Collaboration Quote of the Month

September 29, 2010

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Henry Ford

Carl Safina Explaining the Continuing Devastation of the Gulf Oil Spill

September 21, 2010

Although the normal media coverage of the Gulf oil spill has waned, the horrible repercussions of this disaster are far from over…if they ever will be.

A lover of the oceans since he was a child, Carl Safina has dedicated his life to learning about the amazing world living under the sea. In his explorations he has come to help others discover the truths and reality of how man is endangering one of the most vibrant and vast expanses on the planet.

In the following TED video, Safina dives into the Gulf oil spill and the damage that is still happening at an alarming rate — and how so-called “solutions” are making the situation devastatingly worse.

It is an important video for all of us to watch…the reality of the situation is not one to be forgotten and will be effecting us all for many, many years to come, unless we work together to make a difference.

Protect Our Winters Announces Addition of Auden Schendler to Board

September 16, 2010

Los Angeles, CA 9/15/10:  Protect Our Winters (POW) is proud to welcome Auden Schendler as the newest member of its Board of Directors.  Schendler is the Vice-President of Sustainability at the Aspen Skiing Company and will be a major contributor to POW’s efforts to activate the winter sports community in the fight against climate change.

Previously a research associate in corporate sustainability at Rocky Mountain Institute, Auden has been a trailer insulator, burger flipper, ambulance medic, Outward Bound instructor, high school math and English teacher, freelance writer, and Forest Service goose nest island builder. An avid outdoorsman, Auden has climbed Denali, North America’s highest peak, and kayaked the Grand Canyon in winter. His writing has been published in Harvard Business Review, the L.A. Times, Scientific American and, among other places, and his work has been covered in Businessweek, Fast Company, Travel and Leisure, Outside, and other media. Auden was named a global warming innovator by TIME magazine in 2006 and in 2007 he testified to Congress on the impact of climate change on public lands. He lives in Basalt, Colorado with his wife Ellen and their children Willa and Elias.

“Protect Our Winters has momentum. It’s cool. And it’s exactly the right idea: we’re going to solve climate change by mobilizing huge amounts of people who care. And skiers and riders care.” said Auden.

“We’re honored and and excited to have Auden be part of the Protect Our Winters leadership.
We need the best and the brightest on our team to help us engage the winter sports community against climate change and without question, Auden is that guy.”  said Chris Steinkamp, Executive Director of POW.

POW’s goal of uniting the winter sports community against climate change is reflected in its board membership.  Schendler joins Matt McClain, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Surfrider Foundation, Strick Walker, former CMO at 1% For The Planet and currently the Business Development Lead at IDEO and Christina Thomure, Director of Sustainable Operations at Grand Targhee Resort.
Since 2008, Protect our Winters has invested over $150,000 in over 25 community-based grassroots organizations, partnered with The Sierra Club to fight dirty coal and produced “Generations”, in partnership with The North Face and Teton Gravity Research. “Generations” is a short-film about climate change, resulting in over 150,000 downloads and led to the “60 Days” campaign, an online activism effort urging US Senators to support clean energy legislation.

About Protect Our Winters: Protect Our Winters is the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and local mountain communities. With over 25,000 supporters worldwide, POW re-invests contributions in educational initiatives, activism and supporting community-based initiatives that have tangible results.  For more information, visit

Global Help For Women’s Cooperatives in West Africa

September 14, 2010

For those born into poor and desolate countries it is often difficult to see a different way of living…let alone making a change to live a happier life.

For those living in Africa, one of the countries ranking lowest in overall joy, according to the Happy Planet Index, feelings of felicity dangle in front of their noses like an orange carrot, yet is often too far out of reach.

But this is changing in a collaborative manner by an amazing lady, Judy Marcuse, founder of the International Centre of Art for Social Change is doing…she is assisting two groups of women in West Africa that are initiating their own personal path to happiness. I truly believe that each one of us have a duty to do our part in helping every member of the globe move towards a feeling of well-being, so I am very happy to pass on her message of global collaboration in assisting those in more dire situations succeed.

Below is a letter written by Marcuse explaining the circumstances and opportunity we have to help these industrious, forward-thinking women whom were born into destitute situations. Their hope for a brighter tomorrow encourages and inspires me…

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On a recent trip to West Africa, I met with two groups of remarkable women. They live in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and in Farkala, a village of 2,000 people in the Malian countryside, near the town of Sikasso.

