Making Native Voices Count

by Katie Murphy, Strategic Partnerships Manager

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) has been partnering with Trees, Water & people since 2012 and we are so happy they are a part of our Partners for a Sustainable Planet program. Over the last six years, we have been working together to not only support their environmental sustainability practices as a business but also support tribal communities throughout Pine Ridge Reservation.

One of the ways that we can make our voices heard is at the ballot box. For most of us, this process seems effortless; we show up to our local polling station, driver’s license in hand, and do our civic duty by checking a few boxes. One thing we don’t often think about is how hard it can be for Native voters to participate in this seemingly simple way.

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Voting in Native Country can be tricky, as many tribes face multiple challenges when it comes to voter registration. Early voting, redistricting, identification requirements, and access to voting sites can often be barriers for many Native Americans. However, our partners at the NARF and the Native American Voting Rights Coalition (NAVRC) have been working tirelessly since September 2017 to identify these challenges and are work to overcome them before midterm elections.

Through hosting field hearings across the country, NARF is hoping to uncover some of the obstacles Native Americans face in the voting process and advance their access to voting:

“Field hearings are the most efficient way to learn about barriers that voters face in    Indian Country: directly from tribal leaders, voters, and organizers on the ground. Many reservations are geographically, linguistically, and culturally isolated from the rest of the population.”     –Native American Rights Fund

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While our projects here at Trees, Water & People focus on bringing Native communities opportunities and educational training in renewable energy, we are happy to partner with organizations that help bring Native voices to the table. Supporting our communities in every way possible, whether it’s through green-job training or reaching remote areas for voter education, it is essential work that we must continue to do.

Some of the next field hearings to be held will be in Southern California and Tulsa, Oklahoma. To learn more about hearings in your area and how to get involved with NARF, Contact vote@narf.org. Together, we can help people and the planet.

From Community to Cup: CafĂ© Imports Becomes a TWP Corporate Partner

by Katie Murphy, Strategic Partnerships Manager 

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Café Imports brings some of the highest quality green coffee to the global market. What makes them truly shine is not only their excellent product but the way they engage in business. To minimize their environmental impact, they have partnered with us to continue their carbon neutrality for the next two years. With the environment at the forefront of all their decisions, Café Imports believes it is just simply part of doing ethical business in the ever-changing coffee market. They believe that quality, education, and progress are the driving principles that make their services exemplary, and here at Trees, Water & People, we couldn’t agree more.

“This new effort in 2017, a charitable effort by the ownership of Café Imports, guarantees again that all of our coffee is carbon neutral by the time it arrives at our warehouse.“

    —Andrew Miller, Café Imports Founder

By becoming part of TWP’s Partners for a Sustainable Planet Program (PSP), Café Imports is doing more than just offsetting 3,378 tons of CO2. Through reforestation and clean cookstove efforts in Honduras, Café Imports can ensure their carbon neutrality and further their existing philosophy which highlights the “tree to the cup” traceability of their coffee.

You can see for yourself how Café Imports examines their carbon footprint in their 2017 Environmental Progress Report. By computing not only their shipping and business travel, but including the day-to-day office and warehouse output, and even employee commuting, Café Imports can feel confident in their carbon footprint metrics and make changes to their business practices accordingly. In 2016, they were able to reduce their annual carbon output by 11% from the previous year.

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Café Imports is taking carbon offsets further!

This unique partnership in the Honduran Highlands lends support to 220 local families in the twelve coffee producing communities we work with and also trains locals in agroforestry practices. By diversifying coffee farms with shade trees and integrated food crops, we can strengthen coffee crops and improve economic opportunities in these communities. Additionally, Café Imports has sponsored the construction and installation of 20 clean cookstoves and the training of two local Hondurans in stove design and construction. Implementing clean cookstoves helps families breathe cleaner air, reduce their reliance on and consumption of fuelwood, and improves their quality of life for years to come.

Our partnership connects Café Imports to the families that grow coffee, taking their existing philosophy of “tree to cup” to “community to cup.” TWP is proud to partner with a business who doesn’t just talk the talk about environmental responsibility; they walk the walk.

If you would like to learn more about our Corporate Partnership Program, click here! 

Check it out

Thank you Smartpress.com!

Smartpress.com 100% Replanted

Smartpress.com has taken new steps towards becoming an environmentally conscious and socially responsible company through their partnership with Trees, Water & People and their commitment to become 100% Replanted. To date, they have planted 1,215 trees! These efforts set an example for the printing industry, and for private businesses in general, and we are honored to work with such a great company. Thank you Smartpress!

“Through this project we are taking our initiative to exercise environmental responsibility to the next level by making the commitment to be one of the first printing companies ever to become 100% Replanted.”

– Chuck Reese, President, Smartpress.com.

Collaboration with CO2 Bambu will Bring Clean Cookstoves to Nicaraguan Families

CO2 Bambu, a Nicaragua-based for-profit enterprise, designs, manufactures and field assembles pre-fabricated ecological structures for shelters, homes and community buildings.  Trees, Water & People (TWP) and CO2 Bambu are now collaborating on reforestation and fuel-efficient cookstove projects.  This partnership blends CO2 Bambu’s triple bottom-line approach (social impact, environmental improvement, and financial stability) with TWP’s mission to help communities sustainably manage the precious natural resources that their long-term well-being depends on.

A CO2 Bambu tree nursery in Nicaragua houses thousands of seedlings.

In La Rosita, Nicaragua, a tree nursery is now up and CO2 Bambu is looking to plant trees in river communities that utilize available flood plain land alongside the natural groves existing on the riverbanks.  Seed collecting activities to augment the existing 3,000 plant nursery will take place between April and June of this year.  Planting the seedlings in the field will begin in May and go through July as weather permits.

CO2 Bambu offers eco-solutions for construction and low-cost housing.

Co2 Bambu and TWP are also collaborating to provide 18 “Emelda” fuel-efficient cookstoves to the community of El Cocal where CO2 Bambu has built bamboo houses that need efficient wood cooking stoves. The project is in the works with PROLEĂ‘A/TWP  in Managua to provide training, stove parts and a field supervisor.  The building of these cookstoves will begin in June 2011.

Families can benefit greatly from clean cookstoves, which reduce deforestation, fuelwood costs, and indoor air pollution.

We are really excited to be working with such a progressive company and look forward to continuing this partnership well into the future!

For more information on CO2 Bambu please visit their website: http://co2bambu.com