One Percent for the Planet – My partnership with Camp Kawartha

One Percent for the Planet was founded in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia outdoor clothing and gear) and Craig Mathews (founder of Blue Ribbon Flies). Their idea was simple, inspire other business leaders (large and small) to donate 1% of their gross revenues to community based environmental initiatives. That idea has grown and has spread to become an international network which spans 40 countries and has over 1,200 member businesses. https://vimeo.com/34926382

The work of One Percent is focused on six major themes:

  • Climate
    • Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Youth Education
  • Food
    • Sustainable Farming Practices, Local Agriculture, Youth Education
  • Land
    • Access and Recreation, Natural Resource Conservation, Youth Education
  • Water
    • Drought mitigation, Biodiversity & Habitat, Youth Education
  • Wildlife
    • Law & Public Policy, Wildlife Research, Youth Education
  • Pollution
    • Clean ups, Human Health & Economic Development, Youth Education

To date One Percent member businesses have donated approximately $150 Million USD to over 250 non-profits around the world. (onepercentfortheplanet.org) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=112&v=rZ0Stj6MWNU

I signed up with One Percent in 2016 because I wanted to give back to my community and to protect the natural environment which has always been an important part of my life ever since I grew up playing in creeks and forests as a child. I approached Camp Kawartha in the late fall of 2016 in an effort to work with them as my personal non-profit of choice. I chose to work with them because they are an excellent example of a local group who is working to educate and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders. At their main location on Clear Lake and at their satellite location near Trent University they run a number of programs designed to teach young people to be good stewards of the natural environment. This concept is something that I know quite well,  I worked  at summer camps and for the provincial parks service throughout high school and as a student at Trent University and I witnessed firsthand the transformative power that the natural environment can have on young people.

The importance of self-esteem and confidence are also strong components of their programs, these are also very important to me. It was through experiences in the outdoors that I developed my own sense of self belief and perseverance. There’s nothing quite like portaging a canoe across a 1.5 km portage, in driving rain, while been bitten by swarms of blackflies to help you realize what you can achieve by focusing on a goal seeing it through to the end. The programs run by Camp Kawartha use a variety of methods to teach young people to believe in themselves and to surprise them with what they can accomplish when they put their minds to it.

I look forward to working with Camp Kawartha for years to come as we team-up to inspire the environmental leaders of tomorrow, those who will be the stewards not only of the Kawarthas but of our planet as well.

Presenting my 2016 donation cheque to Jacob Rodenburg, Executive Director of Camp Kawartha

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