Planet Positive Initiatives
Resilient Neighborhoods | March 2023
This month we are excited to feature the inspiring work of Resilient Neighborhoods, a non-profit organization based in the Bay Area that provides programs to help communities take action on climate change. Their programs focus on reducing household carbon footprints and building community resilience to environmental challenges. Participants in their programs learn about sustainable living practices, such as reducing energy consumption, water conservation, and waste reduction, and work together to implement these practices in their own lives and neighborhoods. Over the past year their programs have helped over 1,200 local households reduce their carbon footprints by an average of 25%, resulting in a reduction of over 11,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions! Resilient Neighborhoods aims to create a culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship through community-based solutions. Some of our team members have been lucky enough to participate in their program and learned valuable practices to help us lead more intentional and responsible lifestyles. Check out their programs here https://www.resilientneighborhoods.org/.
The Watershed Project | February 2023
This month we are featuring the impactful work of The Watershed Project, a Bay Area non-profit organization that aims to protect and restore local waterways through community-based education and action. Their programs include habitat restoration, water quality monitoring, and community engagement initiatives. In 2021, the organization was able to plant over 1,800 native plants, remove over 12,000 square feet of invasive species, and engage over 5,000 community members in their programs. The Watershed Project also conducts watershed education work with a focus on young people, including school field trips and teacher trainings, to educate the community about the importance of protecting local waterways and the actions they can take to help, by targeting students ranging from K-12, college students and community members. Check out more of their impacts by visiting their website https://thewatershedproject.org/.
Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB) | January 2023
This month we are excited to feature the important work of Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB), the oldest, local, nonprofit, youth conservation corps in the country! Since 1982, CCNB has served thousands of young people in Marin and Sonoma Counties in support of their mission.
To develop youth and conserve natural resources for a resilient, sustainable, and equitable community.
The values of empowerment, community, and sustainability drive CCNB. The central pillar of their organization is their Youth Corps. In 2021 alone, the Youth Corps diverted 506,756 pounds of E-waste from the landfill, restored 556 acres of natural habitat, reduced fire fuel on 428 acres of public and private land, restored and maintained 148 miles of trails, and diverted 10,641 tires from the landfill. This worthy PPI recipient has impact!
Learn more about the Conservation Corps North Bay and support their mission here: www.ccnorthbay.org/donate/
FIRE FORWARD, AUDUBON CANYON RANCH | December 2022
Essential Oxygen is honored to feature and contribute to the critical work of Fire Forward, a Audubon Canyon Ranch program that partners with local citizens to teach them to be effective stewards of their land by employing the technique of controlled burning. Launched in 2016, Fire Forward brings together private landowners, public agencies, and conservation partners around a shared purpose of stewarding ecosystems and reducing the impact of wildfire. Within the program, community members are trained to be self-sufficient in prescribed burning on their own and neighboring lands. The Good Fire Alliance allows those participating in the program to connect with North Bay locals to learn, practice, and grow their skills in ecosystem stewardship using prescribed fire.
This practice is particularly meaningful to me after taking a road trip to Lassen Peak National Park this summer and personally observing the 4000 square miles of burned forest and 3 towns that had burned to the ground. I spoke with a firefighter who recounted the trauma and overwhelm of fighting that fire. He explained how much easier it was to combat the massive fire in the areas that had been properly managed with “good fire”.
Two weeks ago, I camped on a friend’s land in Sebastopol, CA who recently collaborated with Fire Forward to have a prescribed burn on a densely wooded ridge on his property. It was nothing short of amazing to receive a tour and tutorial on how the burn was executed. It brings hope that this program is restoring the ancient indigenous practices that protected forests and communities from catastrophic wildfires for milenia. Let’s nurture this sacred wisdom and give it oxygen to help protect us from climate change.
Visit https://egret.org/fire-forward/ to learn more, support their incredible work, and sign up for your own training!
