connect farmers to consumers and the Santa Barbara Foundation will launch a new initiative to focus on and fund Landscapes, Ecosystems, Agriculture and Food (LEAF). 5) Become a 1% FTP Company: sign up today and empower people to buy better products and protect the planet we play on! Hans Cole, Patagonia’s Environmental Grants Manager, captured the event’s goal succinctly: “Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, and inspire businesses to be part of the solution. Not only is this is our mission – it’s our responsibility.” Join Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, Klean Kanteen and more than 1200 other companies who are leading the charge and using their businesses as the engines of positive environmental change. To learn more about 1% for the Planet, our partners, or how to get involved, find us at www.onepercentfortheplanet.org or call 802-496-5408. Connect the Dots with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @1percentFTP. This post was originally featured on February 20, 2014 on the 1% for the Planet Blog.