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Environmental

Travel Guide: 10 businesses that give back while you travel

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The human impact of travel and the tourism industry takes a huge toll on our environment each year. The United Nations Environment Program identified three significant environmental affects of tourism: depletion of natural resources, pollution and the degradation of the communities and ecosystems in the places we travel.

Our planet is beautiful and meant for exploring. We believe that traveling to new places, learning about other cultures and experiencing truly wild places holds the power to educate us all and encourage environmental change. So, we aren’t asking you to stop traveling—but rather, we hope you take the proper precautions when planning your next trip to ensure that your travels are environmentally cautious and cause as little harm as possible to the places you explore.

Sustainable travel can easily be put into practice—whether you’re working with an environmental nonprofit to help you travel responsibly or checking off your packing list of sustainable 1% for the Planet member products.

You can also reduce your travel footprint by choosing tourism businesses, lodging and travel agencies within the 1% for the Planet network. Understanding the environmental implications of human travel, these members joined 1% for the Planet to take responsibility for the impact their business has on the planet.


BUCKEYE TREE LODGE & SEQUOIA VILLAGE INN

📍Sequoia National Park – California

In recent years, our National Parks have seen a huge influx of tourists (thanks, Instagram). Due to underfunding and overcrowding, it’s becoming more and more important to ensure that tourists take steps to protect these public lands from pollution and degradation. While it’s no surprise that everyone wants to capture the natural beauty of these picturesque parks, travelers can reduce their impact by choosing sustainably responsible accommodations when booking their trip.

Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn are located just outside of Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers, California. Not only are these local businesses 1% for the Planet members, but they also implement many environmental and community initiatives into their business model. From solar powered systems and energy efficient appliances to eco-friendly products, your trip to Three Rivers is sure to be as fulfilling as it is environmentally friendly.

No matter what time of year you’re hoping to visit Sequoia National Park, these affordable lodges have activities for every season. So, be sure to put whitewater rafting, fly fishing, high-elevation hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, snow-shoeing, bear watching, and giving back on your bucket list.

Environmental Support:

Every stay at Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn contributes to their commitment to give back to their community and protect the National Parks they call home. Through their 1% for the Planet partnerships, Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn support the Sequoia Parks Conservancy and the Sierra Club.


DISCOVERY BICYCLE TOURS

📍Around the world

There’s no better way to tread lightly (do you get it?) on our world than by traveling by bicycle. Unless of course, it’s biking with a business that actively works to preserve and protect the environment they tread on. Discovery Bicycle Tours is family owned and joined the 1% for the Planet family in 2018 when Scott and Thistle Cone took the reins as co-owners.

Discovery Bicycle Tours offers inn-to-inn bicycle tours around the world. The company aims to provide outstanding bicycle tours, top-notch service and give back to the extraordinary places they love to bike.

With tour offerings in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, you could start your trip at Discovery Bicycle Tours headquarters in Vermont, explore Chile’s lakes and volcanoes, bike Key-to-Key in Florida, visit the world’s happiest country (and biking-mecca) Denmark, or even bask in in some of the most spectacular scenery in Southeast Asia as you adventure through Vietnam.

With Discovery Bicycle Tours, the possibilities are endless and the environmental impact is minimal.

Environmental Support:

In an effort to protect public lands and preserve the outdoor spaces we explore, Discovery Bicycle Tours supports the Nature Conservancy, the Vermont Land Trust, Local Motion, and BikeCentennial—Adventure Cycling Association.


EAGLE WING WHALE & WILDLIFE TOURS

📍Victoria BC, Canada

Eagle Wing Tours was our first whale-watching member and has been a true steward for the environment since day one. With the belief that wildlife viewing can provide educational merit and encourage environmental sustainability, the Eagle Wing Tours team goes to great lengths to ensure that their tours also have positive impact on their community.

Beyond their 1% for the Planet membership, Eagle Wing Tours is 100% carbon neutral and a founding member of the Victoria Sustainable Tourism Alliance. Their boats are energy efficient, clean and quiet to reduce water and air pollution. Oh, and they provide every customer with a whale sighting guarantee.

