Nature needs nurturing and its nurturers need support.
A local realtor recently committed to donating one per cent of her annual earnings to environmentally minded organizations.
Mieke Dusseldorp has joined 1% For the Planet, a registered non-profit organization that was launched in 2002 by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Blue Ribbon Flies founder Craig Mathews. The two entrepreneurs have seen their initiative grow into a network of over 1,200 businesses and individuals who each earmark at least one per cent of their annual earnings to environmental organizations spanning 40 countries.
That network has funnelled over $150 million into environmentally-minded coffers since its inception, according to the organization’s website—www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.
“In each case, members give directly to approved environmental nonprofits. We advise and support this giving and provide credible third party certification,” the website states.
Dusseldorp came to the West Coast in 1993 to support the Clayoquot Sound logging protests and told the Westerly News that, while she no longer has time to commit to protesting, she was excited to find a way to support those who do.
“I used to be on the front lines and I’m way too busy being a realtor now, so, I feel like if I can’t get out and do all the protesting and whatnot that I used to be able to do when I was in my 20’s, then I should be helping fund those folks that have the time and ability to do that stuff,” she said.
“We can’t all drop our lives to go do what they’re doing. They’re filling an important part of the process, being stewards for the environment and creating situations where conversations are opened up and alternatives are thought of.”
She said committing one per cent of her annual earnings to environmental stewardship was an easy decision, both socially and economically, because the West Coast relies on healthy and vibrant ecosystems to lure tourists and homebuyers.
“It’s easy and it makes sense,” she said. “I’m just so excited and so proud that I’m a member.”
Dusseldorp added she looks for 1% For the Planet’s logo whenever she’s making her own purchases and hopes being a member herself will lead to more people choosing her when they’re buying or selling a home.
“You are supporting a collective of people who have put the environment as their number one priority,” she said.
Tofino photographer Jeremy Koreski has been a contributing member of 1% For the Planet for the past three years and said it’s a valuable way to protect the serene surroundings he captures.
“The environment has given me pretty much everything I have to shoot, so protecting it is in my best interest,” he said adding his annual contribution goes to the Central Westcoast Forest Society.
“I really believe in what they’re doing and I’m happy to support them with one per cent of my profit,” he said.
Koreski was happy to hear Dusseldorp had joined the movement and said he hopes to see 1% For the Planet gain momentum locally.
“It’s cool that the word is spreading,” he said. “Hopefully it catches on, on the West Coast, and people realize they should be a member and give back to the environment…I hope more businesses realize that we all have to start giving back.”