by Mischa Hedges – Chief Storyteller, TrimTab Media
How are YOU walking your talk and supporting what you believe in?
As 2016 draws to a close, I’m looking back at 5 years of TrimTab Media. We launched our creative agency & film production company after I finished graduate school at Dominican University’s GreenMBA program. During that time, our creative team has produced more than 300 videos, written stories and social campaigns for an amazing group of clients who work tirelessly to make the world a better place. It’s deeply satisfying work.
Our team has always been focused on storytelling for progressive organizations to help them amplify the good work they do. We also produce independent documentaries to inspire and motivate audiences to create a better world. I feel honored and proud to do this work every day. But we have a negative impact, too.
We travel thousands of miles in cars, airplanes and public transit to produce our films, emitting pollution and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Our team consumes electricity, food, water and fuel – depleting natural resources on the planet. While we take many steps to reduce our impact along the way, we still make a significant footprint. In a time of political uncertainty, when so much environmental progress is at stake and potentially stands to be reversed, I believe it’s time for all of us “level up” when it comes to to walking our talk.
I believe progressive people and companies are not “exempt” from responsibility for our impact, even if we believe our work makes a net positive impact. We still need to acknowledge our impacts on the earth, and address them. We need to put our energy and our money where our mouths are.
In a time of divisive politics, systemic racism, wealth inequality, climate change and other tipping points, we need to set the example for our friends, family, neighbors and politicians by walking our talk. In years past, I questioned whether we could afford the financial commitment. But it’s clear to me that in today’s world, we can’t afford NOT to.
This year, we’re “leveling up” how we walk our talk.
In 2016, TrimTab Media took several, major steps toward offsetting our impact and investing in mind-shifting, world-changing projects we believe in. Why? Because its urgent, and NOW is the time to set an example and walk our talk whenever it’s possible. It’s a start, and we won’t stop here.
- We joined 1% For the Planet as a business member
We’re making an ongoing commitment to donate 1% of our revenue to environmental organizations working to create a healthier planet. This year, that came to more than $3,200 in donations these great non-profits:
- We offset our carbon footprint and purchased local, renewable power
Global warming is real and we all need to be part of the solution. To start, we joined CarbonFund.org as a business member to offset 36 metric tons of C02 emissions (more than double our emissions from business activities in 2016). We also joined Sonoma Clean Power’s “Evergreen” program, so that 100% of the electricity we use at our workspace is generated from solar, wind and geothermal sources in Sonoma County. We also replaced all of our office lighting with LED bulbs that use less than 90% less energy than conventional lighting.
- We made and supported indie documentaries about social and environmental issues
We funded the festival tour and PBS screening of our first film, OF THE SEA: Fishermen, Seafood & Sustainability, and donated over $1,600 to other independent documentary projects, including Reflection: a water story by Emmett Brennan and Cailey Clark, Dawnland by Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip, and Setting the Bar by Tim Shephard and Amy Burns.
- We opened a co-working space for changemakers
When we leased office space for TrimTab Media in downtown Sebastopol earlier this year, we created a co-working space where changemakers can access affordable office space and work in community. We also provide free and low-cost space for organizations hosting community events, like Standing Up for Racial Justice – Sonoma County.
- We started a monthly film series to educate our community
Each month, we host a free screening of an inspiring, relevant documentary, followed by a discussion with the filmmakers and/or local experts. This year, topics included climate change, ocean sustainability, permaculture and racial justice. It’s a fun, empowering way to raise consciousness and take action in our community.
- We moved our money to a local credit union
This year, we switched all of our business (and personal) banking to Redwood Credit Union to keep resources in the community, and avoid unknowingly supporting bad environmental investments.