These women run co-operative businesses. The revenue they earn makes it possible for them to better feed and educate their children in what are extremely challenging circumstances. Both small-scale enterprises are well-organized and have been operating for more than a decade.

But both urgently need support.

After my visits with them, I was very moved and felt compelled to do what I can for them. I am writing to ask you to
consider the possibility of helping one or both of these groups.

Here are brief descriptions of what they do and what they need.

L’Union Des Femmes De La Commune Rural De Farkala

Founded over 10 years ago, this co-op, based in the traditional village of Farkala, produces a variety of foodstuffs and soap by processing the fruit of the local neri tree. Twelve hundred women from the village and twelve surrounding communities rotate the work which provides income for more food and improved education for their children. They need two solar dryers for use during the rains when they are unable to dry the fruit in the sun. Cost: $2,000

Bogolon Fabric Artisan Workshop

Operated by L’Association des Femmes Veuves et Enfants Désherités, Bamako, Mali (founded in 1991)

These women produce household items in light cotton fabric that they have skilfully woven, dyed and printed in beautiful patterns, using traditional bogolon (mudcloth) methods and natural dyes. Their products include pillowcases, tablecloths, shirts, blouses, and decorative hangings which they sell in a small shop at the front of their
workshop compound. They also create a range of decorative paper products, designed by the director of the enterprise.

It is amazing to see how the women are able to create such lovely work with so very few resources. The workshop is located in an extremely poor area of Bamako, where it can be a daily struggle to provide food and education for their children. They need $2,000 to purchase equipment and raw materials.

There are several ways to donate:

online at

or send a cheque to:

Judith Marcuse Projects
c/o Suite 210, 1688 West 1st Avenue,
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 1G1, Canada

Please indicate if you wish your assistance to go to one or both groups of women. We are pleased that JMP will provide
an official tax-receipt. Your help will have a very meaningful impact for these excellent women and their families.

Thank You!

Judith Marcuse
Bogolon (fabric) Artisan Workshop
L’Union des Femmes de la Commune Rural de Farkala

Mountain Rider’s Alliance: A Grassroots Movement Changing The Way Ski Areas Are Run

September 10, 2010

A new paradigm is emerging in ski area management: one that’s globally-based, rider-centric, environmentally sustainable, sensitive to local needs, and skier-and-snowboarder-owned

Truckee, California – September 9, 2010 – Rising lift ticket costs, negative impacts on ski communities and the environment, and the desire to combat climate change have all led concerned skiers and snowboarders to form a global collaborative group, Mountain Rider’s Alliance (MRA).

MRA is a movement of snow enthusiasts who are dedicated to changing the ways ski areas are run. MRA’s mission is to create rider-owned-and-operated ski areas that are rider-centric, environmentally sustainable and sensitive to local cultural, social and economic concerns.

All MRA business decisions will be based on three principles. The first principle is operating and developing value-based, rider-centric ski areas that put skier and snowboarder needs and wants first. Secondly, all MRA projects will be environmentally sustainable by creating “ski-energy centers” that strive towards a zero carbon footprint by producing and selling alternative energy to local utilities as well as utilizing the best in green practices. The third element is to be socially responsible to the communities surrounding these mountain playgrounds.

To raise awareness about this new ideological shift in managing ski areas, Mountain Rider’s Alliance has launched a website,, and blog, MRA also has a Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter account, MtnRA.

As MRA identifies potential locations and develops a master plan, the Alliance will offer reasonably-priced investment shares to the global ski community to create true rider-owned resorts who will exercise their ownership rights for the long-term advancement of the sport and not short-term profit. MRA expects to announce the location of the first ski-energy project in December 2010.

Mountain Rider’s Alliance was founded in 2010 as a LLC, incorporated in Wyoming. MRA has established partnerships with like-minded nonprofit organizations including Protect Our Winters, SkiDUCK, Sustenator and Peace Pedalers.

For more information, visit the MRA website, or blog, or contact Mountain Rider’s Alliance directly at

Help California Support the Environment by Saying No to Big Oil Companies and Prop 23

September 2, 2010

With the Senate’s failure to pass an anti global-warming bill, legislation on the state level is currently our most direct answer to saving the planet.

California already passed one of the toughest anti-global warming laws in the world (AB32) back in 2006. But now Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro have spent $3.5 million to fund Prop 23, a deceptive initiative in CA that would reverse AB32.

We need to show them that their support isn’t just bad for the environment — it’s also bad for business.

Join me and pledge to boycott Valero gas. Send a message to Valero CEO Bill Klesse and let your support for the environment be heard.

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