ECOLIFE Conservation

Saving Ecosystems. Saving Lives.

aka ECOLIFE Conservation   |   Escondido, CA   |  www.ecolifeconservation.org

Mission

ECOLIFE Conservation's mission is to protect wildlife, natural resources, and the people that depend on them.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Anne Elizabeth Middleton

Founder

Mr. Bill Dana Toone

Main address

101 North Broadway

Escondido, CA 92025 USA

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Formerly known as

The Eco-Life Foundation

EIN

20-0147505

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ECOLIFE® was established with the belief that our communities are only truly sustainable in association with healthy, resilient natural environments.

The number one cause of species extinction is loss of habitats – which are resources that make homes for wildlife. To reduce the rates of habitat loss, we need to address what is consuming our open spaces. Overwhelmingly habitats are lost to expanding rural agriculture. To talk about conservation without talking about reducing our agricultural footprint is irresponsible.

Another major cause of habitat loss is the harvest of wood for fuel and cooking fires. Smoke from these cooking fires is the largest environmental killer of people. Simply constructed stoves can reduce fuel use, forest loss and save lives. With these two programs we can unite the needs of people and their resources and have a tremendous impact in protecting natural resources.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Aquaponics - San Diego, California

ECOLIFE Conservation maintains two large-scale aquaponics models to host community workshops and provide fresh greens to other local nonprofit organizations. Aquaponics uses 90% less water and 90% less land required by traditional agriculture. This highly versatile technique has the potential to change the way we farm across the globe.

Population(s) Served

ECOLIFE is working in communities surrounding the Monarch Biosphere Reserve in Mexico to install fuel-efficient stoves that improve health and save trees. In this program, ECOLIFE builds the locally accepted Patsari stove which uses 60% less wood than traditional stoves. This wood saving reduces deforestation of the sensitive monarch habitat. The stove also improves indoor air quality, dramatically reducing the incidence of respiratory disease.

Population(s) Served

ECOLIFE is working in communities located near the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. This region is home to some of the last wild mountain gorillas. In this program, ECOLIFE builds stoves specifically adapted for this region of Africa. This wood saving stove reduces deforestation of the sensitive Bwindi Forest and while also improving indoor air quality. The health impact is a reduction in the incidence of respiratory ailment and burns due to open fires.

Population(s) Served

ECOLIFE Conservation supports science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through our project-based School Aquaponics Program. Our program engages students of all grade levels in scientific inquiry while sustainably growing plants and fish in our hands-on aquaponic systems. This program is designed to follow Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and break from the conventional classroom to immerse students in a world where they can learn about sustainable food production systems. ECOLIFE provides the resources for low-income schools to design, engineer, budget, and build an aquaponics system to serve as a community garden for their peers. We educate future leaders and farmers by utilizing aquaponics as a tool to understand important STEM concepts, sustainability, and community engagement all while addressing the serious issues of resource consumption.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

At ECOLIFE®, we focus on using conservation as a tool that is adaptable and integrative rather than confrontational. Our approach matches simple technologies with education to improve upon our use of precious natural resources such as water, land, and forest. We design and implement on simple, sustainable solutions.

Aquaponics:
Aquaponics is a sustainable method of food production combining aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water with added nutrients). In this circulating system, nitrifying bacteria converts fish waste into a natural fertilizer for plants, plants take up those nutrients and return clean water to the fish. Perfect harmony! Aquaponics is a valuable farming technique in areas where land and water are not plentiful. Aquaponics is beneficial for everyone who wants to grow food, and it can be done just about anywhere that has access to clean water and energy.

Stoves:
3 billion people around the world cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves. In fact, it's the biggest – and least known – killers of women and children, who spend the most time in the kitchen and at home. Over 4 million people die prematurely from an illness attributable to household air pollution caused by cooking indoors.

Can you imagine a campfire in your living room? Having to cook over an open fire is the health equivalent of smoking five packs of cigarettes a day. Carefree children often fall into open flames which result in horrific burns.

ECOLIFE installs fuel efficient stoves as an alternative to rudimentary stoves responsible for the deaths of millions. Patsari Stoves, significantly reduce the amount of smoke in the household – improving the health and quality of life for families.

