June 26: A Great Day for Equality

June 26 is the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic verdict in Obergefell v. Hodges, when the court declared same-sex marriage legal across the United States and granted all Americans the right to marriage equality. For impact, the decision ranks with Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of Education.

In the words of lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell, it “affirms what millions across this country already know to be true in our hearts. Our love is equal.”

Opponents argued that the legalization of same-sex marriage would fundamentally change the institution of marriage. And it did – for the better. In the three years since the Obergefell decision, millions of same-sex couples have married and, in doing so, added strength to the institution of marriage.

Here at CREDO, we’ll be celebrating June 26 and marriage equality along with all people who believe in equal rights. We’ve worked hard for decades to make it reality. Hundreds of thousands of CREDO members took action for marriage equality. We fought for and won the freedom to marry in many states.

CREDO members have also voted to donate millions of dollars to groups fighting for marriage equality, including the National LGBTQ Task Force, Freedom to Marry, Courage Campaign, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Campaign, and the ACLU.

But we know the work is not done – especially now as the Trump administration,  Republican Congress and, yes, Supreme Court (hello, Neil Gorsuch) level new assaults against the rights of LGBTQ people, including the recent verdict in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the case of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Donald Trump’s first year in office was a full on assault  on LGBTQ rights: He tried to reinstate a ban on transgender people in the military; he stacked his cabinet, his administration and the courts with anti-LGBTQ extremists; and even, in his petty way, refused to recognize Pride Month.

So, yes, we’ll celebrate today. But tomorrow we’ll continue the fight for LGBTQ rights. To quote our friends at GLAAD, “Marriage equality is a benchmark, not a finish line, and our work to bridge the gap to full acceptance for LGBT people continues.”

CREDO leads protest at DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s house in Alexandria, Virginia

This morning, we led a protest at the Alexandria, Virginia house of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, one of Trump’s leading henchmen who is implementing Trump’s cruel and inhumane immigration policy.

She doesn’t just oversee the ICE and Border Protection agents who are ripping families apart, criminalizing immigrants and terrorizing immigrant communities, she also spent much of the last few weeks defending and even denying the atrocities she was committing.

At the protest, we loudly played leaked audio of crying children who were separated from their parents at the border and marched with signs branding Nielsen a “child snatcher.”

You can watch a video of the protest here:
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PRIDE 2018 Free Posters to Download

June is Pride Month, and here at CREDO, we’re celebrating along with our friends and allies in the LGBTQ community.

We know that with LGBTQ rights under constant attack by Trump, extremists in Congress, and elected officials in state houses across the country, our work to ensure equal rights and protect marriage equality is a year-round fight.

But we also know how important it is to celebrate. Many of us are attending parades this month, and if you are, too, we’d like to offer some free posters you can download, print out and bring along with you.

Download Your Free Poster


Download Show Your True Colors (PDF) – 11×17 in.


Download Pride and Joy (PDF) – 11×17 in.


Download Hope Not Hate (PDF) – 11×17 in.


Download Equality (PDF) – 11×17 in.


Love Trumps Hate (PDF) – 11×17 in.


Love is Love (PDF) – 11×17 in.


Pride 2018 Hashtag (PDF) – 11×17 in.


Pride 2018 (PDF) – 11×17 in.

You can also find our pride posters from last year here.

Four ways you can fight Trump’s policy of ripping children away from their parents at the border

This post has been updated to bring you breaking news.

CREDO leads protest at DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s house in Alexandria, Virginia:
Read More

Tuesday Tip: 4 Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

Tuesday Tip: 4 Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

Summer heat is on its way, and it’s important to stay hydrated. You could grab a bottle of water at the store, but chances are the bottle will be made of plastic – and the trouble with plastic is well-documented.

Trouble for the planet: Plastic litters our landscapes, oceans and waterways by the kiloton, and plastic bottles are a major contributor to the problem. Around 38 billion non-reusable plastic water bottles are tossed each year.