“The natural world has massive demands placed upon it every day. At Eagle Wing we believe that being a responsible steward means being active, positive contributors to the ecosystem we love and are able to make our living from.” – Brett Soberg, Eagle Wings Tour co-owner

Environmental Support:

Through 1% for the Planet, Eagle Wing Tours supports Cowichan Energy Alternatives, Shaw Center for the Salish Sea, Sierra Club BC, Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Society, Saturna Island Marine Research & Education Society (SIMRES), Center for Whale Research, Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) and Race Rocks to just name a few! We highly encourage you to take the time to learn more about their environmental stewardship and conservation efforts.


CONSCIOUS ADVENTURIST

📍Around the world

Conscious Adventurist is a global travel organization committed to ethical, sustainable and responsible travel. Conscious Adventurist aims to provide they best customized, mindful travel for any age or experience. From adventure trips for the adrenaline junky to a relaxed trek through a new country, every itinerary is customizable and can accommodate any travelers needs. Every trip is a combination of fulfilling a traveler’s desire to connect with a new place and the obligation to protect the environment for future adventurers.

With Conscious Adventurist, you can truly go anywhere in the world— get inspired by 7 Life-Changing Experiences Around the World and 23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel. Wherever you decide to go, you can travel knowing that your trip helps give back.

Want to learn more about how you too can be a more sustainable traveler? Learn from the experts at Conscious Adventurist about 5 Ways to Give Back When You Travel and 15 Ways to Reduce Waste When You Travel.

Environmental Support:

As a 1% for the Planet member, Conscious Adventurist strives to give back as much as possible by supporting nonprofit organizations like Protect Our Winters. They are an eco-conscious organization that works to build environmental initiatives into their business.

 

RUN THE ALPS

📍France, Italy & Switzerland

There’s no denying that the French, Italian and Swiss mountain ranges are some of the most stunning views in the world. Run The Alps provides the opportunity to explore these incredible mountains by foot. Run The Alps aims to provide the best trail running experience for runners of any level, with guided and self-guided tours.

Whether you’re exploring the Italian Dolomites or running through French, Italy and Switzerland on their most popular tour, Tour Mont-Blanc, Run The Alps always incorporates Leave No Trace principles into their trips. They are committed to responsible travel and work to reduce the impact of their travel, including purchasing carbon offsets and of course, their 1% for the Planet membership.

Environmental Support:

Through their 1% for the Planet membership, Run The Alps works to protect the wild places they run by supporting 1% for the Planet and research in the impact of climate change on high altitude environments through their partnership with The Research Center for Alpine Ecosystems.


ALASKA ALPINE ADVENTURES

📍Alaska

Alaska Alpine Adventures started in 1998 with sustainable roots as they worked to incorporate conservation ethics into every part of their company and travel itineraries since day one. In 2015, they took their commitment to protecting Alaska to the next level by joining 1% for the Planet.

Through Alaska Alpine Adventures, you can explore Alaska’s wildest places via backpacking, hiking, kayaking, rafting or a combination of adventure sports. The hard question isn’t how you’ll explore Alaska, but where will you go. With so many incredible options through Alaska’s national parks, it’s hard to decide on just one trip. We’d suggest starting with Alaska Alpine Adventures’ bread and butter: Lake Clark National Park. This extraordinary trip is where Alaska Alpine Adventures guided their first tour in 1998 and to this day is regarded as their favorite place to explore.

Environmental Support:

Alaska Alpine Adventures supports Alaska Center for the Environment and Trout Unlimited to protect their local environment with, Student Conservation Association to inspire future generations to to the same, and 1% for the Planet to strengthen and grow environmental philanthropy around the world. Additionally, Alaska Alpine Adventures is heavily involved in the ongoing battle to save Bristol Bay.


LVR- Indian Shores Sundeck.jpg

LEGACY VACATION RESORTS

📍Florida, California, Colorado, Nevada

Legacy Vacation Resorts provides experiences for families and friends to create unique moments and lasting memories in a manner that respects the environment, employees and community. As part of their mission, they hope to educate consumers on the importance of supporting conscious businesses as well as the hospitality industry on how to attain sustainable economic development. The company boasts eight locations across four states, delivering a variety of options for travelers of all ages including warm beaches, thrilling mountain adventures, natural settings, iconic attractions and more.