What a simple stove can accomplish:

Up to 90% reduction in indoor air pollution
Over 50% reduction in fuelwood use
Saves families time and energy by reducing the time spent collecting firewood

Many organizations provide safe and/or fuel-efficient cookstoves to families in the developing world. However, what makes ECOLIFE Conservation unique in providing stoves is that ECOLIFE does not own, promote or sell any particular type of stove. Rather, the program established five important criteria each stove design must meet:

1. The stove must be culturally appropriate. This means it needs to be familiar and cook in a way that is comfortable for the user.
2. The stove must have cool sides and enclosed fire and fuel to protect children (and adults) from accidental burns.
3. The stove must have a chimney that takes poisonous smoke out of their home.
4. The stove must use at least 50 percent less fuel than their traditional cooking techniques
5. The stove must be indoors and permanent. The stove is a part of the home thereby allowing ECOLIFE to track the adoption of the stoves.

More distinctly, ECOLIFE stoves are designed for specific circumstances, specific indigenous groups, specific foods. What works in Mexico won't work in Uganda. Or China. ECOLIFE is flexible in our design criteria, and our team is equipped with an industrial designer so that if something is not functioning properly, or something can be improved upon, the issue can be addressed quickly. The stoves aren't just a source of heat--they are specifically designed with the cook in mind. All of the changes in design are made based on feedback from actual users.

Aquaponics:
An aquaponic farm is a self-contained ecosystem whereby water is cycled between fish tanks or ponds and a vegetable growing area. The fish waste provides rich nutrients for crops, which in turn remove the nitrogenous waste, making the water clean and habitable for the fish. Additionally, aquaponics provides near-zero environmental impacts, removing the need for fertilizers and harmful chemicals from the agricultural process. Furthermore, it provides fresh fish and vegetables for human consumption, thus reducing the need to import food. The widespread use of aquaponics could greatly reduce fuel consumption associated with food transportation, significantly decreasing a community's carbon footprint.

An Aquaponics class is different than most, and the one that you will remember, where you will use your inquisitive mind with a desire to “do" science rather than read about it in a textbook. Our education program is designed to break from the conventional classroom and spark interest in students where sustainability is a concern as it directly affects their future. Our strategy is using the ECO-Cycle as a project-based STEM teaching tool, while addressing community engagement, and serious issues of sustainable resource consumption in relation to agriculture.By providing the ECO-Cycle, Introduction to Aquaponics Workshop, curricula, and dedicated staff support, this program puts the student in a position to rethink our current food system and learn valuable science concepts.

Fuel-Efficient Stoves:
In 2017, ECOLIFE built 872 stoves, and in 2018, ECOLIFE will build 1,800 stoves. Eventually, construction of 8,200 stoves per year allows ECOLIFE to reach its goal of 26,500 stoves, sufficient to surround the Monarch Biosphere Reserve in this area of Mexico. However, the conservation and health problems associated with open fires is a problem throughout Mexico and much of the developing world. When the above goal is met, ECOLIFE will expand the project area radius around the reserves. Given that 3 billion people in the world--and millions in Mexico alone--still rely on traditional three-stone indoor cooking, the expansion opportunities are virtually limitless.

Aquaponics:
As of June 2018, we have placed aquaponics kits in over 600 classrooms, reaching over 115,000 students. We have constructed nine backyard system greenhouse gardens in Title 1 schools, and successfully grown hundreds of pounds of produce at our own aquaponics greenhouse. Yet we know that localized food systems go beyond the farm to enhance the knowledge and well-being of an entire community. Access to healthy and culturally appropriate food through environmentally compatible and sustainable methods are vital to the future well-being and economic growth of urban communities. ECOLIFE is planning to enhance food systems at community centers through the use of aquaponics, job training, and environmental education.

Financials

ECOLIFE Conservation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ECOLIFE Conservation

Board of directors
as of 4/29/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Thomas Hanscom

Sharp Healthcare

Term: 2016 -


Board co-chair

Erin Grey

Steven Shultz

Shultz Steel

Ricardo Cervantes

La Monarca Bakery

Fred Wollman

Eleanor Musick

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Erin Grey

Thomas Hanscom

Sharp Healthcare

Joseph Orndorff

Daryl Williams

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/20/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data