Our job is to witness people doing incredible things. It's both humbling and inspiring, and for a few months now, we've been thinking about ways that we, as a company, can actually do something, not just document the impact of others. To start, we thought of a list of resources we have to offer.
- Time & energy.
- Technology to capture stories.
- A space to come together.
Next, we brainstormed issues to focus on. We've narrowed it down to a small handful of problems we see in the world. Some are personal and effect us directly. Others are outside of the realm of what's familiar and comfortable. Where they fall on the political spectrum doesn't really matter to us. Everything worth fighting for seems politicized these days, so we won't allow the chatter and noise to stop us from getting involved. Sometimes our work lets us get intimately but briefly familiar with a subject. But for us to actually make a difference, we need to get our hands dirty and engage with the problem for the long haul. This isn't an exercise in political posturing or convenient charity, but rather an ongoing process of playing a greater role in our community with undefined measures of success. Since we aren't yet sure how these initiatives will take shape, we won't yet release the full list of what we're focused on. But for starters, we're focused on the planet.
Part I: The Planet
This is an obvious one for us. We all grew up with a connection to nature. It's why we named our company Windy, it's why we work with clients like Conservation Law Foundation, 11th Hour Foundation, Sail MV, and GreenRoots. Some of these are our oldest relationships - the clients that first agreed to work with us and have stuck with us since. We're proud to tell the story of Conservation Law Foundation's 50-year history in this new short piece:
Shooting this piece sent us to every corner of New England, from the highest point in Massachusetts on Mt. Greylock to Northern Maine's Penobscot River. Driving between locations, it was important that we stay connected to the office, powering our computers and wifi, while also charging batteries to get ready for the next shot. Before leaving, we installed solar panels on the roof of the sprinter, keeping our GoalZero fully charged.
At the studio, we're also thinking about ways to keep our footprint low. When our large garage door jumped off it's tracks last year, our immediate reflex was to replace it was another metal door. But instead we decided to open our space to direct sunlight by installing polycarbonate panels used to build greenhouses in the doorframe. The resulting big beautiful beams of sunlight in the space save energy in two ways: First, we can keep the heat in the studio off. On sunny winter days, the low and direct light will add 20-30 degrees to the interior of the studio. Second, we use our studio lights less, more often opting for natural lighting for our studio shoots.
Finally, we want to get involved in ways that go beyond our own benefit.
On a community level, we've worked closely with GreenRoots, an organization that fights for environmental justice in Chelsea, our neighboring town in Greater Boston. They represent a community of mostly working class immigrants who don't often have the awareness of or ability to combat large oil, gas and transportation companies that use Chelsea as a port of entry for Boston. GreenRoots has worked hard to negotiate fair deals to make sure the people of Chelsea have clean drinking water and air, streets safe from industrial sites, and access to waterfront and open spaces. Check out their website, consider donating to their cause, and watch the video we produced with Weekend Studio this summer.
And on a larger level, we're excited to announce our membership with 1% For The Planet. Over 1,200 companies in 48 different countries give 1% of our sales to benefit environmental protection and conservation efforts around the world. So far, over $100 million has gone to 3,300 non-profits. We're excited to join this small army of organizations powering this awesome mission. Not to mention, it was founded by original planet superfan and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. That alone is reason enough for us to get behind 1% For The Planet.
The honest truth.
Yes, we're motivated to Do Something because we're inspired by our clients and collaborators. But in all honesty, we're really doing this because our studio is three feet above sea level. Here's a terrifying photo of how high the tide came at the last super moon sighting. We laugh now...