Posts Tagged ‘earthkeeping’

Earthkeeping Pledges Aplenty at Sundance

The scene at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival hasn’t been all snow and celebrities (although apparently there’s been loads of both) … at the Timberland booth, festival-goers are invited to make their own personal pledge to help preserve the environment and protect the outdoors.  Here’s Amanda with a show and tell:

And, here are more of our favorite pledges that have come in at Sundance so far:

Inspired to make your own Earthkeeping pledge?  Share it with us here.  And stay tuned … the curtain doesn’t close at the Sundance Film Festival for a few more days, and we’ve got lots more to share.  You can find additional videos and photos from our Timberland team’s Sundance experience on the Festivals page of our website.

Reflections on Service

The following post comes from Alan Jones, one of the Timberland service sabbatical recipients who spent a week in Louisiana last month working on a large-scale restoration project.  Turns out, the project’s impact extends far beyond the wetlands where Alan and his companions worked:

Since returning from the sabbatical, friends and family have asked me to explain the experience and how it impacted me.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to express it in a way that does justice, and I don’t know if I ever will.

Imagine this:

Get off a plane and shake hands with 30 or so faces you’ve never met.

Spend the next 8 days and nights with these people in comfortable (but tight) quarters.

Meet locals and taste the flavor of an incredible culture deep in the Mississippi Delta and swamplands and learn that the fastest land erosion in the world is happening in your country and at the rate of 2 football fields every hour.

Learn that 40% of our fishing industry is supported by this eroding ecosystem, and that one small nonprofit has been given the green light by the government to make it better.

Spend the rest of the week working with a team to rebuild a 5-acre site that will protect another 20 acres of marshland from saltwater intrusion and land loss.

Learn that this project is the largest implementation of it’s kind, and if successful will serve as the pilot program and catalyst for future restoration efforts.

Connect to people and land in a way you did not think possible, then bid them farewell, knowing that although you knew them not for long, you knew them well.

Realize that, in addition to the thousands of trees and grasses planted in the bayou, there is something unexpected growing inside upon your return.

What did I take away from this sabbatical?

to plant.

to grow.

to laugh.

to live.

Earthkeepers in San Francisco

Hot on the heels of our Earthkeepers experience in New York City, our Timberland Earthkeepers team was last spotted in San Francisco’s Union Square.  Booth visitors got to see our Earthkeepers Fall 2011 collection and learn about our eco-friendly initiatives, our pedi-cabs offered zero-emission rides in town, and we even rewarded unsuspecting San Franciscans for their random acts of Earthkeeping.

It’s all part of our appreciation for living an eco-friendly lifestyle.  Check it out:

The Earthkeepers Pop-Up Booth

Showcasing our environmental values - from product design and labeling to our global reforestation efforts

Made with reclaimed and recycled materials, the booth showcases the latest eco-minded, stylish footwear from our Fall 2011 Collection, and also educates and inspires consumers to be Earthkeepers

Consumers can plant a tree via the "Plant a Tree” application on our Facebook page. For every virtual tree planted, we'll plant a real one.

Timberland pedi-cab ride, anyone?

If you missed the Earthkeepers booth, don’t worry – you can still check out the Earthkeepers collection or learn about our tree-planting commitment on our website.

Sustainable Impact, Cajun Style

Timberland’s service sabbatical recipients Alan Jones and Heather Jackson shared the following from their week-long environmental restoration project in Louisiana.  Our thanks to Alan and Heather for taking time out from their daily lives and duties to be a part of this powerful team and its inspiring results!

In Good Company 2011, courtesy of Anne Hamersky

Wow. We did it! Nearly 5 acres of dissolving beach transformed into a landscape of Gulf Saver Bags sprouting mangroves and spartina grass!

That’s five acres of restored wetlands that have the chance to spread and expand, reducing coastal erosion, mitigating hurricane storm surges, creating wildlife habitat, stabilizing shipping routes, and enhancing the economic and cultural life of Deep Delta Louisiana. Collectively, we have impacted the Gulf Coast in a powerfully positive way.

THANK YOU for your immense effort and thanks to all your respective companies for sponsoring you on this community service experience.   May you all find inspiration in the incredible week we shared and continue to generate ripples of positive change in your communities.

- Anne Hamersky and the In Good Company planning team

Earthkeepers in NYC

Two weeks ago, we set up shop in the middle of New York City to showcase all things Earthkeepers – including educating consumers about our green initiatives, sharing our Fall 2011 Earthkeepers product collection, and even rewarding random acts of Earthkeeper kindness.  Check it out:

Our Earthkeeper booth was made with 450 pounds of recycled plastic bottles.

