Earth Deeds Update 12/4/14

It’s been a while since our last update, but it certainly hasn’t been for lack of activity.  So as to not overwhelm you, here are some quick highlights of what’s been happening with Earth Deeds:

New Website

Home page

Recognizing that, for now, we are really a consulting organization, we revamped our site to focus more on the value we offer clients and less on tools for clients to create their own Teams and Projects (we’ve been doing this for them).  Check it out and let us know what you think. On our priority list is upgrading our Search Page and developing crowd-funding tools for Projects.

New Team Members:

While Shanti Gaia and Diane Dandeneau have taken on other work obligations and shifted from staff positions into core advisor roles, David Adamson and I are very excited to welcome three new (part-time) Team Members and two new Core Advisors to our Team.  It’s really wonderful to work with such amazing people dedicated to Earth Deeds vision of supporting local solutions to global warming.  You can read more about each of them on our Team Page.

Clara Fang - Communications

Clara Changxin Fang
Communications Manager

Jeff Mazur - CFO

Jeff Mazur
Chief Financial Officer

Eli Akerstein Web Development

Eli Akerstein
Web Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Gilman Core Advisor

Robert Gilman
Core Advisor

Bob Fisher Core Advisor

Bob Fisher
Core Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re also looking for a programmer (especially one with strong ecommerce experience) and/or designer to help further develop our website.  Contact me if you have ideas.

Gaining Traction:

At the Climate MarchCreating a new market is hard work, but we’re increasingly finding clients excited to onset their emissions and support meaningful sustainability projects.  So far, we’ve transacted around $50,000 with 10 Teams and we have over 40 prospects in our pipeline, including 11 colleges and universities!

I was also proud to hold an Earth Deeds sign while marching in the climate rally in NYC on Sept. 21 and excited to present with two of our biggest clients at two recent conferences — AASHE (with PLU) and NAFSA (with CISabroad).

New Video:

Finally, please watch and let us know what you think about our new 5-minute Overview.

Earth Deeds Overview

Watch the Video
300 views

Thanks everyone for your continued support!

Earth Deeds Update 7/3/14

I hope you are all well and enjoying life wherever.  On the eve of “Interdependence Day” and my daughter Pema’s 10th birthday, I am very pleased to offer the following Earth Deeds updates:

Two New Team Members

While Shanti is less involved these days as he attends to other commitments, please join me in welcoming two new core members to the Earth Deeds team:

David Adamson (Sales/Development), led three green building product sales companies from 1992 to 2014 and was Development Director for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado from 1987 to 1991.  David lives in Boulder with his wife, Stephanie and their two boys, Elijah and Abe.

Diane Dandeneau (Sales/Chief Technology Officer), co-founded the Green Heart institute in 2005, creating carbon education tools and now consults with environmental companies helping bring their missions to fruition.

Engaging with Teams, Projects, and Partners

With Beta v.1.0 of our website in hand, we are now reaching out to organizations and projects and finding lots of interest in Earth Deeds.  For example, on a recent trip to Boulder (to meet with David and Diane and make a bunch of presentations), we attracted interest from Naropa University, CU-Boulder, and even the City of Boulder!

We also recently disbursed onset funds to 10 projects in CISabroad’s host communities. Many of them are now wanting to Partner with Earth Deeds to help others fight global warming and support their work at the same time.  This could lead to dozens or even hundreds of new Teams and Projects!

We’re especially excited to work with study abroad providers, schools, ecotourism organizations, and higher education.  Please contact us if you are connected to an organization you feel might be a good fit with Earth Deeds.  And if you’re affiliated with a college or university, please check out my White Paper and let us know who we might contact to talk further.  Thanks!

Free Webinar on Catalyzing Carbon Consciousness

In collaboration with Gaia Education, I will offer a free webinar on July 15 at 11:00am EST on how we can respond to global warming and support local resiliency and sustainable community development.  Read more information and register to join this conversation.  Please also share with others you feel might be interested.  Thanks!

Video Series: Part 3 – How Are We Responding?

I’ve been developing a series of short videos to introduce folks to Climate Change and how Earth Deeds is making a difference.  In our last update, I shared Part 2 – Where Are We Heading? Next up is  Part 3 – How Are We Responding?  Please let me know what you think.

