October 6, 2010
Bill Toone, the founder and heart of Ecolife, is passionate about what he has started, which might best be described as an unusual blend of environmental and humanitarian causes. Ecolife seeks to help preserve natural resources while improving the lives of those who depend on those resources. In addition to seeking direct donations, Ecolife raises funds and awareness by organizing trips to the locations on which they focus. In Michoacan, Mexico, the dual focus is preserving the overwintering habitat of the eastern Monarch butterflies while providing safer, more fuel efficient stoves for the local people who use wood from the trees on which the butterflies cluster for warmth. The health of the families who have the stoves is greatly benefitted and fewer trees are cut down for fuel. We have traveled twice with Ecolife to Mexico. Watching millions of butterflies virtually explode from the trees is mind blowing. After our first wonderful trip, we returned the next year with 5 friends, who were similarly blown away by the experience. We visited the homes of families who had the stoves and saw the appreciation of these families for the many improvements in their lives that the stoves had bestowed - better respiratory health, fewer children being burning, less time spent searching for wood. When we pulled up to these homes in our bus, neighbor women hurried over to tell us how they hoped to have their own stoves soon. Bill Toone and Ecolife played a key role in establishing a pact between the California EPA and its counterpart in Mexico to start a program that would plant a million trees in Michoacan as carbon credits for California businesses. The friends that we introduced to Ecolife have pledged to return to help plant trees. Bill's and his staff's energy and enthusiasm are infectious. They have found a way to combine their efforts in a way that benefits the environment, the local people and all of us who have been touched by their generosity and passion.
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MY ROLE:Donor & Traveled with Ecolife to Michoacan, Mexico. Review from Guidestar