Day breaks in Colorado and the Wanderlust Yoga Festival sets its last billowing aerial hammocks into place. It is a brisk and sunny Saturday morning and over 300 people begin to gather in the Great Lawn Park to practice as one to the groovy beats of DJ powered yoga flow. In these times when the very act of collaboration is a radical act, Yoga becomes the great unifying entity as we all move together in a slow and methodical rhythm, setting the pace of our hearts opening to what is possible.
Wanderlust Festival and Trees, Water & People have been working together since 2014 to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint while helping people and the planet. In that time, together, we’ve planted 55,791 trees in Central America with a specific intent of improving peoples’ livelihoods. To date Wanderlust Festival has banked a total of 13,948 metric tons of CO2e. Individual festival goers also have the option to offset their own carbon emissions footprint online.
Our unique alliance allows us to invest in community-based carbon sequestration projects that tangibly improve life for people and the planet. Together, we are changing the lives of indigenous communities in Central America. The ‘green value’ added through carbon sequestration supports the festival’s Wander without Waste Movement and Certified B Corp. status.
Wanderlust Festival and Trees, Water & People have channeled the goodwill of the yoga community into projects that are creating positive change while encouraging environmentally conscious choices at festivals. Our alliance is an inspiring example of how businesses and nonprofits can work together to positively affect change both in and beyond our community.
During a recent trip to visit our corporate grantors, World Centric®, we were able to sit with their staff over lunch to find out more about the work they do. It was so inspiring to speak to folks passionately working every day, to help people and the planet!
World Centric® was founded in 2004 to raise awareness about large-scale humanitarian and environmental issues. Their disposable food service products are designed to reduce pollution and waste through composting, require less energy and water to produce, come from renewable resources, and are created from waste products that help save biodiversity and habitats. What is most incredible is that 25% of their annual profits are invested in nonprofits like Trees, Water & People to create social and environmental sustainability.
Together, we have invested in a profound partnership to help people and the planet! I truly believe that through collaboration, we allow each organization to specialize in their individual field in order to meet common goals. This holistic model of cooperation through social enterprise is a means to achieve greater societal aspirations addressing social justice and conservation through alliance and cooperation.
Finding solutions by coming together to solve problems that affect the entire planet sets the example of what is possible, of what can be accomplished through collaboration. We have empowered each other to create solutions by working in unison. This asset-based approach to helping people and the planet is a way to build enthusiasm, energy and strengthen relationships that propel people and cultures to the ‘next level’.
On behalf of TWP and the communities we serve, we would like to thank World Centric® for their continued support and innovative vision! To read more about the many ways to ally with and support TWP, please visit our partners page on our website.
Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program puts the power of nature — the warmth of the sun, the power of the wind, the shelter of trees — to work for Native Americans. In partnership with First Nations communities, TWP builds and installs supplemental solar air heaters for families in need and provides green job training to tribes around the country. These solutions are sustainable, economically beneficial, environmentally friendly, and celebrate the Native Americans’ respect for Mother Earth.
Every year, each solar air heater prevents 1.39 tons of carbon emissions generated by fossil fuels. The Native American Rights Fund’s contribution to this form of renewable energy greatly reduces the organization’s environmental impact and helps Native American families in need by providing clean, free heat from the sun.
Native American Rights Fund’s Statement on Environmental Sustainability
“It is clear that our natural world is undergoing severe, catastrophic climate change that adversely impacts the lives of people and ecosystems worldwide. Native Americans are especially vulnerable and are experiencing disproportionate negative impacts on their cultures, health, and food systems. In response, NARF is committed to environmental sustainability through our mission, work, and organizational values. Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have a long tradition of living sustainably with the natural world by understanding the importance of preserving natural resources and respecting the interdependence of all living things. NARF embraces this tradition through its work and by instituting sustainable office practices that reduce our negative impact on our climate and environment. NARF is engaged in environmental work and has established a Green Office Committee whose responsibility is to lead and coordinate staff participation in establishing and implementing policies and procedures to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption and pollution, and create a healthful work environment.”
The relationships that we form with businesses from around the country, and the world, make much of our work possible. Thanks to these innovative partnerships, we have been able to complete important community-based sustainable development projects around the globe. Thank you 2014 Redwood partners!
To view a full list of our 2014 Corporate Partners and to learn more about how your business can partner with Trees, Water & People click here >>
Right after my daughter was born in 2004, I started thinking of ways to balance the carbon effects of my behavior as an offering to her future. Many of the things that I first considered in 2004 have now become part of our ecologically-friendly household: recycling, composting, gardening, trying to use the car only when necessary, walking and cycling whenever possible, purchasing carbon offsets, and installing a 4 kW solar array on our roof.