Trouble for you, personally: Many plastic bottles leach the dangerous hormone disruptor Bisphenol A. You can buy bottles that are BPA-free, yes, but many of them instead contain BPS, BPF or BHPF, which are hormone disruptors that may be just as harmful as BPA.

As CREDO continues to fight for the elimination of BPA and other toxic chemicals like it in our food supply, right now, your best option for a water bottle is a refillable bottle that is not plastic. Here are five different choices from chic to rugged. None contain BPA, BPS, BPF or BHPF.

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask makes over 100 different products in four categories: hydration, coffee, beer and food. Its stainless steel vacuum-insulated bottles come in standard- and wide-mouth versions and in a lot of sporty colors. They’re double-walled to prevent condensation and keep beverages hot or cold. They’re powder-coated to make them easy to grip and they come with a lifetime warranty. The cap has a handle, too, which makes the bottles easy to carry. In 2017, Hydro Flask launched Parks for All, a charitable giving program that supports the development and maintenance of public green spaces in the United States and beyond.

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen boasts a new Climate Lock technology that it says will keep liquids cold up to 100 hours and hot for up to 30 hours. Bottles come in a wide range of sizes, from an 8 ounce tumbler up to a 64 ounce growler. All are stainless steel and insulated. Many of the bottles wear a chip-resistant finish that’s durable and colorful. Drinking spouts are made from food-grade silicone. The company supports a variety of nonprofits dedicated to causes like cleaning up plastic pollution, advocating for safe consumer products, and protecting and preserving wild places.

Lifefactory

If you’re looking for a good glass bottle, look into Lifefactory. The bottles have a medical-grade silicone sleeve to make them easy to hold and a wide mouth to accommodate ice, fruit slices, tea bags and whatever else you might like to put in your water. All components are made in the United States or Europe, and the bottles are assembled here. Baby and toddler bottles are also available as well as food-storage containers for your fridge.

S’well

High-design “hydration accessories” come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. There are the nine, 12 and 40 ounce versions. There are bottles in floral prints by Liberty London. All of them keep your water or other liquids hot or cold. All are triple-walled stainless steel with a copper layer to prevent condensation and keep your bottle from sweating in your bag. S’well is a partner of UNICEF USA and has committed $800,000 since 2015 to help provide clean water to the world’s vulnerable communities.

LGBTQ people in the U.S. must be counted in the census


Although this administration continually refuses to recognize it, LGBTQ people across the nation have celebrated June as Pride Month since transgender women of color and other activists fought for their lives at the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Pride Month is a time when many LGBTQ people feel emboldened to partake in joy publicly and show the nation the strength and size of our communities. Pride Month is when many of us feel visible.

And though it’s incredibly important to feel visible, we have an incredible opportunity to be visible as well.

Most people think of the census as a long, boring survey they have to fill out because some census person will not stop coming to the front door. But, these people are tasked with ensuring every household completes the census because it is critical that every person is counted. Results from the census are used to determine aspects of our democracy and social services funding for an entire decade. Through the census, we can have an impact on how many seats in the House of Representatives a state receives and how district lines are drawn. We determine how $675 billion is distributed for important programs our communities use, such as Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers and SNAP.

To hold that power, LGBTQ people in the United States must be counted in the census, but the Trump administration is taking steps to stop us from being counted. It has slashed funding for the 2020 census and has significantly delayed outreach and partnership plans to ensure people who were historically undercounted in the census are counted. It has also added a dangerous and racist question about citizenship status that could cause dramatic undercounting of immigrant communities and communities of color

We deserve to be represented, we deserve to have funding for our needs and we deserve to be visible. Read More

Tuesday Tip: 5 Gift Ideas for Progressive Dads and Grads

Good gifts for great people: celebrating dads and grads!

June is the month for celebrating fathers and graduates: The grads for what they’ve just done, and the dads for what they do every day.

If you’re shopping for a gift, we offer these suggestions, gathered from CREDO staff members who are giving gifts to dads and grads this month.