Inside the booth, Earthkeeper products (made with recycled and renewable materials) are on display.

Our Timberland street team, looking for eco-conscious people to reward.

Be a hero. Plant a tree: When you plant one virtual tree in our Facebook Tree Planting app, we plant a real one!

You can see more of our Earthkeeper experience in New York City on Timberland’s YouTube channel.  Next up, our Earthkeeper booth and street teams are headed to the West Coast – stay tuned for more photos and footage from San Francisco.

And as a reminder, tomorrow is your LAST CHANCE to vote and submit pics of your mountain chic style for our Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes. Be sure to share your photo with your friends, family and social communities to rack up the most votes — the top ten submissions receive a pair of Timberland boots and have a shot at winning the ultimate getaway to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Enter here: http://on.fb.me/ShowYourStyle

Back in the Bayou

This marks Timberland’s fourth year offering an Earthkeeper service sabbatical through In Good Company – a partnership of businesses joining together to make a difference through hands-on action. This year, we’ve chosen two well-deserving Timberland employees to join the In Good Company team in Venice, Louisiana (one hour south of New Orleans) for a week-long community service experience.

Alan Jones is an account executive for Timberland PRO, based in Texas.  He participated in his first Timberland service event in New Orleans in 2006, following Hurricane Katrina — an experience that, he says, “set in motion my dedication to service and to this company.”

Heather Jackson is an order processing clerk at our distribution center in Danville, KY.  Heather explains how she came to apply for the In Good Company sabbatical:

When I read about this opportunity, I went home that afternoon and talked with my seven-year-old son about why I want to do this and asked him what he thought. He said, “Mom, I want you to go. Go help the ocean.”  I want to share my experience with my son and inspire him to make a difference.

Alan and Heather, along with the rest of their In Good Company companions, will spend this week serving with various nonprofit organizations that are working to clean up and regenerate areas of the bayou impacted by the 2010 oil spill. (Fun fact: two of the three previous In Good Company sabbatical experiences have also taken volunteers to Louisiana; you can read about all of the previous In Good Company sabbaticals here.)

The word for the week is “local” – Heather and Alan will spend their time learning about local activists, experiencing local culture and making local impact. And, they’ll be sharing their experiences with us here on the Bootmakers Blog – stay tuned for their updates.

Earthkeeping at Ivanete Palla

The following story comes from Carlos Roberto Giacomozzi, one of our code of conduct assessors in Brazil.  Here, he reports on the environmental efforts being made by workers at Ivanete Palla, one of our contract factories:

Ivanete Palla is a small-sized shoe factory located in a very small town settled in the South region of Brazil. The name of the town is Sao Jorge (Saint Jorge) and it has a population of only 2774 inhabitants (1451 living in the urban area and 1323 living in the rural area) and the economy of the town is mostly based on the agriculture sector.

Currently, the factory employs around 80 workers in its 2 units but there was a time in the past when it employed over 120 workers, which means that the factory has a significant impact in the lives of the people and in the economy of the town.

In order to get to that town and visit this factory, I have to take a flight to the city of Porto Alegre (the state’s Capital) and then rent a car and drive for about 3.5 hours. The drive includes approximately 17 miles of dirt road with amazing scenery of beautiful small farms and green vegetation and pastures.

Although the town is very small and located in the rural area of the country, it is not shielded from the pollution caused by the lack of self-consciousness of the population. Brazil is a country that was blessed with lots of water that flows out from water springs from everywhere, forming creeks, rivers, etc. And what should be a good thing very often turns out to be a huge problem for the population, given that many places in the country suffer with flooding after heavy rains which hit many people’s homes.

However, the heavy rains are not the only cause of the flooding. One of the things that contributes to these natural disasters is the heavy load of all kind of materials illegally wasted into the water streams by human actions. Such materials include plastic bottles, plastic bags, tires, clothing, etc.; that contributes to the swollen streams during heavy rains by obstructing the natural course of water, resulting in the flooding of the cities.

In order to prevent the flooding caused by the human activities in their city/region, the workers at Ivanete Palla are doing voluntary work cleaning up the banks and surrounding areas of a creek located in the back of the factory, which is called “Sanguinha creek.” The workers collect the trash materials disposed of into the creek by human actions and then send those materials to be recycled or properly disposed of by the local municipality. The voluntary work done at that stream by the workers at Ivanete Palla is very important and it will certainly have a significant impact in the prevention of flooding in that city and in the surrounding region as well.

Making a Difference, In Good Company

Last month, Timberland employees Courtney Baumann and Sandy McDowell joined a team of other corporate volunteers for a week-long community service sabbatical in West Oakland, CA.  We’re pleased to be able to share Courtney’s final reflections and photos from the experience below.