Watch the Video

 

And More…

In other news, we have redone our Business Plan (now 5.0!) and are in the process of a deep redesign of our website to make it even more useful and easier to navigate.  Please let me know if you’d like a copy of our Business Plan or have thoughts about our website.

Thanks again for all your support and I look forward to hearing from you.

Earth Deeds Goes Live for Earth Day!

Dear Earth Deeds Supporters,

earth-dayHappy Earth Day!  May we remember our fundamental interdependence with all life today and everyday!

To help celebrate, we are excited to announce that Earth Deeds is now LIVE!  This means you can start using our online tools to measure and transform your carbon footprints and support sustainability projects of your choice!

There’s still a lot of site development and beta-testing to complete (which is why we’re not promoting it widely — yet), but we believe we have now reached the stage of “Minimal Viable Product” and the site is ready to use.  Yay!

Check us out at http://www.earthdeeds.org, register as a user, set up a team to onset your CO2 emissions, and let us know what you think. Thanks for all your support and have a Happy Earth Day every day!

In community,
– Daniel Greenberg, CEO

 

Earth Deeds Update – 4/1/14

Dear Earth Deeds Supporters,

It seems like the long winter in the northeast is finally starting to thaw and seeds are beginning to sprout.  Here are a few sprouting shoots at Earth Deeds and a simple way you can really help.  If you do nothing else, please

Vote for PLU’s Video once a day through April 15

(and share with friends).  Thanks!

 

2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards

Second Nature SN CL Award LogoEarth Deeds’ pilot project with Pacific Lutheran University  has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards.  Woo Hoo!  We are working with PLU students who will study abroad next year to measure their footprints and fund sustainability projects on campus.  This partnership is being highlighted in a nationwide video-voting competition organized by Second Nature and Planet Forward. Starting today, the video will be posted online here. Anyone can vote in the video competition (simply by clicking the “Thumbs-Up” icon), and everyone can cast one vote per day through April 15. Please do!  In conjunction with the video competition, Second Nature will run an online feature on each of the 28 finalists, and their videos, two times throughout April.  Our project is scheduled to be featured April 11 and April 24. Winners of the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards will be notified in May.  Wish us luck!

Soft Launch

earth-homepage3 copyPartly in preparation for the attention we anticipate from the Second Nature Awards, we have been working hard on preparing for a “soft launch” of our website.  This means, on April 5th, we intend to switch over our beta site to become our main site.  There’s still a lot more site development we want to do before we start actively promoting Earth Deeds.  We just want to make sure that folks interested enough to check out our site see more than the landing page we’ve had up for months.  After April 5th, please wander around the new beta site (you’ll need to register first) and let us know what you think.  Thanks.

 

Video Series: Part 2 – Where Are We Heading?

I’ve been developing a series of short videos to introduce folks to Climate Change and how Earth Deeds is making a difference.  In our last update, I shared Part 1 – What is Climate Change?.  Next up is  Part 2 – Where Are We Heading?  Please let us know what you think in the comments or email us directly at directors <at> earthdeeds.com. Thanks again for your support and we look forward to hearing from you.

 

ecovillage summit flier 2

Youth Ecovillage Summit

While not directly related to Earth Deeds I want to make sure you know about the Youth Ecovillage Summit, which will gather together young adults from across North America who are passionate about creating sustainable communities and a healthy world.  And it’s happening in our own backyard at the Sirius Community!  Please share this info with youth (18-35 yr) who you feel might be interested.  Please also share their Facebook Page if you can.

Happy Spring everyone!  May all our dreams continue to flourish this coming season.

In community,
– Daniel Greenberg, CEO

 

Please Vote!

Earth Deeds Felt Logo Square

Earth Deeds has teamed up with Pacific Lutheran University on a project that has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards.  We are working with PLU students who will study abroad next year to measure their footprints and fund sustainability projects on campus.

This partnership will be highlighted in a nationwide video-voting competition organized by Second Nature and Planet Forward.  PLU worked hard on a very cute felt-animation video.  You can see their version of our logo to the right.  Starting April 1 and continuing through April 15th, the video will be posted online here.

Please Vote once per day through April 15th

In conjunction with the video competition, Second Nature will run an online feature on each of the 28 finalists, and their videos, two times throughout April.  This project is scheduled to be featured April 11 and April 24. Winners of the 2014 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards will be notified in May.

Thanks for your support!

