History & Legacy

20 years of programs that matter

Our history
How we got here

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

“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 health of the planet we are all passing on to future generations. Thankfully, each day, our staff meets hundreds of others who feel the same way. It provides a delightful  atmosphere for the hopeful child in all of us.” – Lisa Gautier

Because Matter of Trust works with youth as well as adults, we concentrate on the positive. Our mission is to embody the healthy planet we all want. Our programs include a flagship model eco-factory, an exhibition eco-home, a public urban edible garden, an online climate solutions global framework, a services and free materials  exchange, a research network and many more.  

The charity mimics Mother Nature wherever possible; integrating systems, recycling resources, promoting renewables, and balancing abundance with necessities.  We orchestrate fun public installations, media and tools for ecological information, education, inspiration, and transformation. The results are worthwhile, commonsensical, and often enchanting.

 First, we started by linking surplus with needs. We began matching nonprofit wish lists with in-kind donations online through our free Excess Access program (now expanded into our  Free Exchange on TheHumSum.net)

 

 

 

 

Members sign up and describe their missions as well as post items they want to get or give. This introduces us to thousands of grassroots organizations, recyclers, greening businesses, and exciting new projects. From the beginning  the collaborating on ideas began to flow as easily as the connecting of wishes and donations.

In 2000, we launched our Clean Wave program, collecting hair, fur, and fleece clippings to make petroleum spill clean-up booms. You shampoo because hair collects oil. Through this program we get to meet hundreds of thousands of salons, pet groomers, farmers. We were very involved in the Cosco Busan Oil Spill (2007) and BP Horizon (2010) in the Gulf of Mexico. Mostly, we work with cities, harbors and industries to promote this waste fiber recycling system for green jobs mobilization that is helping to keep our waterways and storm drains clean.

The press from these two keystone programs led to many more of our own and in partnership with others we would fiscally sponsor. With the help of our staff researchers, we published It’s Easy Being Green (2004, 2nd Edition 2019). We also became closely tied with The San Francisco Department of the Environment and often collaborate in local, state, federal and United Nations events and projects.

We opened a Matter of Trust Eco-Center (2013) for field trips and roundtables. And with many co-founders, we launched the Global Compost Project (2014). In 2016, we moved and expanded to have a model factory called the Matter of Trust Eco-Industrial Hub promoting clean air, water, energy and ideal materials. The growing number of environmental innovations, at every turn, made us feel the need to consolidate and create a framework.  Thus was born the Humanity Adding Solutions Network – TheHumSum.net (2018). In 2019, Matter of Trust opened its exhibition Eco-Home and edible urban garden to showcase how renters can impact climate.

 

 

 

People ask why we only concentrate on the positive, and I explain it’s simply because of the abundance of good eco-news! Daily, we see great ideas being open to complementary ones and then reaching the right people at the right time! 

Lisa Gautier

Founder, Matter of Trust

Enthusiastic implementors, we are comprised of our board, advisors, staff, contractors, apprentices, interns, and volunteers. Our dedicated teams range from wise senior-citizen advisors to dynamic students and from full-time pro-bono directors to dedicated part-time veterans, work-from-home parents, and disability survivors.

We are always evolving and welcome new ideas, partners, and, of course, contributors. We hold a very optimistic view and are very fond of this Earth we call home. We respectfully consider the health of this lovely planet to be an entangled matter of trust.

our achievements

Legacy

 

  • Excess Access: Matter of Trust has a large and growing membership to its Excess Access online mobile-friendly, in-kind donation program and over 33,300 people on our Facebook page. We are also rapidly growing Twitter and Instagram.
  • Press clippings: Matter of Trust has a substantial number of press clippings and TV / radio interviews, including a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal and several appearances on national news networks as well as interviews with BBCLe Monde, National Geographique France and other international sources.
  • All Matter of Trust programs have been very resourceful; we have always been debt free, liability free, and litigation free, and we are up to date in all forms, licenses, and requirements. We hold San Francisco City and County vendor status and current accounts with sam.gov and grants.gov.