MarinCAN | November 2022
This month we are featuring the amazing work of MarinCAN, previously Drawdown: Marin, a community-driven campaign aimed to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for climate change impacts and address and integrate equity. Working with Marin County residents, businesses, organizations, agencies and local governments, MarinCAN focuses on designing and implementing local climate change solutions in 6 Focus Areas:
- Renewable Energy
- Buildings and Infrastructure
- Local Food and Food Waste
- Carbon Sequestration
- Climate Resilient Communities
MarinCAN believes that climate change and equity are interconnected and is dedicated to designing and implementing solutions for communities that suffer first and worst from climate disasters yet produce the least GHG emissions, including low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous peoples and tribal nations, and immigrant communities.
In 2021, MarinCAN secured over $2 million in funding to support 4 endorsed solutions: Zero Emissions Vehicles, Community Resilience Hubs, Marin Biomass Project, and the Marin Carbon Farming Initiative.
To learn more and support this amazing organization visit https://www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/divisions/sustainability/climate-and-adaptation/marincan
Sustainable Marin | October 2022
This month we are featuring the important work of Sustainable Marin, a non-profit organization of volunteers who advocate for sustainability at the county level. They seek to advance sustainable principles in the County of Marin, CA with the goal to transform the region in the areas of environment, economics, and society into a sustainable community by the year 2040 and beyond.
Sustainable Marin promotes policies and practices to:
Sustain our natural capital and environmental assets
Bolster localized economic strength and independence
Expand locally-owned green businesses and clean-tech jobs
Encourage community cooperation and social justice
Currently, Sustainable Marin is involved in four community projects with local affiliates:
1. The Amazon to Reuse Boxes Initiative promoting reuse of Amazon boxes and plastic mailers
2. Resilient Neighborhoods which educates and motivates Marin residents to collectively lower their carbon footprint.
3. Time to Lead on Climate, a coalition of thirteen leading climate and community groups in Marin, and Vision SGV which promotes regenerative farming in the San Geronimo Valley.
Learn more about Sustainable Marin and how to help at https://sustainablemarin.org/
California Environmental Voters | September 2022
This month, we are featuring California Environmental Voters (CEV), a California non-profit focused on building political power to solve the climate crisis, advance justice and create a global roadmap for global action. At the core of CEV’s work is their belief that transformational change is necessary to take bold action to address the climate crisis. California Environmental Voters doesn’t just talk the talk, they put this belief into action by organizing voters, electing and training climate champion candidates and holding lawmakers accountable to take bold policy action. Currently, CEV is raising awareness of their sponsored bill SB 260: the Climate Corporate Accountability Act, which would provide necessary transparency and accountability from big corporations by requiring them to disclose their full carbon footprint.
Check out more of California Environmental Voters’ top state priority bills and learn how you can take action to help them pass! https://www.envirovoters.org/2022-state-priority-bills/
Daily Acts | August 2022
For the month of August we are featuring Daily Acts, a Bay Area holistic education nonprofit with the mission to inspire transformative action that creates connected, equitable, climate resilient communities. Daily Acts was started in 2002, founded on belief in the “power of reclaiming our daily actions” and since then they have inspired tens of thousands of resilience-building projects, built civic engagement through their Leadership Institute for Just and Resilient Communities, installed dozens of demonstration gardens for fire survivors, previously homeless veterans, and schools, and launched new coalitions and programs to support the environmental health needs of vulnerable populations in the last five years of record drought, flood and fire. Wow!
All work done by Daily Acts is driven by the values summarized by their “4 R’s”: Ripples: Be the Change, Reverence: Start with Your Heart, Relations: Nurture Community, Resilience: Persevere with Joy. Putting these words into action, Daily Acts works with the diverse population of Sonoma County, CA, serving residents, local schools, businesses, and organizations as well as local government agencies. Their work with residents focuses on implementing community-driven models that catalyze action, education and engage, build community, and protect the most vulnerable community members. Daily Acts motivates local schools, businesses and organizations to be a force of good in the community by providing them with replication support and skill-building workshops. They also collaborate with different city and county agencies to encourage environmental and climate justice policy and provide hands-on sustainability programs to residents.
