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Trapdoor Social: Creating Alternative Rock for Alternative Energy

tds2December 22nd, 2013
Everybody Solar has had the pleasure and luck to have an outstanding partner and inspirer to help bring a free solar energy system to Homeboy Industries - the L.A. based non-profit which helps former gang-involved men and women receive job training. 

Partnerships in the non-profit world are not uncommon, though what is uncommon is that our partner isn't another non-profit or even a corporation trying to reach its CSR goals but a pair of twenty-something year-olds heading an L.A. alternative rock band.  

Meet Merritt Graves (pictured left) and Skylar Funk (pictured right) of Trapdoor Social. The pair became friends in college around a shared passion for music and environmental action and they got us thinking, how exactly does a pair of upstart millenial musicians get into solar?  And why do it as musicians?  We interviewed Merritt and Skylar to try to answer some of these questions, and in the process learned not only that the two of them are dedicated to solar and environmental awareness but that they know a whole lot more about each subject than you would imagine. 

It's a known fact that Merritt and Skylar met and bonded over environmental concerns. Why did you choose to focus on solar energy in particular?
Like other renewables, solar creates new green jobs, fosters energy security, and reduces carbon emissions, but unlike other renewables, solar shares technology with the semiconductor industry and follows an exponential cost reduction curve.  It's not necessarily where prices are today, it's their trajectory, and because of all the required investment in infrastructure and supporting industries, and the race we're in with global warming, it's important that we throw our weight behind the renewables with the most compelling trajectories.

Read more: Trapdoor Social: Creating Alternative Rock for Alternative Energy


Two Things We Love - Homeboy Industries & Solar - Come Together

runonsun logoRun On Sun Blog - September 23rd, 2013 
How about this for a great match: Homeboy Industries, that great charity in LA that helps former gang members find a better life, is finally getting solar installed on their HQ in downtown LA!  (Sadly not by us, but you can’t have everything.)  This is a great story and even better - you can help make it happen! (H/T Carter Lavin.)

LA-based indie rock band, Trapdoor Social is helping to raise the money needed to fund the solar project through its collaboration with Pledge Music.  At their dedicated site, Alternative Rock for Alternative Energy, Trapdoor Social is encouraging its followers to make a minimum $10 pledge to help fund the project.  But they are offering way more cool ways to support the cause: $50 gets you a custom t-shirt signed by the band, $100 gets you a songwriting session, $200 gets you added as an official sponsor on the solar plaque, and $1,500 will get you a private concert.  Pretty cool.

Read full post.


Help Indie Rockers Buy Solar Panels for a Cool L.A. Nonprofit

trapdoorsocialGrist - September 19th, 2013
Homeboy Industries is pretty cool — and not just in name. Founded by Jesuit priest “Father G,” the L.A. nonprofit has been helping people escape gangs for 25 years through tattoo removal, job training, rehab, and more. The nonprofit even helps former gang members start on a career in solar panel installation.

"[T]he non-profit has an established training program in which it covers tuition and materials costs for its participants who want to join the East Los Angeles Skills Center’s solar installation training and certification program."

But Father G and his homeboys and homegirls don’t use solar power at the nonprofit … YET. That’s where not-bad indie rock band Trapdoor Social comes in. (Ignore the fact that the name sounds like Facebook for butt-flap pajamas.)

Read full post.


Solar and Rock and Roll, Building a Brighter Future

talksolarSeptember 24th, 2013 - Youness Scally of Everybody Solar and Skylar Funk of altertanitive rock and alternative energy championing band Trapdoor Social join Talk Solar radio host Beth Bond to discuss their joint project to bring solar energy to one of Los Angeles' most inspiring non-profits, Homeboy Industries.

Listen to the podcast.