1998

November – Matter of Trust is founded by Lisa Gautier with the help of her husband Patrice Gautier and many advisors.

1999

May – Matter of Trust is incorporated. Our thanks to Paul Newman’s lawyers Nevas, Nevas, Capasse and Gerard in Connecticut for setting up our public charity and with Excess Access as our first program.

 

2000

  • The Clean Wave Program.  Phil McCrory, a hair stylist and inventor, partners with Matter of Trust to collect hair clippings and create a national waste fiber recycling system.
  • The Excess Access program receives the BAA – PCCF Business Environmental Award for Environmental Enterprise by the County of Santa Clara with Supervisorial Commendation.

2002

Matter of Trust and Jennifer Pratt research, write, edit and publish It’s Easy Being Green – A Helpful and Humorous Eco-tips book of 230 pages, printed on hemp paper with soy ink. This book has been gifted in person to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Former US Vice President Al Gore, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, Inc. and several other notable dignitaries.

2004

2005 – Matter of Trust was awarded the Certificate of Honor by Mayor Gavin Newsom, the City/County of San Francisco. Honoree Lisa Gautier, President, recognized for dedication to urban environment and city dwellers around the world particularly in support of Matter of Trust’s important role in organizing widespread Community Programs during the United Nations World Environment Day 2005.

2005

Matter of Trust’s Biodiesel for Muni feasibility program in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of the Environment led to the citywide bus system transfer to biodiesel.

2006

Matter of Trust’s Hurricane Katrina Relief programs for in-kind donations led to our Peace of Mind Kits – an Ecological Complement to the Disaster Kit. This program led to our inclusion in the San Francisco Mayoral Committee for Disaster Preparedness.

2007

Oil Spill Clean Up with Hair Mats – Cosco Busan in San Francisco Bay Area.

Our oil soaked hair mat remediation project using fungi, thermophilic compost and vermiculture.
Experts: Ken Litchfield, Paul Stamets, UCB’s Norman Terry Lab…

2008

  • Remediation and composting of Oil Spill Debris using mushrooms, thermophilic piles and vermiculture.
  • Matter of Trust fiscally sponsored The Fuel Film by Josh Tickell which won the coveted Audience Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2008 and was 2009 Academy Awards Qualified.

2009

Joyce’s Choices: Launch of positive news headlines and eco-solutions forum on MatterOfTrust.org

Wall Street Journal front page article on Matter of Trust.

2010

  • The Environmental Protection Agency publicly stated, during the BP Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, that Matter of Trust’s Clean Wave program led the fastest growing national grassroots recycling mobilization they had ever seen. From the 2nd-6th weeks after the explosion, the charity received hair and fur clipping donations from every zip code in North America and 30 other countries according to the US postal service. 19 warehouses from the Florida Keys to Texas were donated in order to temporarily house the hundreds of thousands of boxes. The donated fibers were hand stuffed by thousands of volunteers into oil spill cleanup booms.
  • Matter of Trust won the Pavitra Crimmel Reuse Award in 2010 from the California Resource Recovery Association.

2011

  • Plastics in the Oceans Our two giant 16-foot reclaimed plastic fish sculptures framed the Earth Day SF Civic Center Entrance

  • Earth Day – SF Civic Center. We produced Talking Fish. Artists: Grier Blumenschine, Tim Crowe, & Louis China Bay Area K-12 students Voice-over by: Jean-Michel Cousteau

  • 2011 Matter of Trust collection of 8,000+ donated eyeglasses and medical mission to Peru with Dr. Rosa Ten.

  

2012

Earth Day’s A Maze – Earth Day SF – Matter of Trust provides a large-scale living bamboo plant maze for the public in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. Thousands of visitors weaved their way through, aided by answering ecological questions with arrows for advancing if they got them right or backtracking if wrong.

2013

Matter of Trust Eco-Center Grand Opening at 3338 17th Street in San Francisco’s vibrant inner-city Mission District. The Eco-Center programs are informational (exhibits, tours, resource material handouts, events, eco-gift shop, eco-baby showers, kids b’Earthday parties) educational (field trips, courses, classes, camps, roundtables, panels,) and transformational (green jobs, campaigns, mobilizations).

