• Matt Sykes

One Percenters, the Planet Needs Us Now

“So, hang in there, stay the course, and remember that this community matters during these extraordinary times and at all times.”

These were the words that Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia & 1% for the Planet, chose to rally a unique group of businesses which voluntarily pay an annual ‘earth tax’.

The letter to the 1% for the Planet community was an intentional steadying of the ship by one of the world’s most progressive business minds.

“We’ve got to choose to act. As members and nonprofit partners of 1% for the Planet, you have made that choice. And during this challenging time, it’s not an easy one. But it’s the right one.”

Only months ago, I’d just started Regeneration Projects when the pandemic hit. Any promise of money coming in through early adopters was swiftly stripped away. I had to really stop and think twice, can I really afford to pay my annual 1% for the Planet membership fees when I have so little in the bank and the economy has collapsed?


As Yvon states, it’s “a cost of doing business on this planet. It’s not philanthropy—it’s an absolute necessity”.

When I think back to my childhood football days, the coach was always talking about the ‘one percenters’. They’re the small things that you do day in day out that add up in the long run, regardless of your size or skill level or whether the crowd is looking.

My grandfathers cared for the land, my father cared for the land and so I decided that I’m not going to let a pandemic stop me caring for the land either.

Even when you’re at the edge, there’s always one percent to give. Despite the turbulence, let’s keep our eyes on the horizon and our heads in the game.

Greta called it at the United Nations last year: “Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming whether you like it or not.”


Barn Bluff, Overland Track, Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area

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