 

Happy Birthday Earth Deeds

Earth Deeds BirthdayDear Earth Deeds Supporters. Earth Deeds incorporated on February 20, 2013, so we are today, officially one year old.  Happy Birthday Earth Deeds!  We’ve gone through a lot of changes in our first year; from our birthing as an L3C with a name, a logo, and a business plan; to developing our Minimal Viable Product website; to running successful pilots with a UMass class, NextGEN and several study abroad organizations; to presenting at a number of conferences and other events.  It now it feels like we are taking our first steps to truly walking.

Climate Leadership Finalist

Second Nature LogoBig news!  Our pilot project with Pacific Lutheran University (measuring and transforming the carbon footprints of their ’14-’15 semester study abroad programs) was selected as a Finalist for the 2014 Climate Leadership Awards.  This is exciting for three reasons: First, in partnership with Planet Forward, Finalists are invited to produce a short video that the public can view and vote on in April.  Last year’s videos drew around 50,000 votes. SecondSecond Nature, will feature each Finalist in a month-long series on climate leadership around Earth Day. And third, Finalists will be highlighted at the annual fall ACUPCC Annual Presidential Summit, which brings together university Presidents and Chancellors to share leadership and best practices around sustainability in higher education. We are thrilled to have these opportunities to tell our story and connect with forward thinking academic leaders about how to make their campuses and programs carbon conscious.  Wish us luck and we’ll let you know when it comes time to vote!

Beta Launch

In preparation for all this attention, we are making another push on the Earth Deeds website in the hopes of launching a beta version by the end of March.  We already have a list of beta-testers and other supporters we will be reaching out to, but if you would like to get involved somehow, please let us know.  Thanks!

Video Series: Part 1 – What is Climate Change

Finally, as I mentioned in our Holiday Update, I have been developing a series of short videos to introduce folks to Climate Change and how Earth Deeds is making a difference.  I will share these videos one-by-one in our upcoming updates.  First up is “What is Climate Change? Please let us know what you think in the comments or email us directly at directors <at> earthdeeds.com. Thanks again for your support and we look forward to hearing from you.

In community,
Daniel Greenberg, CEO

 

Earth Deeds Holiday Update

Dear Earth Deeds Supporters,

Peace Joy and LightWe send you warm wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Peace and Happiness.  Just as we have faith that the light will return following the Winter Solstice, so too do we at Earth Deeds have faith that 2014 will be a year marked by greater understanding, compassion, and … Carbon Consciousness!

And with that segue, here’s what’s been happening at Earth Deeds since we last shared:

  • Donate to Earth Deeds: Because folks were asking, we set up a dedicated donations page to support Earth Deeds helping others become carbon conscious and fund projects working for a healthy planet.  Thank you for your generous support!*
  • Transforming Earth Deeds Carbon Emissions: For 2013, we calculated that our business travel emitted 2.96 mT of CO2 (largely due to flights to conferences).  Based on best estimates of the true cost of this carbon, we are donating $107 to the Wind Turbine Project at the Sirius Community.  This donation does not make us “carbon neutral” and we will continue to support this and other projects in every way possible.
  • Updated Language: Informed by insights from 38 survey respondents (thank you if you were one of them!), we are now using the following terminology to describe Earth Deeds in just a few words:
    • Tag Line: “Transforming Carbon Footprints”
    • Ecolabel: “Carbon Conscious Certification”
    • Twitter Pitch: “Earth Deeds offers innovative online tools for understanding and then transforming carbon footprints through supporting sustainability projects.”
  • Pilots: We are excited to be working with CISabroad to help them measure the carbon footprints of all their 2013 programs and donate to 10 projects in their host communities. Upcoming pilots in 2014 include CELL’s Spring Semester in Central America, PLU, and a few Ecovillage Design Education courses.
  • New Videos:  Check out our new 2-Minute Overview video and let us know what you think!  I’m also working on a 5-part video series to help Earth Deeds users better understand climate change and how we can best respond.  We intend to share them with you one by one in early 2014 to get your feedback.
  • Echoing Green: While we haven’t had much luck with entrepreneurial competitions, we’re still applying as they help us better articulate what we do and often offer excellent feedback.  Next up is Echoing Green.  Wish us luck!
  • University Classes: We enjoyed working with a UMass Social Entrepreneurship class that took on Earth Deeds as their case study.  One of their suggestions was to use more social media.  Perhaps I’ll ask my teenage daughter to teach me how to use Instagram!  I also recently offered a 90-minute seminar on climate change via Skype to a group of students studying at Kibbutz Lotan in Israel.  Fun!

