Mother/Daughter founders Judy Pezdir and Jill Palermo of WE ADD UP
WE ADD UP is a progressive global campaign utilizing organic cotton t-shirts as a tool to count you in the fight against global warming.
Every shirt is printed by hand with a number representing your place in the sequential global count of all the people who are taking steps to help stop climate change. On the back of each shirt is a word or phrase that describes an action wearers promote to reduce their carbon footprint – Unplug, Lights Off, Carpool, Hybrid, Bike, Buy Local and 18 others.
Created by mother-daughter team Judy Pezdir and Jill Palermo, WE ADD UP’s goal is to get millions of people around the world counted in and committed to helping stop global warming.
I recently caught up with Jill Palermo.
My Mom and I were having dinner out at a restaurant. I was feeling kinda hopeless and overwhelmed about everything – and trying to hide my tears behind my wine glass. I felt very alone in this feeling and then had a burst of inspiration – I bet other people feel this way, too. Maybe alone our efforts don’t seem like much, but together we do add up.
Trust me, people really are. We do green events all around the country where I get to meet lots of folks and I know a little too much about a lot of people. “Shower Together” is a conversation-starter, perhaps more than any of the tees, and that’s the whole point of the project. So, we think it’s effective, if not over-sharing.
Absolutely. For example, we’ve been surprised how many people are composting, which is great. People usually pick from our 29 actions the one they are most passionate about, so it does become a barometer of green trends. Our top-selling actions, besides Shower Together, are: Plant Trees, Recycle, Bike, Buy Local, Drink Tap, Compost, and Demand Change.
First of all, we offer We Add Up as a fundraising program for schools and non-profits. So far, over 100 groups have participated in our online and offline fundraisers. Basically, a group signs up. It’s free to start and free to run. They sell the shirts to their community, inviting them to choose a green action to commit to. And, they receive 15% of the sale.
We have contests and cash prizes for top sellers, too. It’s a replacement fundraiser for candy and wrapping paper, giving environmental clubs in schools an opportunity to raise money while also raising awareness about the environment. Secondly, We Add Up partners with a different non-profit for each t-shirt. $1-3 is donated for each shirt sold to a group that is working on the solution the shirt promotes. Some of our current partners include Sustainable Harvest International, The Green Project in New Orleans, and Take Back the Tap.