We've now been a member of Yvon Chouinard's 1% for the Planet for three years, and this year we just gave our largest donation yet—over twenty thousand dollars—to the Peconic Land Trust on Long Island. From all of us at Apartment Therapy, I want to thank all of our readers for coming to our five sites each day. It is because of our remarkable audience that we've been able to grow, sell advertising and give back to the environment each year. Want to know the full story? Please read below.
I was inspired to join 1% for the Planet after reading Yvon Chouinard's biography a few years back. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, is an unique book about a remarkable life, which culminates with the 1% FTP concept. Yvon's ability to turn his company, Patagonia, into a force for good on many levels remains a guiding force for Apartment Therapy. With success comes profits, and with profits come responsibility, particularly to the earth which supports us all and asks for nothing.
Yvon calls 1% an "earth tax" in that it's our way of balancing our budget with the earth.
Yvon also makes it very clear that 1% is not a small commitment. This voluntary tax we've agreed to pay is on 1% of ALL annual revenue, NOT profits, and we must pay it each year or fail to meet our commitment. While I love the whole concept, I have to admit that writing these checks has not always been fun. Particularly when money has been tight and profits very low, it has been financially risky to stand by our commitment.
But we've done it, because it is easy to keep a commitment when it doesn't require much. The true test of a commitment is whether you can stick to it when it's actually hard to do.
In the past, we've asked you, our readers, to help us choose where the money should go.
Two years ago you helped us choose Habitat for Humanity, and last year we all came together to support Sustainable Harvest International.
This year, I made an executive decision and chose a environmental organization that I know first hand, Peconic Land Trust, which has had a direct effect on my local experience.
PLT is dedicated to conserving Long Island's working farms and natural lands. Check out what they've done:
Established in 1983 by John v.H. Halsey and a small group of local residents to ensure the protection of Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since its inception, the Trust has worked diligently with landowners, communities, and municipalities to protect more than 10,000 acres of land, conserving more working farms on Long Island than any other private conservation organization, and securing millions of dollars from the public and private sector for land protection.
A big part of what PLT does can be witnessed at their Quail Hill Farm, one of the original CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms in the U.S., located in Amagansett, New York. Since it was established in 1990, Quail Hill Farm has grown to 30 acres serving 200 families, as well as providing produce to a local school, nearby restaurants, a farmers market, and food pantries.
While attending a fundraiser last fall, I heard that the farm was in particular need of money this year, and I immediately talked to them to see if they would join 1% FTP and make themselves eligible to receive Apartment Therapy's annual donation. They moved quickly, and I am super pleased that this year's donation is going to help support their work on eastern Long Island.
Think of how cool and efficient this process is:
1. Millions of readers read Apartment Therapy online for free because they care about their homes, which,
2. Allows us to make money from selling a lot of advertising to many small and large businesses all over the country, and now
3. 1% of that is going directly to preserve working farms and natural land on Long Island.
The loop is a good tight one, with no money taken out by the 1% FTP organization. Our check is written directly to the Peconic Land Trust. As members we simply need to show the proof of our donation to 1% FTP to remain a member in good standing. It's that simple.
So thank you to you and congratulations to all of us! Aside from our individual efforts, this online community devoted to taking care of our homes that we've created is also doing its part to take care of the earth.
I look forward to us all being able to do even more next year.
Founder, Apartment Therapy