Last night I attended a party for 1% For The Planet, an organization whose business members donate 1% of their gross revenues to nonprofit environmental groups. They were celebrating that more than 1,000 members have joined. The group was started by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia clothing, and his friend Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies.
Rodale Inc. is not currently a member of 1%FTP, although we do come close to that 1% donation rate. Yvon—whose organic garden is thriving, by the way (he hauls up seaweed from the ocean into his front yard)—is a real leader in the environmental movement. Shockingly, he was in a suit for this event. He is notorious for looking like a total “dirt bag” (his phrase, not mine). He said that, ironically, it’s not the outdoor industry that gives 1%FTP the most support. He also said that all the members of 1%FTP that he has talked to recently have just seen their best sales ever, even in this down economy.
Environmental philanthropy draws a star-studded crowd. Tom Brokaw was the host; apparently he goes fly fishing a lot with Yvon.Danny Meyer, owner of Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café, Blue Smoke, and most important, Shake Shack was there. He reports that high-end dining is way down, but burgers are flying off the grill. Christina Kim of Dosa, my favorite fashion designer, was there and says she has a new website to sell her clothes. Check out dosainc.com for clothes that are extremely comfortable, lightweight, and amazingly great for travel. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter was lurking in the corner.
Anyway, supporting the environment is always important, even when it is not in fashion and not cool. You can count on Rodale to be doing good stuff no matter what. Our latest achievement: We put the Rodale Institute Farm in Maxatawny into conservation easement. It is the first certified organic conservation easement in America. That’s something to be proud of.