A longstanding problem, ocean plastic has become severe in recent years, with some studies predicting there will actually be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Thankfully, there's at least one company that is working to make sure that doesn't happen.
In its first full year of operation, Ashley, Indiana's Brightmark is on track to process 100,000 tons of plastic: from grocery bags to coffee cups, if it's plastic, they want it. They convert it to wax and eco-friendly fuel with a commercial process that could revolutionize the industry--and might solve one of our most vexing environmental issues.
To hear more about Brightmark's ambitious plans, check out the new video feature from Yahoo...Read more
Posted on 11/13/2020 at 11:27 AM
To say the very least, 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for all of us. But as the pandemic drags on, people across America are working together with compassion to solve urgent problems in our food system.
Community-based and -supported agriculture has been soaring since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and it's a more-than-welcome silver lining. Our friends at Civil Eats have collected fully 20 stories about these inspiring changes: from the farmers in Puerto Rico who are working for climate resilience and social justice to the Navajo women who are exploring ways to increase food access, together they describe a food system struggling to change for the better.
To learn more, you can read ...Read more
Posted on 08/31/2020 at 03:23 PM
Most of us would be hard-pressed to remember what we were doing when we were four years old. Not Mikaila Ulmer: she was starting her own small business. After an unlikely inspiration--being stung by a bee--Mikaila had come to realize the vital role that bees play in the ecosystem. And almost eleven years later, her business, Me & The Bees Lemonade, has grown into a huge success.
Selling flaxseed lemonade sweetened with local honey (her grandmother's recipe), Mikaila donates a percentage of her profits to organizations fighting to save honeybees. And after introducing her lemonade on “Shark Tank”, Mikaila was able to secure a $60,000 investment to continue to grow her enterprise. T...Read more
Posted on 02/28/2020 at 10:59 AM
In 2014, Bill McKibben received the Right Livelihood Prize, often referred to as the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His book The End of Nature, written thirty years ago, is considered the first mainstream book about climate change. McKibben is the founder of 350.org, a climate change movement that has organized climate rallies in nearly every nation in the world, and was instrumental in launching the fossil fuel divestment movement.
In McKibben's new book Falter, he addresses the sheer magnitude of the losses we face due to climate change. He argues that our climate crisis threatens what he calls the human game: culture, politics, religion, and social life, the sum total of what we have cr...Read more
Posted on 10/07/2019 at 11:40 AM
When Vandana Shiva was growing up in the wilds of the Himalaya, her father was a forest conservator, her mother a farmer. Her close relationship with nature was set early on, and her involvement with Chipko, a nonviolent org that emerged in response to large-scale deforestation in the region, soon put Shiva on the path to a career in ecology.
Today, at 66, Shiva has founded a biodiversity farm, Navdanya, as well as Earth University, a learning center that teaches students principles of biodiversity and what Shiva calls "Earth Democracy." Her commitment to farmers' rights and poison-free farming has earned Shiva a slew of awards and accolades, and she has been called an environmental hero by n...Read more
Posted on 05/27/2019 at 10:24 AM
When Joelle Eyeson and her organization Hive Earth set out to address housing problems in Ghana, their goal was to provide structures that were both eco-friendly and affordable. For instance, building with cement is especially bad for air quality in Ghana's hot climate, so they came up with an alternative: their "rammed earth" technique combines laterite, clay and granite chips for a cheaper, more sustainable material that eliminates 95% of the toxic cement.
This is just one of the innovations they are incorporating into their homes to make them not just more sustainable, but more livable as well. They've also come up with a ventilation method that utilizes a solar pump, an arrangement that c...Read more
Posted on 03/08/2019 at 04:58 PM
In the developing world, one of the most common problems is the expansion of food production to feed growing populations. Historically, the answer in many places has been to replace forests with agriculture. Currently, the practice is responsible for over seventy-five percent of global deforestation, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
But there are alternatives. A small West African nation of just over two million people, The Gambia is managing to both produce more food and grow more forests. And in the process, they are providing a valuable example for other developing countries around the world.
How are they doing it? Since 1990, the Gambian government has been ...Read more
Posted on 02/26/2019 at 12:17 PM
Papua, New Guinea is a country of more than 8 million people, but most would be hard-pressed to point it out on a map. That isolation, caused by years of colonialism and exploitation, makes it very difficult for citizens to find markets for their products.
Thankfully, two New Zealand entrepreneurs have made it their mission to connect the country's producers of essential oils and spices with customers around the world. Tamati and Rebekah Norman also work to safeguard traditional and natural production methods in the country. The two created Native Rituals, a modern apothecary incorporating traditional Māori preparations, and they're the subject of a recent Business Is Boring podcast (which is...Read more
Posted on 01/18/2019 at 05:03 PM
When Ken Jacobus quit his Silicon Valley job to set up Good Start Packaging in 2009, he had little knowledge of the packaging industry, and less than $10,000 in inventory. To make sure every dollar went as far as it possibly could, the entrepreneur did the only sensible thing: he did everything himself. He took on sales, admin, management and even the delivery of product.
Today, Jacobus' company is changing the way that restaurants handle packaging, and helping to create a new sustainable paradigm for the fast food industry. To find out how, read the brand-new Forbes article here.
Posted on 10/15/2018 at 11:16 AM
One of the most severe impacts of climate change is the scourge of drought. Drought affects rural farmers' ability to make a living and provide for themselves, and threatens the wider food supply. Solar stills have shown great promise as a way to insure fresh water supplies, but they are typically inefficient. Engineer and social entrepreneur Alessandro Bianciardi has been working on the problem, and has been making immense progress by looking at one of the greatest powers of nature itself: mimicry.
Bianciardi and his team have created what they call the 'Mangrove Still,' which, incredibly, can be produced at just 1/5 of the cost of traditional solar stills. You can read the whole fascinating...Read more
Posted on 07/17/2018 at 10:33 AM