The History of Matter of Trust

In 1998, Lisa Craig Gautier founded Matter of Trust with the assistance of her husband, Patrice Olivier Gautier (VP of Internet Software & Services at Apple, Inc.). This ecological nonprofit received 501(c)3 public charity status in May of 1999.

Matter of Trust’s mission purposefully concentrates only on ecological progress and the environment we DO want to see in the future. Our many programs work in integrated cycles, mimicking Mother Nature. We highlight natural abundance in equilibrium, integrating renewable resources into manufacturing and green jobs. We promote balancing manmade surplus with needs, and provide enthusiastic, collaborative eco-education. The results are worthwhile, commonsensical, and often enchanting.

“When my husband and I started our family, we were happy to take on the responsibility for bringing our kids into the world; and we felt more and more responsibility for the world everyone is passing on to kids everywhere. Thankfully, each day, our teams here get to meet hundreds of others who feel the same way. It provides a delightful, positive atmosphere for an environmental charity.”

Nonprofits would seem perfectly suited for networking, but often they are so busy with their specific missions that they don’t have the time and staff to do the necessary research, outreach, and follow up. “Great ideas often only stay ideas unless they are presented to the right people at the right time. And, to really take off, I believe they need to link up with other complementary great ideas.” – Lisa Gautier

First, we started by matching nonprofit needs with in-kind donations through our free Excess Access program. The charities described their missions when they posted their wish lists and this introduced us to thousands of grassroots organizations, recyclers, green businesses, and other exciting new projects. Naturally, the collaboration of ideas began to flow as easily as the connecting of wishes to donations.

Also popular is our Clean Wave of the Future program, collecting hair, fur, and fleece clippings to make oil spill clean-up booms. You shampoo because hair collects oil; it can even soak up petroleum oil, as do other renewable natural fibers such as feathers, fur clippings, and fleece. Through this program we get to meet hundreds of thousands of green salons, pet groomers, farmers, and many other donors. At the other end, we connect with harbors and industries cleaning our waterways and storm drains.

In 2013 we opened the Matter of Trust Eco-Center in the sunny inner-city Mission District of San Francisco, California. Here we orchestrate our programs on the ground.  The center is informational (exhibits, tours, handouts), educational (field trips, classes, camps), and transformational (green jobs, campaigns, mobilizations).

With many eco-partners, we have recently co-founded the Global Compost Project.  A large mobilization for community green bin and compost systems. Next is strategic mapping and spreading compost on 770 million acres of US grazed grasslands, urban parks, and gardens. A 1cm layer of compost every 30 years boosts photosynthesis increasing carbon intake up to 1.5 tons per acre, per year! Pulling carbon out of the air, back deep into the soil.

Comprised of our board, advisors, staff, contractors, interns, and volunteers, our dedicated team largely consists of loyal part-time and work-from-home moms, wise senior-citizen advisors, and dynamic students.

We are always evolving and welcome new ideas, partners, contributions and emails. We have a very optimistic view of the future. We are very fond of this lovely planet and respectfully consider her to be matter of trust.