With a core passion for sustainability and using the power of business as a force for good, this 1% For The Planet Member and Certified B Corporation® offers carbon footprint offsetting, waste reduction initiatives, sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns and green-focused renovation projects. Travelers to each location can not only enjoy their vacation but also know their trips are supporting causes to create positive impact for the environment and the communities in which they visit.

Environmental Support:

Stays at LVR properties contributes to a variety of charities such as the For Good Movement, an organization dedicated to inspiring the spread of conscious business in the State of Florida and beyond. Every single guest who books directly with the resort has their carbon footprint offset on behalf of the company via We are Neutral. Legacy also supports a wide variety of other environmental programs and organizations such as Solar United Neighbors, IDEAS for Us and the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative at the University of Florida.


GLOBE + TRIBE

📍Around the world

Globe + Tribe is a boutique travel agency with a big goal: purposeful tourism. This company firmly believes that ‘intentional’ travel journeys hold the ability to encourage future environmental stewards and promote community development, sustainable development and conservation efforts in the world’s most wild places.

With these goals in mind, Globe + Tribe specializes in ‘emerging’ and ‘frontier’ destinations such as Andalusia, Cuba, Georgia, Iberia, Mongolia, and more. For the most adventurous travelers who enjoy life off-the beaten-path, they also offer Discovery Journeys where you can join Globe + Tribe on a test-run before they offer trips to the general public.

Already have a destination in mind or do you want expert advice on your next itinerary? Globe + Tribe also offers customizable Bespoke Journeys to fulfill your next travel bucket list.

Environmental Support:

Globe + Tribe is a new member to our network. While they currently support 1% for the Planet, they’re working closely with our membership team to choose their nonprofit partners that align with their mission.


WANDERWELL

📍Everywhere you travel

Okay, so you’ve reached this far in our blog and you may have already decided where you want to go next. Beyond incredible travel destinations, our network also offers incredible services that ensure your travel plan goes smoothly. Let us take this time to introduce you to Wanderwell.

Wanderwell is a social enterprise masquerading as a travel insurance company. Their tag line is “you go, we give” and they mean it. When they joined 1% for the Planet, they pledged to not only meet their 1% commitment but bumped it up to 10%—because as a member and BCorp Certified business, they’re serious about environmental conservation and sustainable business practices.

So, whether you’re looking for a single-trip protection, medical, corporate, study abroad, or even ex-pat plans, Wanderwell has coverage types for every traveler looking to give back.

“The more we travel the clearer our lenses become to view how interconnected the beings and elements of our planet are to each other. We discover the need to conserve, contribute, and sustain, and our responsibility to act in such a way expands. Traveling breeds environmental consciousness.” – Wanderwell

Environmental Support:

Wanderwell may donate directly to 1% for the Planet, but they’ve chosen to donate a little bit more—with 10% of their annual sales going back to the planet.


CARBON CREDIT CAPITAL

📍Anywhere you go

As we mentioned, travel can increase our negative environmental impact. Luckily, there are companies like Carbon Credit Capital that help off-set the carbon emissions we produce when we fly, drive, eat and basically do anything as humans.

Carbon Credit Capital aims to increase our understanding of carbon emissions and ways that businesses, organizations and individuals can work to reduce (and reverse) their impact. To start, we’d suggest reading through their Carbon Cutting Tips to better understand the ways your travel and everyday actions play a role in climate change. Then, consider how your travel plans can be mitigated and altered to decrease your impact. Finally, consider purchasing a carbon off-set plan from Carbon Credit Capital for your travels. With the carbon off-set credits, Carbon Credit Capital supports projects that reduce, avoid and destroy harmful greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

Environmental Support:

Carbon Credit Capital understand the importance of strengthening the systems that grow environmental giving, which is why they chose to support 1% for the Planet as their primary nonprofit partner.

