World Centric & TWP: A Profound Partnership to Save the Planet!

By Patricia Flores White | Development Director

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 eriq
TWP National Director, Eriq Acosta, and W.C. Development Manager, Janae Lloyd

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.

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Source: http://www.worldcentric.org/about-us/newsletter/2011/october

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.

Native American Rights Fund Offsets 2014 Carbon Footprint

NARF offset report_2014

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

Carbon Offset Partner Logo (250px)“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.”

To learn more about NARF’s commitment to environmental sustainability please visit http://www.narf.org/about-us/environmental-sustainability/

Thank You Redwood Partners!

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!

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 >>

Why I Offset

by Jeff Mertz, TWP Carbon Offset Partner

el salvador tree nursery
TWP’s tree nursery in El Salvador is managed by local people, like Jorge Ochoa (pictured), and plants tens of thousands of trees each year for their carbon offset program.

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.

carbon offset program logoI 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 heaters and 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.

Corporate Partner Spotlight: Counter Culture Coffee

clean cookstove Honduras
A Justa clean cookstove replaces polluting open fire stoves, which are extremely harmful to human and environmental health.

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.

counter culture coffeeIn 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) Offsets Student Travel

SAGE logo

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.

To learn more about SAGE and their sustainability initiatives please visit http://www.sageprogram.org/about/sustainability

solar heating system
A solar heating system is installed on a new straw bale home at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota Tribe.

Counter Culture Coffee Supports Clean Cookstoves in Honduras

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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.

counter culture coffee logoTrees, 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.