I had the opportunity to do a volunteer placement with Trees, Water & People while on an extended visit to Colorado from Australia. The staff are incredibly supportive and committed, and the work they are doing is truly amazing. While I was there they were working on a
Mission: Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to improve people's lives by helping communities to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends.
Results: Nationally, TWP is actively involved with helping to improve the lives of Native American families living on the reservations of the Great Plains. There, where the winters are extremely long and harsh, Native Americans commonly spend more than half of their income on their exorbitant utility bills. Together with our reservation-based partner, we have built 850 economic solar heating systems, saving tribal families 20-30% on their annual heating bills, and trained more than 175 tribal members in residential and facility-scale renewable energy applications. We have also planted trees and shrubs around the home sites for more than 160 additional families, further lowering heating costs and associated emissions by acting as an important wind blocks during the frigid winter and providing much-needed shade during the sweltering summer.
Internationally, TWP works extensively in Central America and Haiti. Together, with our country-based partners, we support 8 community tree nurseries that produce over 650,000 trees annually to aid in reforestation efforts, planting over 4.3 million trees to date. We have built 47,800 clean cookstoves. Each cookstove decreases a family’s need for firewood by 50-70%, as compared to standard open fire cooking, and reduces carbon emissions by at least 1.5 tons per year. When vented to the outside of the home, these improved cookstoves also decrease indoor air pollution, which is responsible for the death of 1.9 million women and children globally every year.
Target demographics: low-income, rural and peri-urban communities in Central America, Haiti and on Native American Reservations in the U.S.
Geographic areas served: Latin America and U.S. Native American Reservations
Programs: Clean Cookstoves Program, Reforestation Program, Solar Energy Program, Tribal Renewable Energy Program
I had the opportunity to do a volunteer placement with Trees, Water & People while on an extended visit to Colorado from Australia. The staff are incredibly supportive and committed, and the work they are doing is truly amazing. While I was there they were working on a campaign to get 500 clean cookstoves installed in Guatemala, which has huge benefits for human health and the local economy as well as slowing deforestation and climate change. They also work with the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and Lakota Solar Enterprises on Pine Ridge and have recently helped a Lakota family to build a compressed earth house, complete with solar panels and a solar air heater. The solar air heating systems are manufactured at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, which provides jobs local people, and also trains people from other First Nations to take the technology back to their own communities.
Molly and everyone we have worked with at Trees, Water & People are personable, professional and passionate about making a difference. Their hard work has changed how communities across the globe look at energy, health and sustainability. As an organization, we are always eager to work with them and share stories, knowledge and insights. Keep up the great work!