2014

2015

  • Matter of Trust is a presenting partner on the documentary film, Racing to Zero. Executive Producer Diana Fuller, Directed by Christopher Beaver. Patrice and Lisa Gautier, founders of Matter of Trust also hold producer credits.

  • Matter of Trust orchestrates a Zero Waste Flash Mob, hosted by the Presidio Trust, at their Sunday Father’s Day picnic with 8,000 attendees. On the scenic Presidio National Park Parade Grounds, by the Golden Gate Bridge, crowds danced and sorted trash into blue and green bins. Other partners included SF Conservation Corp, CalRecycle, SF Environment, Luminalt Solar, Off the Grid and Recology.

  • Matter of Trust President, Lisa Gautier, hosts A Toast to Compost in Paris during the United Nations COP21 Climate Conference Celebrations. Traveling with a large group representing cities and experts on compost, soil carbon, recycling and climate solutions, Lisa promotes our Global Compost Project collaborative .
  • Matter of Trust has benchmarked hosting over 50 youth in our green jobs internship program in partnership with JVS, John O’Connell High School, Lick Wilmerding High School, Lycée Francais de SF, and SF STEM Academy.

2016

  • Thermophilic Composting of Pharmaceutical Compounds We were fiscal sponsors for this project. Partners: Dr. Gary Andersen, Lawrence Berkeley Lab and SF Dept of Environment.

  • In our 4th year of successful summer youth camps, Matter of Trust in partnership with Presidio Hill School, Tree Frog Treks, and many more partners, Todd Ditto, provides LEAF Academy for intensive two-week field trip filled courses on Leadership, Ecology, Action and Fellowship to middle school kids.

2017

Eco-Hub: Matter of Trust opens its Eco-Hub, permanent location in SOMA near the SF Department of the Environment, Moscone Convention Center and Civic Center. The Matter of Trust Eco-Industrial Hub has a model working eco-factory and exhibits which concentrate on Clean Air, Water, Energy, Ideal Materials and Green Careers.

2018

  • We have 75 programs to date, 30 of which are current in either research & development or active modes while 45 have been completed and archived. All are documented at MatterOfTrust.org.
  • Matter of Trust has created TheHumSum.org program and partnered with the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Governor Brown of California and the United Nations Foundation on the public platform for the Global Climate Action Summit, hosted in the city of San Francisco September 2018.

  • University of Technology Sydney Australia partners with, and sites, Matter of Trust in paper stating hair is significantly better at adsorbing oil than all  other materials.
  • National Geographic France writes article on the Eco-Hub.
  • Scientists and engineers at the Air Force Civil Engineering Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida are collaborating with Matter of Trust, Inc. to explore the use of renewable natural fibers for filtration. Official press release.
  • Eco-Home: Matter of Trust has obtained a permanent location in Cole Valley/Haight Ashbury and the Change of Use and building permits from the San Francisco Planning and Building Departments for a public Model Eco-Apartment with an Edible Garden (Eco-Home) which will concentrate on how renters and city dwellers can enjoy healthy eco-lifestyles for mind, body, and soil.
  • Excess Access: Matter of Trust has a large and growing membership to its Excess Access online mobile-friendly, in-kind donation program and over 33,300 people on our Facebook page. We are also rapidly growing Twitter and Instagram.
  • Press clippings: Matter of Trust has a substantial number of press clippings and TV / radio interviews, including a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal and several appearances on national news networks as well as interviews with BBCLe Monde, National Geographique France and other international sources.
  • All Matter of Trust programs have been very resourceful; we have always been debt free, liability free, and litigation free, and we are up to date in all forms, licenses, and requirements. We hold San Francisco City and County vendor status and current accounts with sam.gov and grants.gov.

2019

Matter of Trust Eco-Home Grand Opening of our model green apartment and edible garden in Haight-Ashbury / Cole-Valley District.