I can’t express how grateful I am to Timberland for choosing me to attend the sabbatical in West Oakland. I was truly moved by the experience. Before I left, I was asked what I hoped to accomplish by going on the “trip,” and I stated that I wanted to add value to humanity, restore my perception of society and overcome challenges. I most definitely accomplished all of these things. I came back with a renewed sense of self and proud of the people I had met and the things we managed to achieve.

Courtney and Sandy

I knew it was going to be a good week, when Thao, one of the Clif Bar peeps who coordinated this whole event, picked me up at the airport. Of course nothing goes to plan, and everyone’s flights ran late — and I mean everyone! But I called when I landed and she burst out laughing, stating that she would be around in a bit, and that she had a funny hat on, which would make it easy to recognize. That cheerful attitude followed us around all week. Although many things did not go to plan, there was never a moment when it seemed Temra or Jennifer (Clif Bar) gave up or got discouraged. They just kept trucking along, making arrangements, and making it work. From rainy weather dampening our mural walk and halting our bike ride, loss of electric power in half of West Oakland, to rearranging our duties to make sure that every day, every project was adequately covered. I was lucky enough to see the City Slickers chicken coop project through from start to finish, and that meant a lot to me. Starting from scratch and then seeing the joy on a little boy’s face as he gets to see a chicken for the first time, just made it all worthwhile.

Chickens!

The entire week was so inspiring. There are so many people out there willing to make a difference, and many people that need our help. Since we’ve returned, City Slickers has received a $4 million grant to buy a parcel of land to aid in more urban farming. This shows how much of an impact a few organizations can have on a community.

Urban farming at its best

Throughout the week, all of the companies participating shared what they are doing to make it better for their employees and the planet. Timberland is not the only one who takes care of their employees and it means that we really might be able to change the world! Attendees included: Clif Bar (the spearhead of In Good Company), Annie’s, Eileen Fisher, States Logistics, Kaia Foods, QBP, Stonyfield Farm, New Belgium Breweries, Seventh Generation, Effects Marketing, and of course, Timberland. Support these companies wherever you can, because they are paving the way for a new way of thinking about the corporate world. They are all producing quality products with the environment in mind. We are part of a community of companies that care about social, environmental, and food justice.

A few final thoughts and observations: I’ve discovered that there are all sorts of foods that I haven’t tried yet, and will probably like.  I never knew I could go on that little sleep and still be happy to wake up in the morning. And my Timberland waterproof jacket and boots really are waterproof. They came in handy more than I ever realized they would.

Courtney




Chicken Coops and Veggie Beds

Below, the latest update from Sandy McDowell and Courtney Baumann, our two Timberland Earthkeepers who have spent this week creating positive social and environmental impact in West Oakland, California:

Today I went to Serenity House — a facility for women recovering from addictions to drug and alcohol.  They were so excited to get a garden.  We put in two raised beds and planted their garden with them.  It was an awesome experience because without our help, they could not have achieved this.  It took awhile for some of the women to warm up but when I left, one woman was so overwhelmed she expressed how grateful she was that we were there to do this for them.  I was really moved that we could really make a difference in their lives.  This is what it’s all about.

-Sandy

* * *

Hello!  I have been working on building chicken coops for the last three days!  On the first day, I thought we would be finished before the day was out, but not the case … :)   We were really involved in the creative aspect of the whole process and allowed to give our input on how to make it better.  I picked the chicken coop project because I felt like this was something that I could take home and possibly do myself — I would love to start something similar at my home.

After finishing today, I was filled with so much pride.  One of the chicken coops we made is going to Makeda and Myron, two community members who have helped with this project all week.  It was really inspiring to see how excited they are to receive it.  They already have a garden in their backyard, aided by City Slicker Farms, and it’s just really great to hear how much it means to them.

This week has really flown by, and we have really accomplished some great things.  We can’t wait to deliver our coops tomorrow!

-Courtney

West Coast Update

Our daily update from Timberland Earthkeeper Sandy McDowell, halfway through her week of community service and revitalization in West Oakland, CA:

Yesterday we installed solar panels on two houses in West Oakland.  The company we worked with is called Grid Alternatives: they supply the solar panels and we install, with their help.  I talked to a neighbor who said it reduced his electric bill to 8 dollars a month!  We will finish that job today, and tomorrow we are building raised garden beds in West Oakland for City Slicker Farms.

I have met some awesome people in the neighborhood who are passionate for a better life.  Can’t wait to share all of those stories.

Sandy