13 Good News Stories for 2011: Day 2
Day 1 featured 2011 good news stories from three Care2 Causes topics: Animals, Civil Rights and Education. I’m posting these in alphabetical order so the next three topics are Environment, Food and Global Development.
The first is a tribute to you, Care2′s intrepid community.
Seven bike-loving citizens of Derry, New Hampshire dreamed of converting an abandoned rail corridor into a recreational trail. As usual, what they lacked were the dollars to make it happen.
They approached Town Council, who liked the idea. However, they were reluctant to spend public funds on something “focused on the special interests of a group of bicycle enthusiasts.”
The volunteers were convinced the trail had a lot of public support. They decided to take a petition door to door. Then they learned about Care2 and the online petition site. Thanks to the support gathered there, Derry’s Town Council contributed $225,000. That encouraged the volunteers, who raised another $150,000 for the first phase.
With the support of a neighboring town, the project received a grant of $1.2 million to construct the trail between Derry and Windham. The kick start from Care2′s petition site led to a success worth celebrating.
One of Sweden’s most popular burger joints already had the reputation of caring about its customers’ health. They had cut back on salt, sugar and fat, added healthier breads and turned to local producers for all of their beef and chicken and 90% of the rest of the food they served.
They decided to do more. They wanted to show their concern for the health of the planet. So they contacted The Natural Step to find out how they could make their business more sustainable.
The answer would have felt like a body blow to the bottom line for many hamburger chains, but Max Hamburger accepted the challenge. They made a lot of environmentally-friendly choices, but the one that brought them the most attention was to encourage their customers to “Eat less meat.”
They added chicken, fish and veggie burgers, but they also posted the carbon footprint of every item on the menu. That caught the eye of Sir Paul McCartney, who promoted the “climate declaration-labelled hamburger” before the European Union Parliament.
A good deed for the environment proved to be a good move for business.
They bring light and economic opportunity to rural villages all over Africa. They are the Solar Sisters, who sell inexpensive technology and spread hope. The project, brainchild of Katherine Lucey, trains women to become “solar entrepreneurs” and provides them with the tools to sell solar technology.
The affordable, clean-energy technology means families can spend $20 for a lamp that will last for years instead of $2 or more a week for kerosene that is toxic and creates fire hazards. Using a distribution system much like the Avon model, the Solar Sisters sell woman to woman. They don’t pay for the products until they sell them, and the commissions they earn allow them to create sustainable businesses.
Solar Sisters are improving the lives of women in their communities. You can see the pride that engenders by listening to Florence. She lives in rural Uganda and speaks eloquently in this video.