High school is billed as Florida’s first public K-12 net-zero energy campus

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The Osceola County district is opening NeoCity Academy, a STEM-themed campus, in a high-tech corridor in Kissimmee.

Mike Kennedy, EC&M | Aug 08, 2019

The Osceola County (Fla.) district is ready to open a new high school campus that is being touted as the state’s first net-zero-energy K-12 public school.

The Osceola News-Gazette reports that NeoCity Academy, a partnership between the district, the University of Central Florida and BRIDG, an area high-tech facility, will open its new campus next week in KIssimmee, Fla.

The school, situated in Osceola County’s high-tech NeoCity corridor, will focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects and provide an immersive learning environment in advanced manufacturing and engineering, biomedical engineering, and cybersecurity.

NeoCity Academy has been designed to use 76 percent less energy than a regular school; savings are expected to exceed $115,000 a year on energy costs. With 650 self-ballasted solar panels on the roof of the school, the campus will generate more power than it consumes on an annual bases.

Design elements geared toward enhancing student performance include air purification technology, enhanced lighting, daylighting, collaboration laboratories and breakout spaces.

In lieu of a kitchen or cafeteria, the school incorporates a food cantina truck that reduces operational costs.

Most of the students who applied to NeoCity, which is a magnet program open to youngsters from across Osceola County, have excelled in math in middle school and want something more in depth for high school, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

“I think they were looking for something that was different,” says Principal Michael Meechin says. “I think they’re looking for a challenge.”

The academy opened last year in space on Gateway High School’s campus.

“I think they were looking for something that was different,” Meechin said. “I think they’re looking for a challenge.”

The school will have about 230 students, with just ninth and 10th graders enrolled this year. It is expected to grow to 500 in two years, when it has all high school grades.

The architect for NeoCIty Academy is Little.

Stop being trashy: St. Pete launches composting program

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Stop being trashy: St. Pete launches composting program

“Kitchen and yard waste make up about 30% of what is thrown away.”

The city of St. Petersburg officially kicked off its new residential composting program this week. Residents can now request a composting bin to use at their homes in lieu of throwing organic waste into the trash.

“Did you know that kitchen and yard waste make up about 30% of what is thrown away? Composting helps divert these materials from landfills to deliver nutrients back into the soil,” the city wrote in its announcement. “Composting is the natural process of recycling organic material, like kitchen and yard waste, which breaks down to form a usable, nutrient-rich fertilizer.”

The city launched a voluntary composting program for residents to boost its sustainability initiatives. Composting organic waste like fruit peels, egg shells, stale bread or yard waste keeps those items from heading to the landfill. The matter breaks down over time into fertile soil residents can use for their own yard work or to donate to community gardens.

Residents can sign up for the program for free on the city’s website. The city will then deliver a 33 by 33 inch bin. The bins are free, but residents must do the composting and distributing of the resulting soil themselves.

The city is asking participants to occasionally report back with feedback about the program and their experience with composting.

Participating residents are expected to maintain the city-provided bin and return it if they no longer use it or move from city limits.

The city also provided an online composting guide for residents to learn how to turn waste into soil.

The guide recommends putting the bin in an easily accessible location outdoors with limited sun and access to rain water and other forms of moisture. Residents should first chop large bits of composting material into small pieces so they break down faster. Residents can store kitchen waste in a bin indoors to be emptied periodically. The city recommends a container with a lid to avoid fruit flies and lining the bin with newspaper or paper towels to keep materials from sticking to the side. Newspaper or paper towels can be thrown into the compost along with the kitchen waste.

Residents should regularly turn the compost to mix yard and kitchen waste and the compost should contain a healthy mix of both organic kitchen waste and things like leaves or grass clippings. The compost should also stay moist, but not too wet.

Atlantic Beach Aims To Be Florida’s 1st LEED Certified City

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The City of Atlantic Beach is trying to become Florida’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified city under a new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) pilot program.

The USGBC is a nonprofit that was founded in 1994 with the goal of improving the sustainability of building design, construction and operation.