(Standard disclaimer: Products listed are not endorsed by CREDO Mobile. Before purchasing any product, please confirm that it meets your personal standards for corporate ethics.)

Birds & Beans Coffee

If there’s a coffee lover (or bird fan) on your list, look into Birds & Beans Coffee. This is the only company in the United States or Canada that sells exclusively shade-grown coffee certified bird friendly by the Smithsonian.

Migratory songbirds are in rapid decline and a primary cause is habitat loss as forests throughout Latin America are cleared. Often the reason they’re cut down is to plant full-sun coffee farms, which provide higher yields and larger corporate profits but are disastrous for birds.

Birds & Beans buys from over 2,250 family farms that grow beans planted in the shade, under a canopy of trees that provides habitat for birds. It pays top dollar so that farmers will keep growing coffee this way and so they can provide a decent living for their workers and families.

Birds & Beans coffees are certified organic and cost around $13 for a 12 ounce bag. Keep in mind that shade-grown coffee tends to be of higher quality and taste better than sun-grown coffee. Starting at $13.

Boozik Bamboo iPhone Amplifier

Your dad or grad no doubt has music on their phone. This eco-friendly fair trade amplifier is a great way to add volume while on the go. Just insert an iPhone into this 9-inch length of bamboo, and you can boost volume by 25 percent to 50 percent, without any batteries or electric cords. The results will vary depending on your surroundings.

It fits easily into a bag or pocket. It’s slow oven–dried and enameled with water-based lacquer for strength, durability and a smooth aesthetic. It fits all iPhones except the 6 Plus and can also accommodate a phone with a case or thicker frame. $32.

Vegan for Everybody

Your grad’s dorm days are a thing of history now, which means it’s time to start cooking! And if you’re going to learn to cook or just make regularly cooking meals a habit, why not try out vegan meals?

Check out Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and In-Between, published last year by America’s Test Kitchen. The authors started from scratch to find vegan ingredients that produce dishes that are flavorful, satisfying and easy.

Like baja-style cauliflower tacos with crispy coconut-coated cauliflower, spicy mango slaw and cilantro cream. And butternut squash chili with quinoa and Peanuts. There are also delicious egg- and dairy-free baked dishes. And interesting discoveries like aquafaba, which is the liquid left over from cooked (or canned) chickpeas. It’s the ideal egg replacer. You can use it in pies, cookies and cakes, even beat it into peaks like egg whites.  $19.95

EST/WST rucksack

Here’s a cool gift for the dad or grad who’s a traveler – even if the trip is to the office or the coffee shop. Santa Cruz, California-based EST/WST has partnered with skilled artisans in Nepal and India to design these functional, attractive backpacks that “blend Eastern cultures with Western styles” (and hold a laptop).

They’re made from traditional textiles and durable natural fibers, including organic cotton, handwoven wild nettle, organic ikat handwoven in villages in India and dhaka from a workshop where the textile was created in a remote hill station in southern Nepal.

The rucksacks and other EST/WST products, including totes, caps and scarves, help sustain and keep relevant traditional artistic and cultural practices in communities now being inundated by Western commercialism. EST/WST pays a premium for high-quality materials, which enables its partner collectives to pay fair wages. Products are stitched in factories in the United States and at a fair-trade factory in India.
Starting at $110

iPad sixth generation from CREDO Mobile

Give your progressive dad or grad a CREDO Mobile membership, the only mobile carrier that shares their values. Values like support for women’s rights, social equality and climate justice – and adamant resistance to the Trump agenda.

Join today to give the new sixth-generation iPad, released earlier this year. The 9.7-inch iPad 6 is ideal for checking email, browsing the web or binge-watching Netflix. And don’t forget the iPad Apple Pencil for creating art on your iPad.

Best of all, when you give the gift of CREDO Mobile, you give the pride and satisfaction of membership in a nationwide movement fighting for a better world – and against the Trump agenda of hate, greed and deceit.

