Friday Good News Roundup: February 10, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
This Good News Roundup is for the environmentally conscious human that hates paying utility bills. The good news is, you don't have to! Or, at least there's a totally legal way around it, and it's not a bad option. Also, Lush Cosmetics is keeping farmers in Japan afloat during tough times, and if you hate your job, there's an awesome opportunity you're not going to believe is real.
1. The Guardian: A small Australian electricity retailer raised $100,000 for renewable projects—all from its customers.
Powershop raised $100,000 AUD from its customers to fund 10 community-owned renewable energy projects around Australia as part of its Your Community Energy initiative. Customers could pay a little more on their monthly electricity bill with the incentive that the fee would go toward the renewable projects. Powershop's goal was to raise $20,000 by the end of 2016, but as of February 2017 the company had more than quintupled that goal. The money will help initiatives like rooftop solar on public buildings in Melbourne and a micro hydropower station.
2. Fast Coexist: There’s a hat that lets you give back to the environment and prevent pollution (and it’s actually pretty cute).
Deforestation in New Zealand has been a huge problem for decades: Nearly 250,000 acres of forests are leveled each year for wood and dairy exports. Environmental journalist and entrepreneur Adrien Taylor hopes to address deforestation and textile waste with his Offcut Caps—a startup that plants trees for every hat sold. Since its launch, the company has planted over 2,000 trees. Additionally, the hats are made with fabric scraps that would normally end up in a landfill. Instead, the drapery and clothing cast-offs are repurposed into five-panel hats with a cult following—many designs sell out within 24 hours.
3. TreeHugger: Lush Cosmetics helps impoverished farmers in Japan stay afloat through tough times.
The rural region surrounding Fukushima, Japan, has struggled mightily since a 2011 earthquake cause a nuclear reactor meltdown. Farmers who haven't given up their land often sell rice and other products at significantly less than typical market value due to consumer fears of radiation. Iwaki Otento Sun, a local agricultural group, began an initiative to help farmers grow an indigenous organic cotton. The cotton is then woven into brightly colored cloths and sold to Lush Cosmetics for gift-wrapping. In a letter, the founder of Iwaki Otento Sun wrote, “We think that there’s a connection between us humans and soil, each supporting one another to live. We don’t want an end to this ecological cycle that we have built up. Our main goal is to regenerate our environment and our community, but we have one more dream that is very important to us. It is a regeneration of people’s state of mind.”
4. Curiosity: Here's a funky way for people to ditch their utility bills forever.
It’s called Earthship, and it’s a self-sustaining home built for living anywhere. Earthship homes aren’t hooked up to power grids or water systems and instead produce their own energy, water, and food. The homes harvest energy from the sun or wind, catch water from rain and snow melt (and reuse it four times!), heat water using solar energy or natural gas, and keep the temperature comfortable using natural convection. Also, they aren’t your typical tiny home. Rather, some of these Earthships are quite spacious and mod—some even look like castles!
5. Huffington Post: If you really hate your job, you can quit and become a professional chocolate taster (yeah, it’s real).
Mondelez International, the company that makes Cadbury Eggs and Oreos, is looking to hire a “chocolate taster” to test out the company’s products. Unfortunately, it’s only a part time gig, and it does require a move to Reading, England, but hey, it’s a job, and a delicious one at that.