“We want to do more good rather than less bad with buildings,” explained Sarah Boren, Director of USGBC of Florida. Buildings have a huge environmental impact, she said, using 71% of all electricity, causing 40% of all emissions, consuming 60% of all energy and using 14% of potable water. USGBC sees green building as the solution to that problem.

LEED is a holistic green building rating system that’s now being used in 162 countries. “It’s basically raising the bar on where we spend 90% of our time: indoors,” Boren said.

Now USGBC is trying to take that same concept and scale it up with LEED for Cities and Communities. The new rating system is the 4.1 beta program, which started a little over a year ago with grant money from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

Six cities signed on initially, then others expressed interest. USGBC ended up getting a second Bank of America grant, allowing 14 more cities to join the pilot program, including Orlando and Miami.

To achieve LEED certification, cities are scored, using the Arc platform, in 14 different categories.

LEED Performance Score
CREDIT USGBC

There are four certification levels, which are determined by total score: Certified (40-49), Silver (50-59), Gold (60-79) and Platinum (80-100). Atlantic Beach is not yet certified but is sitting at 58 points. Boren expects the city’s certification process to be finished by mid-May.

“You can’t really make informed decisions without good data,” Boren said. “So we’re super excited that we’re going to get really good data. Cities are going to have clear priorities of where they want and they can communicate this to the public in a really easy dynamic format.”

Data collected during the certification process will also allow cities to compare themselves to other communities.

“It basically says that we care about the environment,” Shane Corbin, Director of Planning and Community Development for Atlantic Beach, said of the city’s potential LEED certification. “But the whole purpose of it is to track all these metrics, and try to do better. And now that we have all the data in the system, and we can look at that, we can then have strategies to say where are we lacking? Where can we get our score higher? And what sort of policies and procedures and things can we do to become a greener city?”

“You could sort of think of it like going to the doctor, to give you an analogy, where you look at your blood pressure, you look at your cholesterol, any other health indicators, and you realize, ‘Well, my cholesterol is too high. I need to get that down because I want to be healthier,’” he said. “It’s the same sort of concept where you’re looking at where you can do better and be healthier. In this case, it’s how can we be greener, be healthier for the planet.”

Corbin said climate change, sea level rise and adaptation are priorities for Atlantic Beach’s leaders, but the city is still in the early stages of figuring out how best to address those issues.

“We don’t have enough information yet to begin forming policies on what to do to adapt to sea level rise,” he said. “We just don’t have it yet. But we’re going to have it soon.”

USGBC will be hosting an event on Thursday, April 25, where residents can learn more about LEED for Cities and Communities through a case study of Atlantic Beach. Speakers will include Mayor Glasser and Corbin, as well as Vatsal Bhatt, USGBC’s Director of LEED for Cities and Communities, and Sean Lahav, a Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant at the University of North Florida who designed a how-to manual to help other cities seek LEED certification.

View image on Twitter

USGBCFL@usgbcfl

The event is scheduled to run from 4 to 6 p.m. and is being held at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in the 2nd floor lecture hall. Tickets can be purchased here.

Corbin said he hopes Atlantic Beach’s participation will inspire other communities to seek certification. “Especially now that the state really has put a lot of focus on sea level rise and climate change and adaptation to rising sea levels,” he said. “I think that’s going to raise the awareness throughout the state of Florida that not only do we need to prepare for sea level rise, but also we need to start doing things more holistically, and not just per household but as a city to be greener and reduce our impact on the environment.”

“As part of our focus on environmental leadership we are poised to be the first city in Florida that’ll be a certified city under LEED for cities,” said Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser. “I’m really pleased that Atlantic Beach is taking a leadership role, no pun intended, towards this effort.”

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at@BrendanRivers.

Hollywood designated ‘Florida Green’ city by Florida Green Building Coalition

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The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) says it has designated Hollywood as a “Florida Green” local government.

The city achieved 32 percent of its 311 applicable points, earning them a Silver-level designation. The City of Hollywood has been a certified green city since 2012.

