“The grandfathers always said that people are afraid of three things: death, darkness, and the unknown...
...but there is healing in that silence.”
-Sandor IronRope, Lakota
The natural world has the potential to offer us our greatest source of humility, awe, and belonging as humans. But because of our fear of death, darkness, and the unknown, society has attempted to sterilize, dissociate, or eliminate certain natural processes from our daily lives that most stir our existential discomfort. Not only does this distancing have great ecological cost, especially the resources it takes to maintain this shielding, but psychologically as well, as we become further disconnected from our own true nature.
The Riverstyx Foundation strives to identify ecologically based initiatives with high potential for reducing environmental wastes (i.e. carbon emission, water and air pollution, etc), and the opportunity to increase awareness of our embeddedness in the cycle of life. The three primary target areas are: the green burial movement, the legalization of composting toilets, and protection of night skies from excess light pollution. Over the years, the foundation has also worked to advocate for the health of certain threatened species which have been most stigmatized out of fear or harmful social narratives, such as sharks, wolves, and bison.
Mushroom Burial Suit
Occidental Arts and
Reconnecting those experiencing homeless with soil. Provides job training, transitional employment, and support services to people who are experiencing homelessness. HGP's education and volunteer program for the broad community blends formal, experiential and service-learning in reconnecting to the land. The programs take place in our 3-acre organic farm and related enterprises. *Riverstyx Grantee Since 2017
SR works with inner city high school youth to connect with with professional builders, architects, and mentors to create beautiful structures that support nonprofits and community groups in local neighborhoods. Sawhorse students have been building tiny homes for homeless encampments, working directly with those they are serving. *RSF Grantee since 2015
Women Designing Resilience's long term goal is to work with women returning home from prison to heal and restore their connections to the community and the environment through an integrated program of culturally relevant, experiential permaculture design education, and food oriented apprentices. WDR was designed in response to a need that formerly incarcerated women have shared for programming that speaks to their specific re-entry needs. RSF Grantee 2017
The Viva Farms business incubator helps new farmers learn how to farm and experienced farm workers establish their own business while minimizing prohibitive start-up costs. RSF Grantee 2010-2016
Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods. Since 2006, SOIL has been transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. Through the use of ecological sanitation, SOIL is working to create a revolutionary social business model for providing access to safe, dignified sanitation that produces rich, organic compost as a natural resource for Haiti’s badly-depleted soils, while also creating economic opportunities in some of the world’s most under-resourced communities. *RSF Grantee 2017
A life-affirming, climate-changing, bee-saving film about mushrooms. Director Louie Schwartzberg. With Paul Stamets, Dr. Andrew Weil. Release in early 2019.
Imlak’esh Organics is a sustainable, intentional company that specializes in the import and distribution of superfoods ethically sourced from small-scale organic farmers around the world. RiverPsykhe Invested in 2020
The Perennial Fund offers a new type of loan to help farmers expand certified-organic acreage using regenerative practices. This new source of farm finance is born out of the frustration that banks and the Farm Bill don’t effectively support the stewards of the land. They believe that farming families and rural communities dedicated to organic agriculture deserve deeper support and equitable sharing of risk when producing healthy food and ecological benefits. RiverPsykhe invested 2021
Circular Systems is a materials science company focused on the development of innovative circular and regenerative technologies, transforming waste into valuable fiber, yarn, and textile fabrics for the fashion industry. RiverPsykhe invested in Circular in 2021.
BD is the first and only fully non-profit cannabis company, supporting growers who cultivate with the principles of Sun and Earth Certification- small scale farmers, regenerative agriculture, organic, and sun grown. All proceeds go into furthering the shift from energy intensive cannabis agriculture, to regenerative, sun grown.
Indoor cannabis production makes up 1 percent of national electricity use, and 3 percent in California. Along with pesticide and synthetic fertilizers, much of cannabis production has become unsustainable and environmentally toxic. Sun and Earth strives to inspire and incentivize growers to make the shift to organic, regenerative, and sun grown practices, as well as consumers to help inform them of their choices in their cannabis.
Recompose uses a process called natural organic reduction to gently transform human remains into soil. This soil can then be used to regenerate the earth that supports us our whole lives. RiverPsykhe has made an early impact investment in ReCompose and helped support its legislative effort to legalize its composting technology in WA state.