Check out and support all of Daily Acts inspired work! https://dailyacts.org/
Greenbelt Alliance | July 2022
This month we are featuring the Greenbelt Alliance, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit organization founded to educate and advocate for a more climate resilient Bay Area. For the past 60 years, Greenbelt Alliance has stewarded the region’s natural landscapes and advocated for the increased protection of open spaces leading to almost 3.3 million acres of the Bay Area’s nine counties having protected status. The Alliance envisions a Bay Area where communities and people thrive in the places they live, work, and play and remain safe during climate disasters. According to the Alliance, the Bay Area is vulnerable to climate change, and low income and communities of color are disproportionately impacted so Greenbelt Alliance advocates for nature-based policy solutions for how we use our land and grow our cities to be more resilient and equitable.
As part of their work, they produce original research to inform regional conservation and advise responsible development to avoid high-risk areas. They advocate for climate SMART development- Sustainable, Mixed, Affordable, Resilient, Transit-oriented- to create resilient communities in balance with nature.
Learn more and support the Greenbelt Alliance at https://www.greenbelt.org/
Save the Bay | June 2022
This month we are featuring the amazing work of Save The Bay, the largest regional organization working to protect, restore, and celebrate the San Francisco Bay. Sykvia McLAughlin, Kay Kerr, and Esther Gulick founded the organization in 1961 in response to dire warnings about the Bay’s future and threats to fill it. Since then, Save The Bay (STB) has played a critical role in driving conservation efforts, thwarting detrimental fill proposals and galvanizing local residents to help restore and protect the landmark. Combating climate change is STB’s most critical work. They work to restore tidal marsh around the Bay, which provides essential habitat for wildlife as well as flood protection for shoreline communities. They work with local communities to clean up roads and limit or ban the use of harmful products. Additionally, the group promotes ecologically equitable development and transportation policies that benefit the Bay and the people that live here.
Check out their website savesfbay.org for ways to contribute and help to save the bay!
350 Bay Area | May 2022
350 Bay Area is building a grassroots climate movement in the Bay Area to eliminate carbon pollution and advance clean energy in local communities. Their name is inspired by the global challenge to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels to below 350ppm - it is currently over 400ppm.
We at Essential Oxygen are inspired by 350 Bay Area’s focus on pushing for an advanced community energy model through Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs. These programs, present in the Bay Area and across California, provide a way to get more clean, renewable energy into the grid faster than what investor-owned utilities (IOU’s) can by themselves. 350 Bay Area champions this cause in various ways including fighting all attempts by the utilities and their counterparts to alter policy at California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that makes it more difficult for CCE’s and fighting against every effort the IOU’s make in the state legislature to do the same.
As part of a broader effort to help California reach its climate goals, 350 consults their Action Legislative Team to help find and push for legislation to raise the threshold for how much electricity in California must come from renewable resources. They also advocate for policies and regulations that support rooftop solar, microgrids, and other distributed energy resources that get us the fastest 100% renewable clean energy.
We are inspired by 350 Bay Area’s work on the local level and their efforts to raise awareness and passion for renewable energy within our communities. Educating consumers and inspiring activists creates energy and momentum that is necessary for big change to happen on a state and federal level.
Check out some of 350 Bay Area’s awesome local walk and bike events coming up in June!
Save The Redwoods League | April 2022
Happy Earth Month! This month we are highlighting Save the Redwoods League- a Bay-Area based non-profit organization singularly focused on protecting Redwoods along the West Coast of California. In their words, “The redwood forests are true wonders of the world — as significant to our planet as the Amazon rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and the Serengeti. Home to the tallest and largest trees on the planet, old-growth redwood forests store more carbon than any other known ecosystems. These are the greatest forests in the world.”
Since their founding in 1918, the League has protected more than 200,000 acres of redwood forests and helped create 66 redwood parks and reserves by purchasing redwood forests and the surrounding land needed to nurture them. The League’s work is grounded in principles of conservation biology, research and improving our collective understanding and appreciation of the redwoods.
At the end of this month, Essential Oxygen will contribute to Save the Redwoods League to support their efforts in saving California’s ancient redwood forests.
Resilient Neighborhoods | March 2022
Registration is open for the Resilient Neighborhoods Climate Action Workshops this spring! Several of us at Essential Oxygen have attended this workshop and can't recommend it highly enough. We learned a lot and reduced our collective carbon footprint significantly.