WeCare: An Easy Way to Support Our Projects

rtp-install-blog-smallSeptember 16th, 2013 - Solar energy, the fastest growing U.S. energy source, now employs more people in the U.S. than the steel industry and is starting a transformation of our country’s energy landscape in such a profound way that some are calling it a solar revolution.  The growth of solar is driven largely by falling prices for solar panels and new and innovative financing options. The federal government’s support of solar, while small compared to the energy sectors with lots of lobbying money – such as oil and natural gas – has also been a key component propelling more and more businesses and households to invest in solar energy. However, the landscape for the nonprofit organizations that serve our communities is very different when going solar.

Read more: WeCare: An Easy Way to Support Our Projects


Donor Update: Everybody Solar’s Tax-Exempt Status

capital hill solarFebruary 11th, 2013 - We are happy to announce that we have recently received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirming our tax-exempt status under IRC 501(c)(3). Look us up on the IRS' non-profit search under our organization's EIN: 45-1591893. 

We are now officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit! 


Read more: Donor Update: Everybody Solar’s Tax-Exempt Status


Why I Volunteer

jennyDecember 12th, 2012 - Volunteering for Everybody Solar gives me the opportunity to contribute actual progress to a more sustainable and well-rounded society. 

Read more: Why I Volunteer


Progress Report: 2012

A letter from our founder 

December 12th, 2012 - It is hard to believe that another year has nearly come and gone, but here we are. It is time to reflect on 2012, as well as look forward to 2013. 

But first, thank you to all of you that believe in Everybody Solar and the positive impact we are making for both nonprofits and the environment. Without you this wouldn’t be possible. Thank you for trusting in us and our mission. Thank you to those of you who have volunteered, donated, blogged, tweeted or otherwise made it possible to move forward on our dream. It is you that keep us going and drive us to work hard every day for Everybody Solar and our mission. Thank you!

Read more: Progress Report: 2012


Everybody Solar picks Rebuilding Together Peninsula for our pilot project!

img 5310ew_smallRebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP) is a non-profit community organization based in Redwood City, CA. Since RTP’s founding in 1989 they have rehabilitated 1,111 homes and 320 community centers while leveraging the hard work of 79,000 volunteers.

Read more: Everybody Solar picks Rebuilding Together Peninsula for our pilot project!


What is Community Solar?

community solarMay 15th, 2012 - What is Community Solar?  On the surface this sounds like an easy question to answer, and until giving the topic more thought my answer would have simply been: Community Solar is any solar energy project that takes place in a community and involves the community.

Read more: What is Community Solar?


Helping Charities Go Solar

April 14th, 2012
 - Everybody Solar, co-founder Youness Scally talks about what inspired him to start a solar driven non-profit and why cutting electricity costs for U.S. charities matters. 

Video Transcript:  I decided to start Everybody Solar because I was tired of being a by-stander...

Read more: Helping Charities Go Solar


Hey Baby, Is That a Prius You’re Driving?

Economics of Going GreenMarch 7th, 2012 - I recently listened to a Freakonomics podcast  (Hey Baby, Is That a Prius You’re Driving?). It discussed the economical perspective of why people “go green” and how they make their choice purchases (such as buying a Prius instead of a Honda hybrid).

Read more: Hey Baby, Is That a Prius You’re Driving?


Connecting the Dots: Charities, Solar Power, and The Economy

Solar Charity PuzzleFebruary 23rd, 2012 - What happens to non-profits during a recession? A quick web search on charitable giving turns up many news articles about how charities have been hit exceedingly hard during the most recent economic downturn.

Read more: Connecting the Dots: Charities, Solar Power, and The Economy


Our 5 Favorite Solar Songs

Solar Music February 7th, 2012 - Despite the need for renewable energy and the ever-growing importance of making the switch to solar, these changes can at times be a little overwhelming. 

Personally, nothing helps motivate us and keep things in perspective like music! 

Read more: Our 5 Favorite Solar Songs


We All Can Act On Climate Change

Global Warming Water World- Everybody Solar Charity December 30th, 2011 - The global climate talks in Durban are over, and onlookers are hopeful that the agreement reached by the nations will have will have a large impact.

Read more: We All Can Act On Climate Change


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