1% For the Planet: How a Small Percentage Can Make a Huge Impact

Science shows that being near, in, on, or underwater can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do. - Wallace Nicols

This quote from the book called, Blue Mind, resonates with me deeply. Being by the ocean creates a sense of peace and helps me clear my head, giving me a way to rest and reset.

As humans, we have a responsibility to take care of our environment, and on a trip to San Clemente, I ran across an opportunity to help. The Surfrider Foundation hosted a beach clean-up, and I thought it would be good for my family to volunteer. My initial thought was this should be pretty easy; there isn’t much trash on the beach, most people clean up after themselves. But we learned that’s far from the truth and got schooled on microplastics that get in the sand and are pretty much invisible. It’s all sorts of items from broken pieces of plastic, fishing line, broken foam from sandals, and the list goes on. It’s essential to clean it up because it gets swept back into the ocean and causes environmental and sea life issues.

Ocean trash can be broken into smaller pieces — known as microplastic — by sun exposure and wave action, after which it can find its way into the food chain. When it eventually degrades (which takes 400 years for most plastic), the process releases chemicals that further contaminate the sea. —

They outfitted us with gloves, sifters, bags, and we got to work. It was incredible how much trash we found buried in the sand. When we were done, I looked down the beach and realized how small of an area we covered. Thinking about it later, yes, the four of us could only cover a small space, but there were more than just us; about 40 others were cleaning. Even though we contributed a small amount, collectively, it made a huge impact.

Balancing Purpose and Profit

At Underbelly, we understand that a small act can make a huge impact. One of our core values is, Make a Positive Impact. We designate 2% of our revenue to give to charities that impact people in need and be good stewards of the planet. We also provide each of our team members with yearly funds to allocate to organizations of their choice.

What makes you a 1% Planet Partner and how do you do things differently?

Working with 1% for the Planet has given us an excellent opportunity to expand our charitable network. The organization's network is far-reaching, and they bring people together to further the charitable arm of our community towards environmental issues. Did you know that currently in the United States only 3% of total philanthropy goes to environmental causes? 2021 was the second year we got our 1% for the Planet certification. It's incredible to know that we can give a little, but these organizations can make a significant impact.

Being "1% For the Planet" is a business that commits to donating the equivalent of 1% of their gross sales to support environmental nonprofits directly. Joining this environmental giving movement is choosing more than just profits - you are pledging to support the planet.

Here is a list of 1% for the Planet Partners we partnered with by donating time and/or money to in 2021.

What is 1% For The Planet?

1% for the Planet is an alliance of businesses increasing thoughtful environmental giving across the globe— with the ultimate goal to create a healthier planet. They understand the social and environmental impacts of their business.

The focus of 1% For the Planet lies in six core areas: climate, food, land, population, water, and wildlife. Learn more about each of these environmental issues here.

What goals do you have to become a better partner to the planet?

My challenge for you, find opportunities where you can give back. Small acts, combined with others, will make a significant impact in making the world a better place.

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