In the five-session online workshop, you will reduce your carbon footprint and get prepared for climate-linked emergencies with your climate action team. Taking simple actions like trimming energy and waste, conserving water, and making smarter transportation choices can save you money too. You’ll achieve measurable results and help build a stronger and safer community.
Choose from workshops starting on March 30 or April 7. Registration is required. Free!
Learn more and sign up at:
Extra Food | February 2022
Thirty-five percent of all food is wasted in the U.S., and food waste creates an enormous environmental problem: if global food waste were a country, it would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions after the U.S and China. Yet 1 in 5 people in Marin County worry about where their next meal will come from.
ExtraFood's mission is to help end hunger and food waste in Marin. Their first step is their food recovery program: they rescue excess fresh food from Marin’s businesses (such as grocery stores, farmers’ markets and farms), and immediately deliver the food to safety net partners (such as senior housing centers, homeless shelters and food pantries), who serve Marin’s most vulnerable children, older adults and families.
ExtraFood secures food donations such as fresh produce and prepared food that match their partners’ food needs, and their volunteers and staff drivers, dispatched using proprietary technology and by text message, pick up and deliver the food, 365 days a year.
In 8 years, ExtraFood’s staff and 750 volunteers have organized, rescued, and delivered over 5,000,000 pounds of food from 275 donors to 146 sites throughout the county. ExtraFood has become a central part of Marin's disaster and crisis response, delivering fresh food to people affected by wildfires and power outages as well as to first responders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ExtraFood has used the excess capacity of restaurants and caterers to give more than 90,000 freshly-made meals to people hit hardest by the crisis. The organization reaches more than 8,000 people every week with high-quality food.
ExtraFood is helping to solve the problem of hunger in a unique way, leading a movement to transform Marin’s food system: from wasting food to donating it for people in need. For ExtraFood, food justice is racial justice: we are increasing equitable access to healthy, fresh food. We are committed to our culture of “food recovery with the human touch,” which deeply values our team’s connections with each other, with our partners, and with people struggling with hunger; our understanding of, and responsiveness to, our partners’ needs; and being a community-based, community-building organization.
Hunger. Food Waste. Climate Change. Together we can fight all three. Donate today!
One Tree Planted | January 2022
One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation. Here’s their vision. “We want to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Together we can restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, and make a positive social impact around the world.” They have planted over 40 million trees with over 266 planting partners in 43 countries across the globe since 2014. At the end of this month Essential Oxygen will contribute to One Tree Planted initiative to restore fire-ravaged lands of the United States.
One Dollar. One Tree. One Planet. Donate today!
City Slicker Farms | December 2021
City Slicker Farms began with a mission to co-power West Oakland community members to meet the basic need for fresh, healthy food by creating sustainable, high-yield urban farms and backyard gardens. Since its founding in 2001, City Slicker Farms has been at the forefront of the 21st-century sustainable urban farming and food justice movement, gaining national recognition as a leader in supporting low-income communities of color to grow food in the city. In the last 20 years, they have built over 400 backyard and community gardens, produced 300,000 pounds of nutrient rich food, and trained thousands of community members in organic gardening methods and environmental stewardship.
They need YOUR help to increase the amount of nutritious food they grow and gardeners that they support in the Bay Area. https://www.cityslickerfarms.org/donate/
Make Soil | November 2021
MakeSoil is an online platform that matches ‘Soil Makers’ (people who compost) with nearby ‘Soil Supporters’ (people who contribute scraps). The platform also gives local citizens and municipalities all the tools they need to rapidly create their own decentralized network of citizen-run neighborhood composting hubs in their community – keeping organic waste out of the landfill, bringing down greenhouse gas emissions, saving taxpayers’ money and, of course, making soil!
Pachamama Alliance | October 2021
Pachamama Alliance is a global community with roots deep in the Amazon rainforest, their programs integrate Indigenous wisdom with modern knowledge to support personal, and collective, transformation that is the catalyst to bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.
