One of our core values at Pistils is Community Consciousness. To us, that means an understanding that roles we play in our community, our environment and the world at large are defined by the decisions we make as individuals and as a business. Indeed, there can be no plants without a natural world to support their growth.

As one step to advance that core value, we joined 1% for the Planet last year, in January of 2020. 1% for the Planet is global organization that inspires people and businesses to support environmental nonprofit organizations through annual membership and everyday actions. As a member, we've committed to donate at least 1% of our annual gross revenue each year to organizations that fight to protect our environment and promote environmental justice locally, nationally and around the world.

Now that a year has passed, we wanted to share with you a little bit about the fantastic nonprofit organizations that we have been able to partner with. Your support makes these donations possible, and we are so grateful to each of you for affording us this opportunity to further our mission.

Dog Mountain - Columbia River Gorge - Pistils NurseryThe view from Dog Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge 

The Environmental Nonprofits we Supported in 2020

Rainforest Trust | International

There's no such thing as a "houseplant." In fact, the majority of the plants we commonly think of as indoor plants are native to tropical regions, including areas threatened by deforestation, industrial development and climate change.

We wanted to find an organization working to protect that habitats of the tropical plants we grow and love, and we found this in Rainforest Trust, one of the world’s most effective conservation charities. As a Conservation Circle Partner, our donations support and protect endangered species, threatened rainforests and other tropical ecosystems around the world.

Rainforests are one of the most important natural resources on Earth, and affect the daily lives of everyone on our planet. They safely store billions of tons of carbon, helping to mitigate climate change, stabilize global weather patterns, clean water, and are even a source for modern medicines. Rainforests are also home to 50% of the world’s species, many of which are critically endangered. Thousands of indigenous communities rely on these forests for their food, water and economic prosperity. In short, rainforests help to sustain life on this planet, and their long-term protection is absolutely vital for our survival.

Rainforest Trust ensures the protection of these vital ecosystems through partnerships with local communities and trusted in-country partner NGOs. The charity has already saved over 24 million acres of rainforest and other tropical ecosystems.

League of Conservation Voters Education Fund | National 

Environmental stewardship is inextricably linked to issues of racial, social and economic justice. We were inspired by the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund's mission to "connect single women, people of color, and young people under 35 to our country’s civic process because our democracy fails when any voices are excluded and these communities overwhelmingly want to solve the climate crisis."

LCV sees the climate crisis, systemic racism, and COVID-19 as three lethal pandemics, inextricrably tied and with each exacerbating the consequences of each other. Our donation will support programs to win progress on climate change and clean energy, environmental health and chemical policy reform, public lands protection, and increased participation in the democratic process through nonpartisan voter participation programs. 

Friends of the Columbia Gorge | Regional

The Columbia River Gorge is an iconic locale in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. An immense scenic area forged by the mighty Columbia River, it provides a world of waterfalls, canyons, trees, wildflowers, hiking, biking, and more, right in Portland's backyard. For those of us who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, it forever holds a special place in our hearts

Several years ago, a massive wildfire tore through the gorge, and the work of restoration is immense. We knew we wanted to protect and restore this special region through our 1% commitment, and were thrilled to partner with Friends of the Columbia Gorge to this end.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge first led the fight to create the National Scenic Area over 40 years ago, and been working ever since to safeguard the Gorge and ensure the natural wonders found today will be preserved for generations to come. They are the only conservation organization entirely dedicated to safeguarding the Gorge’s scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

Growing Gardens | Local

Problems like climate change and environmental justice can feel abstract and globalized, but they affect us every day, whether we realize it or not, right here in our local community.

Growing Gardens "uses the experience of growing food in schools, backyards and correctional facilities to cultivate healthy, equitable communities." Founded in Portland in 1984, their vision "is for everyone to have equal access to healthy food and to be stewardesses of our own communities through sharing of resources, educating each other, and learning new skills."

Bonneville Environmental Foundation | Local, National and International

We know that shipping has a big impact on the environment. It's important to us to reduce our footprint, while still being able to create joy for our customers by shipping out new plants around the country. Along with replacing nearly all of our packing supplies with recyclable and reused materials, we decided we wanted to offset unavoidable emissions associated with shipping our online orders for 2020.

Partnering with Bonneville Environmental Foundation was a dream, allowing us to quickly and accurately calculate the metric tons of CO2 emissions we needed to offset, and gave us options for which carbon offset projects we wanted to support.

We chose a wide range of projects – from improved forest management in the PNW, to international REDD+ initiatives, to national carbon capture programs – and look forward to continuing finding ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

Social, Environmental and Racial Justice Initiatives

Community consciousness does not stop at our relationship with the natural world, and as a business strive to take an active role in addressing the challenges facing our city, state and nation.

We are excited to share a few of the ways we were able, as a business and through our community, to support organizations working for social, environmental and racial justice. In the past year, Pistils in collaboration with our community:

2021 and Beyond

We look forward to continuing our 1% for the Planet commitment for many years to come. We know that as a business and as individuals, we always have opportunities for growth, and we are excited to continue pursuing new avenues to be better members of our community. Don't hesistate to reach out with initiatives or organizations you think we should support!

And again, thank you for your support. It means the world – in trying times like these, and outside them.

Pistils Nursery