That’s a gift no one will ever forget. Now $299.99 ($99 savings) plus cost of plan.

CEOs Should Get Political, But Only Authentically

CEOs Should Get Political, But Only Authentically

Our CEO Ray Morris weighs in on taking an authentic political stand and how CREDO Mobile made that move, previously considered “public relations suicide,” to becoming a leader bringing about change on social and political issues, which is now a business necessity.

“CEOs Should Get Political, But Only Authentically” originally published on Forbes.com, April 25, 2018.

“Republicans buy shoes too.” The controversial quote, attributed to basketball legend Michael Jordan when he refused to endorse Harvey Gantt over avowed racist Jesse Helms in a 1990 Senate race, had dogged him ever since, despite doubts over the statement’s authenticity. Nonetheless, it reflected a longstanding brick wall between business and politics. After all, who wants to put off potential customers?

But there is a limit to this mindset, even for the biggest corporations. When President Trump equated both sides in the Charlottesville protests, his CEO-led business advisory councils disbanded – just one example of how his behavior and rhetoric have compelled companies to ignore the historic wall between corporations and issue activism. Recent Super Bowl commercials confirm this trend, hawking beer with touching (albeit often ham-handed) immigrant stories, and car ads calling out racial and gender bias. As corporate activism surges under this administration, it seems that companies are rushing to appeal to today’s consumers by standing with DREAMers, proclaiming environmental bona fides or dropping sponsorships with the National Rifle Association (NRA) after horrific school shootings.

How did taking a political stand shift from public relations suicide to business necessity, and how can we know when companies are acting authentically or with solely financial motives?

When our company, CREDO Mobile, was started more than 30 years ago, the founders wanted to show that a company could have a true moral compass as well as a strong political voice. Our goal was not to function as a tool of political candidates or parties. Rather, we sought to do the right thing and see if we could achieve our business goals as well as our vision for a more progressive future while inspiring the public to take action.

We pursued these two ends authentically, acting on our values, not from pressure to adapt to consumer whims. It worked because our customers liked the quality of products and also appreciated the ability to put their monthly bills to work for causes they care about, like funding Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, Friends of the Earth, the American Civil Liberties Union and dozens of others. CEOs just now wading into the political fray shouldn’t do so to woo customers — they should do it because it’s the right and necessary thing to do.

The evidence supports this approach. A company’s reputation can hinge on its response (or lack thereof) to developments in politics and broader society. As a Global Strategy Group (GSG) survey found, 81% of consumers believe CEOs should play a leadership role in bringing about change on social and political issues, and they are actively trying to understand where the companies stand on certain issues — a marked increase over previous years. In fact, the study shows that consumers are willing to go beyond simply tolerating a company’s activism and now actually embrace it, suggesting that all else being equal, a huge swath of the market will be loyal to a company that fights for their values.

There is an important caveat, bringing us back to the importance of authenticity: While it’s crucial to take a stand on critical issues, companies must do so quickly. GSG found that following a current event, half of Americans now expect a response from a corporation within 24 hours. This separates the authentically political from bandwagon jumpers-on because this timeframe is just too short for poll-testing, focus-grouping and hand-wringing over risking the bottom line. Companies that act from their long-held values can continue doing so with confidence, knowing their customers will remain loyal.

Article reposted with permission from Forbes Technology Council. Read the original article here.

Tuesday Tip: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Use This Summer

Tuesday Tip: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Use This Summer

People were cooler in the ’80s. Literally. The last time the global monthly temperature was below average was February 1985. Which means that if you were born after that date, you have not enjoyed a cooler-than-average month in your entire life.

Clearly, climate change is an urgent—if not the most urgent—existential problem facing our planet. Here at CREDO, we know this, and that’s why we mobilize our millions of CREDO members to take action on climate justice issues, like stopping dirty energy pipelines and keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and why we support groups like 350.org, Rainforest Action Network and Earthjustice through our CREDO donations program.