The Pachamama Alliance was born out of an invitation from the Achuar people to work in partnership with them to preserve their land and culture while bringing forth a new worldview that honors and sustains life. Pachamama Alliance is a global community that offers people the chance to learn, connect, engage, travel, and cherish life for the purpose of creating a sustainable future that works for all.
Last year, Pachamama Alliance’s flagship program reached over 9000 people in 95 countries – both virtually and in-person. It’s Drawdown Initiative has reached over 15,000 people since its inception in 2018 in 13 countries, inviting people around the world to engage in the possibility of reversing global warming. Pachamama Alliance has a variety of programs that you can get engaged with and help build a better future. Learn more at Pachamama.org.
Rodale Institute | September 2021
Rodale Institute, birthplace of the organic movement in North America, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than seventy years, the Institute has been putting science behind best practices in organic agriculture and sharing its findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet. Learn more at RodaleInstitute.org
Kiss the Ground | August 2021
Kiss the Ground (KTG) is an environmental Non-Profit dedicated to awakening people to the possibilities of regeneration. With the goal to draw down carbon and restore the earth’s ecosystems KTG promotes regenerative agriculture with programs around Media, Farmland and Stewardship.
KTG’s Media Program creates general awareness and consumer demand through short films, mini-docs, a podcast, branded collaborations, and other content. They tell stories about how humanity can build healthy soil, reverse global warming and steward our planet through short films, campaigns, documentaries, books, social media, blogs, and public speaking.
KTG’s Farmland Program supports transitioning farmers and ranchers with training, mentorship, and soil testing and has a robust scholarship program for farmers who need financial assistance to take part. The Farmland Transition Program provides soil health training, soil testing, and mentorship for farmers and ranchers across California and Minnesota to adapt their management decisions to produce positive ecological, financial, and social outcomes. Investing in farmers is the most direct way to build healthy soils and achieve the many other extraordinary benefits of regenerating agricultural landscapes. Their intent is to harness the power of philanthropists, businesses, and individual donations to support on-the-ground change towards local, regional, and global food economies that improve soils, watershed health, biodiversity and farmer livelihoods.
The Stewardship Program is an education platform, community, and resource hub that educates, inspires, and empowers individuals to become powerful and impactful advocates for the regenerative movement.
You can learn more about KTG’s endeavors by reading their informative book, Kiss the Ground written by their co-collaborator Josh Tickell; and their beautifully produced, impactful documentary, Kiss the Ground Movie on Netflix. Please go to their website at kisstheground.com to donate and/or become a member of their inspiring movement.
Project Drawdown | July 2021
DRAWDOWN: The World’s Leading Resource For Climate Solutions.
Project Drawdown’s mission is to help the world reach “Drawdown” the point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible. They address their mission by doing comprehensive, deep dive research on the causes of and solutions for climate change.
Their website at drawdown.org is a cornucopia of definitive, beautifully presented information that we can all utilize to jump in to make a difference for our planet. The 6-part Climate 101 online video series featured on the site is a great way to learn about the topic and to find your place in the solution.
Their best selling book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, created and edited by Paul Hawken, founder of Smith & Hawken, offers the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world. This critical reference is also available on Audible. Although their organization addresses the often frightening subject of climate change, it does so in an uplifting and positive light. As Paul likes to say, It’s not game over, it’s game on!
Resilient Neighborhoods | June 2021
For the month of June, we are pleased to partner with Resilient Neighborhoods for our Planet Positive Initiative. We have a very special connection to this local Marin County, CA organization as several of our employees, including our CEO Kate Linforth, have participated in their program, effectively understanding and reducing our carbon footprint.
Resilient Neighborhoods teaches about planet-supportive habits to increase resiliency in the face of climate change catastrophes through a series of five workshops. In the beginning, participants assess their own carbon footprint then are given tools and resources that help them reduce their utility bill, food waste, gas consumption and home energy use. When the workshop is complete, participants are often amazed how small changes to their habits had a huge impact!
The on-going program has had incredible success and helps reduce 8.6 million pounds of CO2 pollution annually. Essential Oxygen hopes that the Resilient Neighborhoods concept will spread across the country and activate many people to take more responsibility for their impact on our beloved planet!