Chicago Companies That Give Back to the Outdoors

Chicago Companies That Give Back to the Outdoors

A list of local 1% for the Planet partners and more on how you can support conservation-driven companies.

By: Erica Zazo

Greenhouse gas emissions around the world have reached an all-time high, with carbon dioxide levels growing 11 percent over the last decade. 

That’s had a dramatic – and negative – impact on the state and health of our planet. 

It’s led to higher global temperatures, rising sea levels (including in the Great Lakes), and continual impact on changing weather patterns that result in natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and fires.

As grim as this all sounds, the good news is that we – as outdoor enthusiasts – have a part to play in positively impacting the environment.

Help Do Your Part

While volunteering to clean up local parks, opting to ride your bike to the store vs. driving, and cutting back on the amount of waste your household produces – there's one even simpler change you can make.

Put your dollars towards companies that prioritize environmental conservation.

That can mean a few things:

  1. Donate directly to nonprofits that do important conservation work themselves. 
  2. Support and promote companies that follow sustainable business practices.
  3. Put your money towards companies that donate earned dollars back into the environment.

At Sandhill Coffee, we recognize the health of our environment has an impact on our ability to grow and continue to produce amazing coffee. 

We also recognize the health of the environment will impact how we grow as a society – specifically if we can continue to recreate and enjoy all that our planet provides us each and every day. 

Why We Support 1% for the Planet

Our passion for environmental conservation is exactly why we chose to partner with 1% of the Planet – a giving program connects companies, people, and organizations to high-impact nonprofits focused on environmental conservation efforts. 

Through 1% for the Planet, companies can give a percentage of their annual sales to environmental nonprofits each year.

Sandhill’s non-profit of choice is The Conservation Foundation because we believe deeply in their work that focuses on stewardship, restoration, and conservation of northeastern Illinois’ land, rivers and watersheds. 

What’s even cooler about this program is that not just companies, but even individuals, can opt in to join and donate 1% of their salary to 1% for the Planet-approved nonprofits. 

Since its founding in 2002, 1% has facilitated $250 million in support to approved environmental nonprofits around the globe.


Chicago Skyline

Other 1% for the Planet Companies to Support

Below we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite local Chicago companies that are also a part of the 1% for the Planet pledge. 

You can also check this national directory of 1% for the Planet supporters – some that might even be around the corner from your own home.

  • Open Water – Plastic bottles are one of the #1 pollutants of waterways and trash dumps around the globe. Open Water, a sustainable packed water company, has made its mission keeping plastic out of our oceans. They’ve created aluminum canned water – which are more likely to be recycled – to help people opt for a greener option if they don’t have a reusable bottle on hand.
  • Unruled – Who said you can’t be creative and have a green thumb? This sustainable notebook company produces ‘Made in the USA’ products that feature a 100% post-consumer waste recycled cover and 30% post-consumer waste recycled interior. 
  • Solemn Oath Brewery's City Water – Next time you reach for a hard beverage, consider this hard seltzer with a mission. The brewery behind the drink pledges a part of its sales – 1% for the planet, 1% for the arts, and 1% for the Great Lakes – to support our community.
  • Meloria Cleaning Products – If you’re looking to minimize the impact of your household cleaning products on the planet, check out this environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies company. They make plastic-free, chemical-free, and ethically produced products you can feel good about using. Plus, 2% of their annual revenues go to environmental and charitable nonprofits.


one percent for the planet

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