Joining 1% for the Planet


Plimsoll joined 1% for the Planet last month. That means that 1% of all revenue will be donated to non-profit organizations focused on solving environmental problems. 

Plimsoll is a tiny, one-person, niche-focused financial planning firm. In other words, this 1% contribution isn’t going to change much. So why am I doing it?

Collective action requires individual effort. A constant critique in the fight against climate change is Why should I make small changes in my life if huge corporations and governments don’t take action?” I like the way Ezra Klein responded to this when asked about the impact of his veganism:

Don’t think about consumption – even your consumption – as individual’. Think of yourself as a node for social, political and moral contagion. 

I don’t think my personal decision to not eat meat is that important. On the scale of the global animal trade, it’s meaningless. But I caught my veganism from my wife. Other people have caught veganism or vegetarianism from me. And it’s in that way that individual attitudes ladder up to social attitudes, and then to social and political change. 

So taking seriously the ideas and morals and views of individuals, that’s not a different sphere than what ends up happening in politics. And it’s not just individual – all of the stuff catches. And it is why I’m a fan of people not being quiet about the way they try to instantiate their political ideals in their individual lives. I think that a lot of the value of the choices we make is in our willingness to try to use those to change the choices other people see as normal for them to make.

An interesting anecdote to this idea: When reading stories of other 1% for the Planet members, I kept coming across the name of a design agency in Winnipeg. They joined in 2017, and by my (casual and informal) count, four additional businesses have since joined because of their influence. I hope Plimsoll can be a similar node.

Aligning money with meaning. At it’s core, financial planning is a process that aligns your money with the things you find most important. I don’t think that only applies to personal finances. Businesses, even tiny ones like Plimsoll, should aim to align a portion of revenue with causes they care about. 

I think Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, was right when he said To do good, you actually have to do something.” That’s what joining 1% is to me: Doing something. 

Global name, local organizations. While 1% for the Planet is a well-known, reputable non-profit, they don’t directly receive the 1% donation. They simply vet non-profit organizations that are doing the work and create a network where businesses can discover organizations they want to help. In my case, I’m planning to support local organizations like Freshwater Land Trust and Alabama Rivers Alliance.

You can learn more about 1% for the Planet here.

Tagged under News, where you’ll find the latest updates from Plimsoll.

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