That’s all for now.  Thanks again everyone for your incredible support and we’ll be in touch again next year!!

In community,

Daniel Greenberg, Ph.D.
CEO, Earth Deeds

* Please Note: Earth Deeds is a social venture incorporated as a Low-Profit Limited Liability Corporation (L3C).  As such, any donations are not tax deductible.  Please contact us if you would like more information on L3Cs or how donations are used at Earth Deeds.
 

Language Matters

Language is important.  The words we choose can make all the difference when communicating ideas, especially when the ideas are new — like Earth Deeds.  After working with lots of possibilities, we surveyed our Advisory Committee to get their feedback on how to describe what we do in just a few words.  Informed by the insights from 38 respondents, we are moving forward with the following terms and phrases to describe Earth Deeds.

Twitter Pitch:

Earth Deeds offers innovative online tools for understanding and then transforming carbon footprints through supporting sustainability projects.

 

Tag Line:                                                                      Ecolabel:

Earth Deeds Logo Vert full

carbon-certificate36

Transforming Carbon Footprints

 

We are using “transforming carbon footprints” to describe our primary work and avoiding connecting Earth Deeds to carbon offsetting for several reasons:

  1. The current carbon offsetting industry lacks transparency, trust, and consumer choice; is inefficient in transferring funds to projects; and is unable to work with small, local, and non-mitigating projects; and
  2. Many feel the concept of carbon offsetting is akin to buying an absolution of ones sins (aka “indulgences”), which is not a healthy or effective way to actually create sustainable societies.

We choose instead to focus on transforming our environmental impacts into positive action to create a better world.

Please let us know if you have any additional thoughts or suggestions.  Thanks again for your support!

In community,
– Daniel

 

Earth Deeds Update – 11/7/13

Dear Earth Deeds Supporters,

A quick post-Halloween joke:  Why do ghosts like elevators?  Because they raise their spirits! I hope this Earth Deeds update will raise your spirits as we share what’s been happening with Earth Deeds in the last month or so.

  • Pilots: We’re continuing to pilot Earth Deeds in order to test and develop our beta-site and we’re ready for more!  Please let us know if you have an event you would like to make Climate Conscious and/or a Project you think others might want to support.  Thanks!
  • Academic Pilots:  We’re particularly excited about dialogues we’ve started with Second Nature, which manages the American College and University President’s Climate Committement (ACUPCC), about using Earth Deeds offering an alternative to “climate neutrality” and a way for campuses to become climate conscious and support campus and community-based sustainability projects.  And Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) has committed to being our first pilot university!
  • Events:I presented Earth Deeds at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference on Oct. 7 and there was lots of interest, especially among campus Sustainability Directors.  I then attended the Social Venture Network conference on Oct. 17-20 where I received excellent advice from some extraordinary entrepreneurs and welcomed a new Core Advisor — Gifford Pinchot, the Founder and President of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.  And Shanti recently received a lot of interest and helpful feedback while talking about Earth Deeds at the Connecting for Change conference from Oct. 25-27.  More to come!
  • Beta-Site: We recently redesigned our home page, incorporated an advanced search of over 112,000 global sustainability projects via the Wiser Earth database, and started a Blog where you can view this and older updates.  Lot’s more to come!
  • Competitions: We were excited to pitch to the Valley Venture Mentors on Sept. 25, but it made us realize we should stick with more sustainability focused competitions and incubators such as the Social Innovation Forum (which we were personally invited to apply to), Echoing Green, and the William James Foundation.  Let us know if you know of others we should consider.
  • Funding: We were thrilled to receive our third infusion of start-up capital a few weeks ago and now have an Executive Overview and Business Plan we feel good about sharing with other potential investors.  Please let us know if you or others might like to see these materials.
  • Valhalla Interview ThumbnailInterview: Check out this video interview by some members of Valhalla, a growing ecovillage in Montreal whose intent is to make sustainability sexy and mainstream!  The first 14 minutes have some crazy video angles as their primary camera had a technical glitch.

Thank you all for your ongoing interest and support of Earth Deeds.  Please let us know if you have any thoughts and/or if you have an Event or Project you would like to pilot with us.  Take care and I look forward to hearing from you.

In community,
– Daniel