In a presentation to the city commission FGBC executive director C. J. Davila said: “The FGBC Green Local Government program is truly unique within the country. It creates an environment of communication and coordination amongst different departments. This collaboration streamlines processes, decreases redundancies, and generates new approaches toward sustainability and resource preservation.”

To date 88 local municipalities, city and county, have participated in the FGBC “Florida Green” Local Government program.

The green certification program scores the city’s sustainability in terms of categories. These categories include: Energy efficiency, Water, Economic Development, Tourism, Emergency Management, Planning and Zoning and many more. In each category there are points that can be achieved.

Some highlights from Hollywood include:

Enacted green landscaping ordinance for local government buildings;
Uses LED traffic lights;
Maintains a green fleet program for department or entire local government;
Operates local government alternative fueling station;
Affordable housing constructed by city/county and other parties are mandated green; and
Implemented energy-efficient lighting and controls for outdoor recreational parks.
The FGBC was formed in 2000 and has certified more than 19,000 projects.

Unlike other national and international certifications, FGBC five certifications are only standards developed with Florida-specific criteria. They address the state’s hot-humid climate, environment, unique topography, geology and natural disasters.

“The local government program’s success emanates from the fact that there is a sizeable and compelling return on investment for any municipality thus reducing the cost to taxpayers. It starts with exemplary leadership and staff,” said FGBC president and Hollywood resident Barry Faske.

Tupperware Unveils Vision to Reduce Plastic, Food Waste by 2025

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The company is now a signatory of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy Global Commitment to help create a circular economy for plastic.

Waste360 Staff | Jun 07, 2019

Tupperware Brands announced its “No Time to Waste” vision to significantly reduce plastic and food waste by 2025. Through “No Time to Waste,” the company and its global network of 3 million sales force, 12,000 associates and suppliers are unified in their approach to reduce—and eventually eliminate—waste.

At the start of the plastic revolution nearly 70 years ago, Tupperware said it introduced reusable, long-lasting plastic in the home. Now, Tupperware Brands said it continues to design products that are durable and made to keep food fresher, longer and to be reused for years to come. “From the start, these designs have been rooted in sustainability—from Earl S. Tupper’s signature seal that was uniquely designed to lock in freshness, to today’s modern Eco Water Bottle, which replaces single-use plastic bottles,” according to the company.

“Our company’s purpose has always centered on the belief that our products and the opportunities we present through our business have the power to change lives for the better,” said Tricia Stitzel, chairman and CEO of Tupperware Brands, in a statement. “Through ‘No Time to Waste,’ we are deepening that purpose by making changes in our products, operations, recycling and partnerships to increase the longevity of our planet, our people and the communities in which we live and work.

Tupperware Brands has set a series of goals and strategies to help ensure that its impacts reflect the needs of a circular economy:

Engage

Partnerships: In order to help advance global solutions to key areas of waste pollution, Tupperware has strategically aligned itself with two partners:

  • Advancing global progress of circular economy: Tupperware has signed on to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy Global Commitment, committing to a set of concrete 2025 targets and to report progress against these, with the aim to, together with the more than 350 other signatories, help create a circular economy for plastic.
  • Advancing service in disaster relief sites and reducing waste: Tupperware recently announced a partnership with World Central Kitchen, a global nonprofit founded by world-renowned Chef José Andrés, centered on reducing the impact of single-use plastic waste in disaster relief efforts by providing in-kind reusable Tupperware products and logistical support for unforeseen disasters around the globe.

Design

  • Material innovation: In collaboration with supplier SABIC, Tupperware Brands is one of four companies to introduce a revolutionary new material, certified circular polymers, made from mixed plastic waste. Beginning in summer, Tupperware will introduce the certified circular polymers in new products that will be designed to aid in the reduction of single-use plastic products.
  • Product design: All Tupperware products are designed to be used again and again, reducing the single-use plastic that is heavily responsible for harming the environment and minimizing food waste. Products will continue to be designed for increased reusability and will be marketed and demonstrated in a way that increases users’ sustainable practices.

