Despite all the negative news that is hitting us every day, there are many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here are a couple of stories that will warm your hearts.
A SECOND LIFE FOR SOAP
Do you ever wonder what happens to the soap you left behind at the hotel? According to a report by GreenBiz.com, 2.6 million partially used bars of soap are wasted at hotels in North America every day. The waste is likely to end up in landfills. An Atlanta nonprofit, Global Soap Project, started collecting used soap from hotels two years ago. The group reprocesses the soap into new ones and distributes them to refugee camps and other vulnerable communities. Its goal is to control the spread of disease. The nonprofit was founded by Derrek Kayongo and his wife. They got the inspiration from Derrek's experience as a refugee in Kenya where his witnessed the sanitation problem. To date, the Global Soap Project has shipped more the 25 tons of soaps to 20 countries, including Haiti, Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan and Kenya. Hilton Worldwide has recently announced its support for the group. The hotel heavyweight will donate used soap as well as provide financial support for the group to broaden its capabilities. Repurposing the soap not only helps those in need, it also helps to eliminate waste from the landfills. So when you take a shower at a hotel this holiday, be thankful for all the helpful hands behind the bar of soap.
SLOW MONEY FOR SUSTAINABILITY
The 3rd annual Slow Money Conference, held in San Francisco in October, drew over 800 investors and entrepreneurs in the farming sector (GreenBiz.com report). The conference was organized by Slow Money, a nonprofit, dedicated to promote sustainable food production and distribution. Why Slow? "Slow" refers to the inherent timing of sustainable agriculture, as opposed to the common "fast" food production methods, such as the use of GMOs, antibiotics and hormones, for fast profit. Besides its impact to our soil and the quality of food, this "fast" economics also instigates the imbalance in our food ecosystem. Jim Slama, founder of the FamilyFarmed.org, pointed out that 0.2% of the food consumed in Illinois actually come from within the state. Even though 80% of the state is farmland, much of it is used for corn (for ethanol production) and soybean production. Slow Money is built around the principle, "bring money back down to earth". With the vision that "it starts with the soil ... entrepreneurs are the seeds ... investors are the water", the organization brings together entrepreneurs and investors to create sustainable agriculture projects. Slow Money has many local chapters around the the country including Washington. When you enjoy the Thanksgiving meal, be thankful for all those who work behind the scene to create the fresh and healthy food to the table.