At the beginning of May, Bodhi Surf + Yoga concluded what was our busiest season in our history. We worked very hard, (the last stretch was 17 weeks of back-to-back Bodhi Sessions surf and yoga camps), and were so excited to share our passions of surfing, yoga, simple living, and environmental action with people from all around the world. During it all, I was lucky to sneak off for 4 days to Portland, Oregon to attend the 1% for the Planet’s Global Summit. It was a meeting of the minds that featured plenty of inspiration, but more importantly, plans of action to get more people involved in the most important task in human history — saving and protecting our home planet.
With action comes hope
Being so busy this season, I missed out on rising environmental activist Greta Thurnburg’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, the one which really catapulted her to the international spotlight. Recently, I sat down and watched that along with all of the speeches that I could find online. Her words struck a chord with me. She speaks with the urgency that I and many I know feel, but that is largely absent in the discourse of our political leaders, the media, and everyday life.
For even in 2019, as we stare down the barrel of what is the largest and most all-encompassing threat to our continued existence, it is far more common to see people outright ignoring this impending global crisis than it is to see them take action on it. Or even talk about it. It’s truly mind boggling. It’s also incredibly terrifying.
There was one part of Greta’s TedxTalk that really got to me, and ever since, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind:
“Now we’re almost at the end of my talk and this is where people usually people usually start talking about hope. Solar panels, wind power, circular economy, and so on. But I’m not going to do that. We’ve had 30 years of pep talking and selling positive ideas. And I’m sorry but it doesn’t work because if it would have, the emissions would have gone down by now. They haven’t.
And yes, we do need hope. Of course, we do. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then and only then, hope will come today.”
The action-plan of this small business
I agree with this sentiment. I am a person who is at risk of becoming paralyzed with inaction if I consume too much news about climate change and the myriad of other human-made environmental crises without accompanying it with strong pro-environmental action. Which is why I am so happy to have co-founded Bodhi Surf + Yoga, and to get to work every single day for a company that prioritizes climate change, environmental protection, and spreading the urgency of the message to others.
For this reason and others, Bodhi Surf + Yoga has aligned itself with several movements that consist of businesses in the private sector that voluntarily take on both social and environmental issues. It’s incredibly motivating and empowering to learn that there are so many small businesses, organizations, and even multinational companies who are, very deliberately, eschewing capitalism’s status quo and are endeavoring to build something better in its place.
Bodhi became a Certified B Corporation in 2016 and 1% for the Planet member in 2018. For us, just having these certifications isn’t enough: we have been active members in both communities, learning from others, sharing our own wisdom, and collaborating with awesome like-minded members. On Bodhi’s behalf, I have attended two B Corporation retreats, and was excited to go to my first 1% for the Planet summit this year.
The 2019 Global Summit by 1% for the Planet
As was to be expected with so many forward-thinking business people, environmental organizers, and conscientious citizens, the 2019 Global Summit was very powerful indeed. Not only did Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard speak; so did Netflix co-founder/1% for the Planet Board Member, Mark Randolph; as well as All Good’s founder Caroline Duell; plus a whole host of other passionate individuals. The good vibes were infectious. Yet there was no mistaking it, tone was urgent, and sometimes, it felt like there were more questions than answers.
How do we get more individuals to care? How do we tell those stories? How do we get more companies to sign on to giving away a portion of their profit for the environment? How do we get the customer to understand the importance of this movement? How do we raise up our respective industries? How do we disrupt the status quo? Is 1% even enough?
Despite the heavy content of the summit, I was able to find what All Good’s Caroline Duell shared with the crowd: a “hope spot”. In this day and age, it is very easy to drown in anxiety, concern, sadness, anger, and confusion. The environmental crisis is the most urgent issue of our time, there is so much that needs to be done, and the time to start was 50+ years ago. Quite simply, there is no guarantee that we will pull it together. There may be fewer reasons to hope than there are to worry…
“Hope spots exist”
… other than the big one, if we are to be effective in this mission, we need hope. We need those “hope spots”, those moments that bring a smile to our faces, excitement into our hearts, and clarity to our minds. Those moments that make us firm up our resolve to take on the first challenge, then the next, and the one after that. The kind of hope that engenders action, that sparks more hope. For me, the 1% for the Planet movement, and all of its inspired members, are just that for me. They remind me that this isn’t something any of us have to do [or would even be effective in doing] alone — neither the worrying, nor the action-taking. We must take collective and urgent action, and in so doing, we will find hope, and we will also see just what we are capable of.