Founded in 1972, VPIRG is the largest nonprofit consumer and environmental advocacy organization in Vermont, with over 15, 000 members and supporters. In 1975, the Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund ( VPIREF ) was established as VPIRG's 501 ( c ) and education arm. For over 37 years VPIRG has brought the voice of average Vermont citizens to public policy debates concerning the environment, health care, consumer protection and democracy. The common mission of VPIRG and VPIREF is to promote and protect the health of Vermont's people, environment and locally-based economy by informing and mobilizing citizens statewide. Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund ( VPIREF ), the 501 ( c ) and educational arm of VPIRG is proudly recognized as a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity.