Earthshine Foundation to host Sun Valley benefit for Rainforest Action NetworkJanuary 21, 2015
On Wednesday, January 28 the Earthshine Foundation will host a benefit in Ketchum, Idaho for the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The theme of the event is “Radical is Reasonable, Non-Negotiables for Climate Stability.” Participants in the event will dig into a new and exciting conversation about the most effective, cutting-edge, out-of-the-box solutions to the climate conundrum. This intimate and lively conversation will be led by special guests Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of RAN, Aimée Christensen, local sustainability and climate expert and Kaitlyn Farrington, Olympic gold medalist and ambassador for Protect Our Winters (POW).
For more information, please visit www.ran.org/sunvalley.
Adventure Dolomiti commits support for the Earthshine FoundationAugust 1, 2014
We are very excited to announce that Adventure Dolomiti, a new adventure travel company founded by Sun Valley, Idaho residents Sigi Vogl and Muffy Ritz, has committed to donating 1% of their sales revenue to supporting the Earthshine Foundation. Adventure Dolomiti is a sports adventure travel company offering personalized itineraries. They specialize in hiking, via feratta, ski touring, cross country skiing & cycling. They have local knowledge and are experts of the Dolomite region of Italy and beyond.
As founders of a business that depends on the outdoor environment, and two people who have spent many years adventuring in very remote and beautiful places, Sigi and Muffy are acutely aware of the need to give back to help protect the natural world. They also felt that it was important to support an organization with which they had a local connection. In a letter to the foundation, Sigi says “Muffy and I are excited about supporting the good work that you guys are doing and feel that we are of like mind....It is important to honor the land that we tread. The Dolomite region is highly aware of tourism impact and ecology so it is in all of our interests to do whatever we can. The entire Dolomite's of South Tyrol were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009 to protect the beauty & culture of the region.”
Andrew Castellano, President of the Earthshine Foundation says “We are very thrilled to have Sigi and Muffy’s support. Not only does their financial commitment mean a lot to us, but they are incredible individuals who explore, teach, inspire and give back so much more to our community than they take. As such, we could not ask for better partners.”
For more information, please visit http://www.adventuredolomiti.com/.
Earthshine Foundation makes its first two grants in IdahoDecember 31, 2013
The Earthshine Foundation is pleased to announce its 2013 grant recipients, which include the Idaho Conservation League (ICL), Idaho Rivers United (IRU), the Ocean Institute, Miocean Foundation and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). ICL, IRU and Micoean are all first time recipients.
The overarching theme for this year was “act locally.” After recently becoming an Idaho resident, foundation president Andrew Castellano was impressed by the many organizations doing incredible conservation work in the state. Andrew says “being newcomers, we are lucky to feel right at home here, and to be able to jump right in and support some amazing, ongoing programs.” The grant to ICL will support their energy campaign, which is focused on increasing renewable energy in the state of Idaho and reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. The foundation was able to double its impact via a generous matching grant from the Energy Foundation. The grant to IRU is aimed at restoring salmon populations in Idaho by removing four dams on the Snake River, which block access to 75% of the state’s spawning grounds. While many dams provide obvious benefits, the removal of these four dams could increase salmon populations a thousand fold, while the lost hydroelectric power could easily be replaced by even more environmentally friendly sources.
The three remaining grants went to organizations headquartered in California, two of which are in located Orange County, where the Earthshine Foundation is based. The grant to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point was part of a five year pledge to support their youth education programs in marine science. The grant to Miocean supports a project even closer to home. Funds will go toward construction of three water diversion units in Laguna Beach that will clean up polluted water from storm runoff before it reaches the Pacific Ocean. Andrew says “one of the diversion units is literally at the end of our street, and while we will benefit directly from the project, it will also benefit everybody who visits Laguna Beach, as well as the residents and sea life up and down the coast.”
Our final grant, which went to RAN, was the largest in the Earthshine Foundation’s history. In this case, the work we are supporting is global in reach, but the size of the grant reflects our continued amazement at the incredible successes achieved by RAN year after year, despite being a relatively small organization.
TO THE ARCTIC Curriculum Guide Now AvailableApril 26, 2012
Accompanying the release of their new giant screen IMAX film TO THE ARCTIC, the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation has also released the companion educator's guide. An extraordinary journey to the top of the world, the documentary adventure TO THE ARCTIC tells the ultimate tale of survival of a mother polar bear and her twin seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing arctic wilderness they call home. The companion TO THE ARCTIC Curriculum Guide is designed to creatively educate students in grades 4-8 about this remote part of our planet and its inhabitants. Activities developed for the guide support National Education Standards for Science, Art, Social Studies, Math and English. The guide was developed by Polar Bears International and MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, and funded through a grant from the Earthshine Foundation. The guide was recently emailed to 14,000 educators in the IMAX Educator database and is now available for download on the official film website: http://www.imax.com/tothearctic.
Earthshine Foundation Joins Solar CITIES in Kenya to Install BiodigestersApril 10, 2011
Earthshine Foundation founder Andrew Castellano recently returned from Kenya, where he teamed up with a group from Solar CITIES (solarcities.blogspot.com) to help install biodigesters in two local schools. The trip was led by Solar CITIES founder T.H. Culhane, a passionate individual who travels the world connecting local entrepreneurs with renewable energy technologies, enabling them to create a better existence for themselves and their local communities.
The group first headed to the Mukuru Art Center, an art school for teenagers in the Mukuru Slum in Nairobi. There, they installed an "Insinkerator" to grind up kitchen waste and feed it into the biodigester, thereby increasing the production of biogas. The biogas provides free, clean cooking fuel, eliminating the need for expensive charcoal and its associated health problems. Next the group headed to the remote Maasai village of Enoosaen in Western Kenya. There, they began the installation of a new biodigester at the Enkakenya Center for Excellence, a boarding school for 4th through 8th grade girls. Also known as "Kakenya's Dream School," the school is the vision of Kakenya Ntaiya, who was the first girl to leave her village to go to college in the United States. In return, she promised her village that she would return and use her education to benefit the local community. You can read more about her amazing story at www.kakenyasdream.org.
The trip was incredibly inspiring and educational…from seeing the drive and the creativity of the local business people in Mukuru, to seeing the smiles and the confidence of the young girls in Enoosean, who would have had few options in life were it not for the vision of Kakenya. The Earthshine Foundation looks forward to continuing its work in these areas.
You can see photos from the trip at www.andrewcastellano.com/kenya.
Earthshine Founder Joins Carbon War Room Advisory BoardFebruary 4, 2010
Earthshine Foundation founder Andrew Castellano has joined the advisory board for the Carbon War Room’s shipping battle, “Operation Rock the Boat.” The Carbon War Room is a new NGO whose aim is to “harness the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change.” The War Room operates across 25 battles in 7 theaters. While Andy plans to be involved in many of the ongoing battles, he chose to focus extra effort on the shipping battle because of the tremendous potential for large-scale reductions in CO2 and other pollutants within a relatively short time period. Andy was also drawn to this battle because of his background in engineering and technology. Dramatic improvements can be made to the efficiency of the world’s shipping fleet using existing technologies. In addition to cleaning up our skies and reducing the rate at which our polar ice caps are melting, these improvements will also have a positive economic impact on both the shipping industry and its customers. The War Room will be the catalyst to accelerate adoption of these new technologies by working with the shipping industry, its customers and the regulating authorities. For more information visit www.carbonwarroom.com.
Earthshine Founder Joins MacGillivray Freeman Films on Expedition to Film Polar Bears in the WildNovember 4, 2009
Earthshine Foundation founder Andrew Castellano departed today on a journey with MacGillivray Freeman Films, the makers of the upcoming giant-screen film “To The Arctic 3D.” The crew is headed to Churchill, Canada to film polar bears as they prepare for the winter hunting season on the Hudson Bay. The movie will document the abundance of life and diversity found in the Arctic as well as the dramatic transformations taking place in the region from climate change. Thanks in part to a grant from the Earthshine Foundation, the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation will also produce educational programs to accompany the film. Andy’s role on the expedition is to take still photographs for the teacher’s guide for “To The Arctic,” thus providing further support for the program. For daily insight into the activities on the shoot, you can follow Andy’s blog at www.andrewcastellano.com/arctic.
The Earthshine Foundation Makes its First Program-Related InvestmentNovember 4, 2009
The Earthshine Foundation today made its first ever program-related investment, a 3-year, $60,000 loan to Root Capital. Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that is pioneering finance for grassroots businesses in rural areas of developing nations. The investment will expand economic opportunities for rural households by enabling Root Capital to extend access to credit, financial management training, and global market opportunities for small and growing rural businesses. The Earthshine Foundation is excited to make its first PRI, which allows the Foundation to put more of its capital to work helping those in need, while simultaneously increasing the Foundation’s assets over time. The Earthshine Foundation is also very excited about the opportunity to support Root Capital, a highly effective organization that has been widely recognized for its outstanding work improving livelihoods for the rural poor.
The Earthshine Foundation Joins the Clinton Global InitiativeSeptember 22, 2009
The Earthshine Foundation today became a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Founded by President Clinton in 2005, CGI brings together world leaders from business, government, philanthropies and charitable organizations to “effectively confront the world’s most pressing problems.” The Earthshine Foundation decided to join CGI because it is based around action, not just discussion. Members are required to make a “Commitment to Action,” which will have measurable results, aimed at solving one of the world’s pressing needs. CGI membership will help the Foundation evolve from a purely grant-making organization to one that can have a direct effect, leveraging its founder’s time and energy in order to have a more positive impact on the planet. Earthshine founder Andrew Castellano will attend CGI’s 2009 Annual Meeting this week in New York. For more information visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
Earthshine Founder Travels to Nepal With SEEDS DirectorsMay 24, 2009
Earthshine Foundation founder Andrew Castellano recently returned from Nepal, where he spent the last month traveling with SEEDS director Barbara Cambon and SEEDS founder/Executive Director KP Kaffle. While in Nepal, KP led Barbara, Andy and a group of SEEDS supporters on two treks. The first was a short trek in the rural hills south of Kathmandu. The group visited two schools supported by SEEDS, and were warmly welcomed by the students, who honored their guests with performances of traditional Nepali songs and dances. On the second, longer trek, the group traveled high up into the Himalayas, and trekked to Lo Manthang, a 12th century walled village which is the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lo. There the group visited a school of Tibetan medicine, which is also supported by SEEDS. The group was very fortunate to have Dr. Bista, the school’s founder and most respected doctor of Tibetan Medicine in Nepal, as their personal guide during their stay in Lo Manthang.
Andy was very excited to visit the schools in person and see the direct impact that SEEDS is having. He says “It’s hard to understand how teaching children things like math and English in remote, rural villages will improve their lives…until you experience it for yourself. It’s really the process of teaching them how to think a different way that makes the difference. In some areas they have done things the same way for hundreds of years, but then suddenly somebody who was the first in their family to go to school will think of a new and better way to get it done. It was also exciting to see the tremendous respect and admiration that the locals had for KP wherever we traveled.” The Earthshine Foundation is very proud to support the valuable work that SEEDS is doing in Nepal.
You can see photos and short videos from the trip at www.andrewcastellano.com/nepal.