Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

ECOLIFE Conservation

Saving Ecosystems. Saving Lives.

aka ECOLIFE Conservation

Escondido, CA

Mission

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

Ruling Year

2004

Executive Director

Anne Elizabeth Middleton

Founder

Mr. Bill Dana Toone

Main Address

101 North Broadway

Escondido, CA 92025 USA

Formerly Known As

The Eco-Life Foundation

Keywords

Conservation, Environment, Community, Education, Health, Sustainable, Humanitarian

EIN

20-0147505

 Number

4709740945

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Community Aquaponics - San Diego, California

Community Stove Project - Central Mexico

Community Stove Project - Bwindi, Uganda

School Aquaponics - San Diego, California; National (USA)

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

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:
The Patsari stove we use was co-developed in Mexico by a rural development NGO Grupo Interdisciplinario de Tecnología Rural Apropiada (GIRA) and the National University (UNAM) specifically for Mexican homes. GIRA is also in the process of completing a third-party verification of the stove program by confirming stove location, use, and benefits. The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Morelia provides interns and stove consultations as well as academic resources. The field team receive consistent feedback from beneficiaries and consistently update the program. Local medical professionals confirm reduced burns and smoke inhalation injuries.

Aquaponics:
To effectively determine the success of our education program, ECOLIFE monitors each classroom for several indicators. The primary indicators include photo documentation of the systems in operation and surveys results. After we electronically distribute a survey to participants, we collect data, and analyze results to steadily improve upon our program. This survey asks questions about the ECO-Cycle, curriculum, classroom effectiveness, student engagement, and comprehension.

With this quantifiable data we will continue to develop our aquaponics program. ECOLIFE will provide photo documentation, classroom activities, and survey results to stakeholders as needed. As our aquaponics kits are designed to last, each year a new cohort of students will experience this unique program and we will be happy to continue to share their stories.

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.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

ECOLIFE Conservation

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Operations

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

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

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

Sexual Orientation

No data

Disability

No data