Of course, we also do our part at home by conserving energy where we can to shrink our carbon footprint. To help you save energy in your home, we offer the following 10 suggestions.

Close your curtains.

Shut your curtains or blinds to keep out the heat during the day. Doing this can cut home heat gain by 45 percent, according to the Department of Energy. Curtains are not as effective as blinds but even a medium-color curtain with white plastic on the back can cut heat gain by 33 percent.

Set your AC higher.

If you use air conditioning, set it at the highest temperature you can tolerate comfortably. You’ll save 10 percent a year on your cooling bill by setting your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees higher for 8 hours each day. Also: AC will not cool a space faster if you crank it to the maximum when you get home. Dialing the thermostat down to 60 won’t get you to 70 any quicker. You’ll just waste extra energy and money.

Get a fan.

If you don’t have a ceiling fan at home, a floor fan will also do a great job of keeping you cool. If you use air conditioning, a good fan will allow you to raise your thermostat 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort, according to Energy.gov, though your personal results may vary.

Make a personal AC.

Put a bowl of ice in front of an electric fan. The fan will blow the cold air in your direction and keep you cool. This uses a lot less energy than air conditioning. And it really is a thing, we didn’t make it up! It actually does work, if only for a short while.

Close doors and vents.

Don’t waste energy cooling rooms you don’t spend time in. Close the doors to these rooms and shut the vents that supply them.

Plant trees.

If you have a house, plant more trees, shrubs and bushes around the edges. They not only provide shade, they cool the air before it penetrates your walls and windows.

Line dry your clothes.

Clotheslines are making a comeback. And summer, of course, is the best time for line drying. The sun is available and you’ll keep radiant heat from the dryer out of your home. Also: air dry your dishes if you have a dishwasher.

Wash in cold water.

A whopping 90 percent of the power consumed by your washing machine is used to heat the water for warm-water washing, according to Energy Star. Switch to the cold-water setting and you’ll save a lot of energy. But look for a cold-water detergent next time you’re shopping. They actually are formulated to work better in cold water (the claim is not just marketing).

Turn down your water heater.

Water heating accounts for 15 to 25 percent of energy consumption in the average home, says the Department of Energy. Turning down the temperature 10 degrees Fahrenheit on your hot water heater saves 3 to 5 percent on energy costs, so a drop from 140 F to 120 F saves you 6 to 10 percent.

Use solar lighting outdoors.

Outdoor solar lights have improved markedly from the dim, short-lived lights of years past. Bright LEDs have replaced conventional bulbs and better photovoltaic cells have boosted efficiency. LEDs create light without generating heat, so they run on far less energy and last longer. The lights are simple to install, virtually maintenance free and provide free light for your yard.

Plus this one: consider CREDO Energy, a new CREDO product we’ve launched in partnership with Energy Rewards to enable you to choose 100 percent renewable wind power while supporting progressive causes. Learn more at CREDO Energy and sign up to be notified when it’s coming to your state.

Our May grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible organizations. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups fighting for voting rights, civil rights and digital rights. In May, nearly 50,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Brennan Center for Justice, Detention Watch Network and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our MayApril grant recipients thank you.

Brennan Center for Justice
$60,645
“At a pivotal and challenging moment for American democracy, the Brennan Center could not be more grateful for support from CREDO members like you. Thank you for joining the fight to protect voting rights, the rule of law and equal justice.” To learn more, visit brennancenter.org.

Detention Watch Network
$46,350
“Thanks to supporters like you, Detention Watch Network will continue to make strides in attaining our vision of a world without immigration detention. Thank you!” To learn more, visit detentionwatchnetwork.org.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
$43,005
“Because of CREDO members like you, our values live in the way we defeat threats and champion progress. We’re proud and humbled by your passion for freedom and the future that ought to be. Thank you.” To learn more, visit eff.org.

Now check out the three causes we are funding in June, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.