For the sixth month in a row, we’ve had a month that has broken the global high temperature record. It’s a safe assumption that 2016 will go down as the hottest year on record. Sure El Nino may deserve some blame, but all climate scientists agree, humans are primarily responsible for global warming through the massive amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that we pump into the air every year.
As powder lovers, winter wilderness explorers and members of the snow economy, we will not sit idle and watch the glaciers melt as the temperatures rise. Jones Snowboards is proud to take a leading role in the fight against climate change and we’re calling on you to help us! If you are ready to evolve beyond just ’being a snowboarder’ and start giving back to the sport, let Earth Day be motivation to take the first step.
Jones Snowboards is a member of 1% For The Planet and Protect Our Winters. We donate 1% of our annual net revenues to 1% FTP who in turn gives the money to POW to fight against climate change. Several of our team riders also volunteer for POW. Jeremy Jones is the founder of the organization, Forrest Shearer is a POW Rider’s Alliance member and Miikka Hast is one of the founders of Protect Our Winters - Finland. Forrest recently helped out at a Climate fair in Utah and came back full stoke for the importance of getting the message out.
"The more time I spend in the mountains and in nature the more I want to protect the places that I love," said Forrest. "I have seen the environmental effects of climate change first hand and I want to share with people how big of a problem it really is. Working towards a sustainable future will start with spreading the knowledge of the issues at hand."
One of the primary focuses of Protect Our Winters is to make sure two very important groups of people hear the climate change message - kids and congressmen. POW’s Hot Planet Cool Athlete program brings athletes into schools to talk climate change and POW works in Washington D.C. and state capitols to help push forward climate legislation. When you join POW your donation goes directly to help support educating the youth and tackling messy political battles head on.
Electricity production generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the USA. Not too surprising as approx 67% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas. The massive coal strip mines on federal lands in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin generate over 60 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas – 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from one location!
In 2015, Protect Our Winters started a campaign called #CloseTheLoop that takes a stand against the Coal Industry and specifically the fact that a staggering 40% of America’s coal production comes from publicly owned land managed by the federal government. Working loopholes and outdated royalty rates, coal companies are able to mine for coal on public land for pennies on the dollar. They are not only destroying publicly owned land, polluting our air and accelerating global climate change, they’re not paying fair market value for the land itself. We are literally giving away our publicly owned fossil fuels to mining companies, while disregarding the damage they cause to communities and our climate.
The antiquated coal leasing policy is not only propping up a failing industry, it’s also cheating American taxpayers out of more than $1 billion a year in revenues. The Obama Administration put a three-year freeze on all new coal leases while they review their impacts, and what can be changed.
Protect Our Winters’ #CloseTheLoop campaign seizes the opportunity to let the government know that this federal review must conclude with a permanent closure of these loopholes, the setting of fair market values for the land leases, and coal companies paying for the future environmental and health impacts from the coal emissions.
Find out more about the #CloseTheLoop campaign and join POW here:
A portion of our donation to Protect Our Winters also goes to support the Assocation Community Carbon Trees in Costa Rica. ACCT is a rainforest reforestation organization that empowers farmers to regenerate health land and stop deforestation. Planting and protecting trees is truly one of the most important steps toward fighting global warming as forests pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and recycle it into oxygen.The benefits of reforestation in Costa Rica are greater than most other places on Earth because trees are able to grow 365 days-a-year thanks to Costa Rica’s unique location within 10 degrees of the Equator. Fast growing trees offset enormous amounts of carbon dioxide, much more than trees planted in non-tropical areas.
In the 2015 ACCT planting season, Jones sponsored the planting of 400 native rainforest trees. A crew of 9 Costa Rican men and women planted a biodiverse mix of more than 50 native tree species in deforested pasture lands alongside a river and an amazing waterfall. 3500 trees in total were planted in the 25 acre parcel owned by the Fallas family, including reforesting around two natural lagoons. The Fallas and several neighboring families have also stopped using herbicides and moved away from cattle farming because they have been paid to regenerate the rainforest on their land.
The Fallas family, along with ACCT women tree planters, will use machetes to chop the thick grasses from around every tree for the next four years until the trees are big and thriving. The paid follow up maintenance helps the community insure every tree grows to full maturity over a 25 year cycle. The positive social benefits from community based reforestation are real and create long term awareness that insures the tropical forests ACCT plants now are long standing for future generations. As a result of being supported with fair pay for planting and maintaining trees, the Fallas family have begun an Eco Tourism project on their land with waterfall play, hiking, and rainforest education.
ACCT needs all of our support to continue planting and reforesting this climate critical region of the world. You, yes YOU! can sponsor your own mini forest of carbon dioxide sucking green goodness. Learn more about ACCT and sponsor trees here:
OK, so you are already a member of POW and you just sponsored a hundred trees with ACCT, what to do next? Jones team rider Iris Lazzereschi has got some big picture ideas to help guide your next moves.
"My goal is always to inspire people to be responsible for what they are in control of - who they vote for, what products they buy, and what they eat," says Iris. "We need to elect leaders that are willing to change the laws protecting gross polluters and change consumer demand by voting with our wallets. Only buy sustainably produced products that you believe in!"
Easier said then done? Yes. But what snowboarder ever backed away from a challenge! Just like that couloir or that kicker, the greatest challenges deliver our greatest achievements.
Happy Earth Day!