Produce

  • Packaging: By 2025, Tupperware will eliminate the use of single-use plastic packaging when delivering products to consumers by utilizing alternatives, such as packaging made of compostable material.
  • Operations: Tupperware is reducing waste, increasing renewable energy and limiting the amount of water used to operate. Across all manufacturing facilities, Tupperware is targeting zero waste to landfill by 2025.

Reuse

  • Consumption: Tupperware is committed to making products that make it easier for consumers to reduce their own waste by offering single-use plastic alternatives. Through marketing and communication with its sales force, Tupperware said it will continue to educate and inspire consumers to use products in this way.
  • Recycling: Tupperware is enhancing the return process for all its products with the goal that by 2025, 90 percent of returned products will be recycled and repurposed.

“Through our products, operations and our supply chain, we are integrating sustainable practices into all we do,” said Mark Shamley, vice president of global social impact at Tupperware Brands, in a statement. “‘No Time to Waste’ is a reflection of our heritage of reusability and product innovation and takes us into the future as a responsible corporate citizen, dedicated to making a difference in the world around us.”

Solar United Neighbors improves RFP criteria to help solar co-op members choose best installer

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Solar United Neighbors has made an important step to encourage greater corporate responsibility within the solar industry. The organization helps thousands of people each year install solar energy systems on their homes through bulk purchase groups known as solar co-ops. Recently, the organization worked with Florida For Good to update the request for proposal (RFP) process its co-op members use to choose an installer. The changes will help co-op members better account for how prospective installers respect their community, their employees and the environment.

Learn all about solar co-ops, also known as group buy programs, here. 

“Solar co-op members use bulk purchasing power to get a good deal on a quality solar installation,” said Angela DeMonbreun, Florida program director for Solar United Neighbors. “Working with Florida For Good, we’re helping co-op members use that same power to ensure bidding installers share their values in how they run their business and how they impact their community. We are hopeful this will set high standards across the industry.”

Solar co-ops work by members collaborating in order to learn about solar energy and subsequently choose an installer. The co-ops are free to join, and joining is not a commitment to purchase a system. Solar United Neighbors facilitates this process by developing a request for proposal for the installers to bid on as part of an open and competitive bidding process, and a volunteer selection committee made up of co-op members meets to review each proposal. That committee then selects an installer that best serves the needs of the co-op who then develops personalized proposals for each member. Members then review their bids and decide individually if going solar is right for them.

Solar United Neighbors worked with Florida For Good to develop criteria to include in the RFP that gives co-op members a fuller understanding of how the companies bidding on the co-op operate. The new questions screen installers for a variety of items. These range from diversity and inclusion efforts, such as the employment of women, minorities and residents from unemployed or underemployed communities to information about the payment of a living wage in each community where they work.

“The main mission of Florida For Good is to spread the idea that business can elevate humanity when practiced ethically in all aspects, from sourcing to supply chain to final product or service,” said Jared Meyers, co-founder of Florida For Good. “We suggested these changes to the RFP in order to encourage Solar United Neighbors to add even more good to what they do for the planet. They are already accelerating society towards a future with less pollution by making renewable energy options easily attainable for communities, and with this new screening process they can compound upon that good by providing their co-op members with installers that share their values.”

News item from Solar United Neighbors

Orlando bans single-use plastics and polystyrene at venues and parks, including Amway Center, Camping World Stadium and Dr. Phillips Center

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So long, single-use plastics and polystyrenes.

No longer will Orlando or its contractors use items such as plastic straws, bags, cutlery and Styrofoam food containers and cups at city parks and venues.

Citing environmental benefits including the reduction of millions of pieces of trash flowing into landfills and the waterways, commissioners Monday unanimously signed off on the policy.

The policy has been in the works since it was a popular inclusion in the city’s Community Sustainability Action Plan last year.

Plastic straws will be available upon request for customers with disabilities, and gatherings like family reunions and birthday parties with fewer than 100 participants will be exempt, though encouraged to comply.

The move was applauded by supporters at City Hall.

Orlando says it’s the state’s first city to ban all three of plastic bags, straws and polystyrene, though other cities have banned some of the products.

