Whether you are new to learning about us or you have been aware of The Environmental Center for a long time, you’ll likely notice that we offer a wide variety of programs including sustainability education for local youth, garden education and technical assistance for school gardens, numerous free community events, climate advocacy work at local and state levels, and more. Our dedicated team works hard each and every day to advance our mission to embed sustainability into daily life here in Central Oregon.
As a small, 501c3 nonprofit organization, we are able to do what we do because of the generosity of a community of funders at all levels. Our work would simply not be possible without a diverse and sustainable funding portfolio, which is where our corporate sponsors fit in. We offer corporate sponsors various support opportunities that fit their needs best, one of which is through 1% for the Planet. 1% for the Plant is a global initiative where businesses pledge to donate 1% of their net profit to environmentally focused nonprofits.
In this Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to one of our 1% for the Planet business members, Megan Marie Myers Art, who generously donates a portion of her profits each year to sustain local nonprofits that align with her values.
To learn more about Bend-based Megan Marie Myers Art, and her commitment to sustainability through 1% for the Planet, we asked Megan a few questions. Here is what she had to say:
Why did you become a 1% for the Planet business member?
My vision for my work is to cultivate connection between all people and nature through art. I’ve made it my life’s work to use art to inspire deep love and appreciation for wilderness and encourage the protection of our only home. I wanted to further align with these values through my charitable giving choices. The 1% for the Planet model was appealing because I was able to join a global network and feel supported and inspired by like-minded businesses, non-profits, and the organization itself. At the same time, it also enabled me to create strong and personal partnerships with environmental non-profits in my local community in Central Oregon.
Why did you choose The Environmental Center as a 1% nonprofit partner beneficiary?
The Environmental Center was my first choice as a beneficiary. Before I was a 1% for the Planet Business Member, I partnered with the Environmental Center to create the artwork for their Earth Day Fair and Parade. After this incredibly positive experience, I continued to follow their work in our community over the years. I have seen first-hand the impacts they make through education and advocacy. I’ve been inspired by their earnest and persistent efforts to shape a sustainable community now and for future generations.
What has your experience been like as a 1% for the Planet?
My experience with 1% for the Planet has been incredibly positive. Even as a microbusiness, I feel like they take the time to support me, answer questions, and provide a generous amount of assets and information.
I really like 1% ‘s Non-Profit Directory; it allowed me to find and connect directly with carefully vetted environmental non-profits in my local community. I can feel assured that my giving is making an impact through the partners I choose, as the non-profits in the directory are required to meet certain criteria and drive real, measurable environmental outcomes.
What impact do you feel you have made as a 1% for the Planet business member?
Beyond feeling confident that my monetary donations are contributing to important work in my local community, I also hope that my participation in the program as a microbusiness / independent artist inspires other very small businesses (makers and creators!) to play a part and consider building charitable giving to the planet into their business models.
As a business member of TEC you join in our mission of embedding sustainability into daily life in Central Oregon – can you share what comes to mind when you think about sustainability?
Living sustainably is living mindfully. An important part of my art practice is to be intentional – to constantly be asking myself what choices I make impact others and impact our planet. Living and operating a business sustainably is about being curious and continuously learning what I can be doing personally and as a business to help promote the health of our planet, and then using what I learn to make choices that move the needle in that direction.
How do you live out your value of sustainability, either in your personal life or as a business?
I demonstrate my commitment to the environment by making mindful choices regarding manufacturing, packaging, waste, and the utilization of local resources. I keep all my printing and most of my other manufacturing local to Central Oregon. I’m switching my stationary packaging to eco-sleeves to cut down on plastics. We store and ship all our products from a local co-warehousing space called Collective Pallet. There, we use only sustainable or recycled shipping and packing materials. In the freelance side of my business, I am committed to working with clients who are also making sustainable choices. I stay curious about their practices before deciding whether a partnership is the right fit.
Most importantly, I use my art to spark connections between my audience and the natural world around them. This, I hope, encourages others to foster sustainable practices to protect our planet. As I see it, igniting a sense of our connection to nature is the first step to inspiring sustainable living.
You can learn more about Megan and her art on her website https://www.meganmariemyers.com/ , or give her page a follow on Instagram @meganmariemyersart. Thank you again Megan, for the continued support and belief in our mission!