I found Trees, Water & People (TWP) when I did an internet search for agencies that operate carbon offsetting programs. I liked what I read about TWP’s programs, including installing solar air heatersand providing green job training for Native American communities and doing reforestation and clean cookstove projects in Latin America. In 2008, I started planting trees with the help of TWP. To date, 1,850 trees have been planted on my behalf and I have offset 185 tons of carbon.
While many people aspire to become “carbon neutral,” I want to take the idea a step further and become “carbon negative.” I like to think that the activities described above have effectively cancelled my carbon footprint but I do not believe that I should stop there. TWP’s tree planning program provides a simple means of furthering that intention.
For more information about how you can offset your environmental impact please visit TWP’s website.
After measuring their carbon footprint in 2009, Counter Culture Coffee made a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2015. They reached their goal much faster, achieving carbon neutrality for the entire company by the end of 2011.
We have been honored to partner with Counter Culture as they continuously work towards reaching their sustainability goals. In 2012, they offset 642 tons of carbon through our clean cookstove program. For this project, a total of 86 cookstoves were built in the community of Marcala, Honduras, benefiting 626 family members.
In 2013, we are working with Counter Culture and one of their coffee cooperatives, COLCAFELOL, to build 85 more clean cookstoves in Marcala. These stoves will benefit hundreds of people by reducing indoor air pollution in the home and decreasing deforestation for fuelwood. In addition, the stoves will offset more than 600 tons of CO2 emissions over their lifetime.
Thank you to Counter Culture Coffee for their continued support of our Clean Cookstove Program!
Studies Abroad for Global Education (SAGE) is one of those organizations that stands out among the pack! SAGE not only provides high-quality study abroad programs to youth and educators, they also take great care in running a sustainable travel business that respects Mother Earth.
SAGE and Trees, Water & People (TWP) have partnered in several capacities over the years, including leading a volunteer work trip to Honduras in 2011. Now, as part of SAGE’s commitment to sustainable and responsible travel, all of SAGE’s students have the ability to offset their travel carbon footprint. For every offset made, SAGE matches it dollar-for-dollar through TWP’s Carbon Offset Program!
To date, SAGE has matched 298.5 tons of carbon offsets, supporting the construction of solar air heating systems on Native American reservations of the U.S. that greatly reduce heating bills for families in need while reducing green house gas emissions that lead to climate change. Thanks to SAGE, we are able to help communities reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and make the transition towards clean, renewable alternatives like solar.
Recently, in partnership with Counter Culture Coffee, we built 86 Justa clean cookstoves into the kitchens of Café Orgánico Marcala (COMSA) producers in Marcala, La Paz, Honduras, via the technical assistance provided by La Asociación Hondureña para el Desarrollo (AHDESA). In all, 626 family members of COMSA producers in and around Marcala will benefit from cleaner indoor air, more disposable income, and will use less than half the wood required by their former cookstoves.
Trees, Water & People would like to thank the Counter Culture Coffee team for their dedication to providing high quality coffee to those who appreciate it, while, at the same time, giving back to the communities that produce the product. Over the lifespan of these cookstoves, 645 tons of CO2 will be avoided, reducing the amount of hazardous greenhouse gases in our global atmosphere that are leading to climate change.
Every year, each of our solar air heaters prevents 1.39 tons of carbon emissions from being generated by its combustible alternatives. When you contribute to this renewable energy Carbon Offset option, you help not only our environment, but also the struggling families that will now receive free, clean heat from the sun. To learn more or to purchase carbon offsets today please click here.
How do we calculate your offset?
Calculations for CO2 Offsetting by Solar Heaters
Your carbon offset purchase goes into a dedicated fund at Trees, Water & People to build “carbon offset heaters.” Once we have sold 28 tons of carbon offsets (the total lifetime of avoided emissions for one heater), that means we have enough money to build a solar air heater collector panel. We combine these carbon offsets funds, which supply the collector panel, with existing funds to pay for the remainder of the heater kit and its installation. That means that, thanks to you, our “carbon offset heaters” will be up and running, preventing the use of carbon-based fuels, and heating homes of families in need. We would not be able to build these heaters without your contribution!
Our “carbon offset heaters” only go to homes that would otherwise get heat from electricity or fire wood, both very common heat-sources on Native American reservations, where we distribute almost all of our systems. The average carbon dioxide emissions avoided by using solar air heaters instead of wood or electricity is 3,072 pounds annually according to the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (http://www.rreal.org/solar-assistance/pricing/). At 2,204 pounds per metric ton, that means our heaters avoid 1.39 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Barring any damage, our collector panels have a 20 year lifespan, leading to a total of 27.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide avoided in a panel’s lifetime.