What does it means sustainability in the culture?
We constantly hear about what’s happening to our planet. In one way or another, we are all guilty of somewhat contributing to raising the level of pollution, to the way waste is being managed, the careless handling of plastic, and detrimental practices in meat production, etc. If you’ve seen Cowspiracy, you’ll know what I mean. However, if we consider it a big challenge to quit eating meat, then we can direct that commitment to the environment to cutting back on plastics. But what really can provide sustainability in the culture?
The point is, each and every one of us has some sense of the social responsibility that we owe to the earth for nurturing us. Or at least we should, or at the very least, it must be a mutual give-receive relationship.
That same obligation to meet social responsibilities also confronts businesses and organizations. Maybe it confronts them even more clearly. They hire a large number of people and that their actions impact many aspects of human life. Apparently, there are indeed organizations that understand their role in contributing to an eco-friendly working culture. T
hey are choosing not to pursue profit only, but to help promote a sustainable model for success. Scroll below to find out which ones they are.
Saathi – India
Saathi is a purpose-driven manufacturing company that makes eco-friendly hygiene products. It was founded by graduates from MIT (U.S.) and Nirma who are innovators who contribute to the use of alternative materials and zero-waste production.
As also stated in their website, their primary mission is to create hygiene products that are good for the body, the environment, and the community. Saathi produces pads which are biodegradable & compostable. They use plant-based materials for the leak-proof outer layers of the napkin.
Starting up this company was the idea of three co-founders: Kristin Kagetsu, Tarun Bothra, and Grace Kane. They were the graduates of MIT (U.S.), Nirma University, and MIT (U.S.). They joined together to create fully eco-friendly pads using locally sourced banana fiber from the state of Gujarat, India.
Saathi is now recognized as TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Innovations, impacting women and benefiting the environment. A win-win situation!
Alver – Switzerland
Alver is a food company that was founded in 2016 by Mine Uran, an expert in sustainable proteins. But this is not just another ordinary food company. The difference in Alver is that the company makes delicious, healthy food that is produced sustainably. How?
Well, it’s because their foods are based on Golden Chlorella. This bizarre-sounding name is actually a nutrient-dense micro-algae that is considered to be a sustainable source of protein. Golden ChlorellaTM originates from Chlorella Vulgaris.
According to Alver, these algae contain 30% protein as well as fibers, micronutrients, unsaturated lipids, and essential amino acids. Golden Chlorella powder is 100% natural, 100% vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free. And has no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Best of all, it seems that when the powder is used as a food source, the consumer notices neither the color nor the taste of algae. Alver is the world’s first company to produce everyday foods with the nutrient-dense Golden Chlorella TM. Alver reports that feedback from consumers has been very positive.
They consider Chlorella to be the choice that this planet needs if we are to be able to feed the ever-increasing world population in the future.
Change: Water Labs – Cambridge, USA
Change: Water Labs is made up of a group of people who are committed to sustainable water and sustainable sanitation solutions. That’s what brought them together to produce low-cost, portable toilets.
These bio-toilets consist of a simple membrane that allows 95% of sewage effluent to evaporate rapidly without using any type of energy. The innovative technology provides homes with a working toilet without the need for power or plumbing.
In addition to being cost-effective, their toilets are also pretty simple in their design and easily adaptable by buyers. The compact, contained, stand-alone units can be dropped into any space quickly, and the ‘self-flushing’ technology works while being completely waterless and environmentally safe.
According to the people who work at Change, the lack of dignified toilets and poor sanitation conditions perpetuates poverty and vulnerability. That’s what they call a problem, and their environmentally friendly toilets seem to be the solution.
My Dream Home – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
My Dream Home (MDH) is a social enterprise in Cambodia with a very important mission: to provide affordable housing to low-income Cambodian families. The MDH produces low-cost, environmentally friendly, and easy-to-use materials and designs that have not hitherto been available.
Their long-term vision is that every Cambodian citizen will have a decent home. This efficient social enterprise addresses the problem of chronic shelter shortage through the production of affordable, eco-friendly, and easy-to-construct interlocking bricks.
My Dream Home develops interlocking bricks similar to the concept behind the famous Lego bricks. The bricks are made from local materials that are abundant everywhere in Cambodia. When put together to form a building, interlocking bricks use minimal cement.
They are also less labor-intensive than other forms of construction, take less time, and 20-40% cheaper than traditional bricks. All costs have been reduced to a minimum to allow for affordable bricks that poor families can purchase. As MDH states in their website: “Everyone should be entitled to a decent home to live in and to house their families”.
Nuru Energy – Rwanda, Africa
Nuru Energy, is a company founded in Rwanda, from Sameer Hajee and his co-workers. When you log into their website to read about their journey, you will see that in the front pages, Sameer Hajee states that ‘Nury Energy was born out of necessity’. What is that supposed to mean? They explain it as you read along.
According to the narrative of this journey reflected in their web page, when Mr. Hajee and his team started their journey in Rwanda, they saw that the majority of the rural people were so desperate for a little light that they burned kerosene, a dirty fuel source that was widely available, but that is an emitter of CO2. Kerosene was considered a leading cause of respiratory illness for the residents, and a cause of many household fires and burns. As a result, they spent many years pioneering and then refining, a sustainable, off-grid solution that catalyzes rural entrepreneurship within the village while at the same time allows the poorest of the poor to access the energy that they so desperately need to help them escape from poverty.
Nuru Lights and other USB-charged devices, such as mobile phones, are all charged directly from Nuru Energy’s plug-and-play recharge station, consisting of the POWER Cycle pedal generator, the Nuru Solar Panel and the Nuru Octopus Charger. Nuru Energy specifically targets households that live below the poverty line, which are defined as households earning less than $1.50 per day. These are households that are either unwilling or unable to purchase the most basic stand-alone solar lamp or home solar system.
What we can certainly tell from the organisations we have chosen to praise for their wonderful work, is that our choices impact our everyday lives, both in short-term and long-term. This inter-connection that exists between the consumer and the producer, means that we owe to increase our level of social responsibility, by becoming more cautious in what we buy and in what brands we rely our trust. And apparently, we do have plenty of environmental-friendly choices.
Read more about interesting Initiatives and NGOs.