“It’s one of these areas that as a city we strive to lead in, so other governments follow,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

Last month, Sierra Club lobbyist Jen Hensley called the proposed policy “pretty innovative” in that the city was regulating itself but said she found the most effective crackdown across the nation included a fee imposed on plastic usage.

A United Nations study estimates 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually, and the nonprofit Eco-cycle estimates 500 million straws are used in the U.S. each day.

The true cost to the policy is unknown, as some of the products have alternatives that cost the same while others cost about 6 cents more apiece.

The policy takes effect Oct. 1.

Have a news tip? You can call Ryan at 407-420-5002, email him at rygillespie@orlandosentinel.com, follow him on Twitter @byryangillespie and like his coverage on Facebook @byryangillespie.

Artifishal film by Patagonia screens in Tampa Bay

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12332 University Mall Ct
Tampa, FL 33612
UNIVERSITYTAMPA
$10

Join St. Pete for Good at a screening of Patagonia’s #Artifishal for a film that explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature. A Q&A follows. Half of all proceeds will benefit IDEAS for Us, a non-profit environmental solutions organization.

Watch the trailer.

Legacy Vacation Resorts All In with Business for Good Approach

By | Business, Environmental | No Comments
In March, Orlando, Fla.-based Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR) announced that it had officially achieved Certified B Corporation status. Clean the World, also in Orlando, is another organization that has achieved the B Corporation designation. If you do a search on Hospitality on the B Corporation site, you will find just 15 businesses listed. Among them: Taos Ski Valley, Inc., Qbic Hotels, and the Sleeping Lady Resort. Other hospitality-related businesses can be found under other categories such as Catering & Meeting/Event Management and Travel & Leisure. There are currently more than 2,500 Certified B Corporations in more than 50 countries. One of the most well-known companies: Patagonia, Inc.

This past week I had an opportunity to meet with Jared Meyers, Co-Owner of LVR. Jared is very passionate about the Certified B Corporation program and is doing everything he can to spread the word about it. Jared co-founded the Florida for Good movement, which funds free resources and events to facilitate the spread of business for good and the Certified B Corporation program. Since its inception, LVR has donated more than $50,000 to Florida for Good’s charitable endeavors, with Meyers also dedicating a significant amount of his personal time and income to its growth.

“B Corporation looks at the entire business and how it treats the environment, community, employees and governance,” Meyers says. Participants first complete the free B Impact Assessment. While using the Assessment, one can set goals for improvement, compare one’s performance to similar companies, and learn best practices pulled straight from the Certified B Corp community. The assessment is evaluated by B Lab. Participants are asked to supply supporting documentation. As one example, Meyers says LVR had to submit proof, by county, that it pays its employees a living wage.

A Reasonable Annual Fee

Once the Assessment and supporting documentation is validated (a minimum score must be met), a business can become a B Corporation. There is a reasonable annual fee scaled to the size of the business. Fees start at $500 a year. Companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales will pay $50,000 or more. Participants must recertify every three years. There is no initial onsite audit, but one can occur over time. Representatives of B Corporations gather annually at a Champions Retreat. There are also regional gatherings.

In addition to its Certified B Corporation Status, LVR is a member of 1% for the Planet and donates 1 percent of sales to charitable causes. LVR also offsets the carbon footprint of the stay of each guest who books through the LVR website. LVR offers an option for guests to donate 5 percent of their reservation to a charity of their choice and has a goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2025. The company is doing that through retrofits as it renovates its properties—LED lighting, water-saving fixtures, insulation, occupancy sensors and more. The company is also a partner of Conscious Capitalism International, an organization that maintains a philosophy based on a simple idea that when practiced consciously, business innately elevates humanity.

“With these various internal changes, partnerships and our B Corp certification, I sincerely believe we will experience company growth, as well as an additional type of traveler at our properties,” said Meyers in a press release announcing the B Corp certification. “These new travelers will share our values and place importance on social responsibility, environmental responsibility and sustainable travel when it comes to selecting their accommodations. I am looking forward to the relaunch of the brand and the many ways in which the company will contribute to the greater good for years to come.”