Through the end of the month products with a purpose will be highlighted that give back to the environment from the oceans to the forests to the wetlands. If you are a wine drinker, here are five wine companies whose charitable giving goes to bettering the earth and help you drink for great causes.
There is a lot of need in the world and it takes a special person who willingly gets on a plane to aid communities that can use a helping hand from added resources (monetary and otherwise) to expertise, to volunteering. While traveling for good is on the proverbial bucket list for many, more thought should go into how simply being present in indigenous communities sometimes leaves unintentional impressions, ecological footprints, as well as unfair travel practices.
Luckily, there are more NGOs, social enterprises, and businesses that are taking better tourism practices into consideration and incorporating them into their volunteering and travel opportunities. One such NGO that is doing this is United for Hope that works in India. United for Hope is an NGO with the mission to transform rural India into a place of opportunity and prosperity through a Smart Village approach.
United for Hope launched their model Smart Village in Tirmasahun, in the District of Kushinagar, in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and are currently running several projects in the areas of education, social enterprises (including social tourism) and community services.
I have visited enough traditional family huts and homes in rural Africa to know that light and power are precious commodities. When the last bit of sun streams through the windows and doors in the evenings, the only recourse for light again is when the sun shines brightly in the morning. That is a long time to read, write, cook, and get ready for the next day by mere firelight. When not fixed on an electrical grid (which aren’t very reliable themselves), the only real, viable opportunity for light and energy is through solar power.
A newly released short film by BioLite Run Home shows how powerful their products are to light households in the absence of electricity. In fact, BioLite is on a mission to “bring energy everywhere”. In the film, BioLite features professional Kenyan marathon runner and mother Jane Kibii. Through her race earnings, Kibii has earned enough money to purchase a family home. Unfortunately, the home she built for her parents is far from the electrical grid.
When I stepped out of the U.S. Forest Service SUV after nearly a two-hour scenic autumn drive from Taos, New Mexico to the Carson National Forest, we were standing in an expansive valley so big that huge cows below us looked like mere dots in the distance. We had finally arrived at Valle Vidal, a massive grassy meadow with vistas as far as the eye could see and elevations reaching close to 13,000 feet in Carson National Forest. Even though Valle Vidal is overwhelmingly beautiful to take in its environmental impact is being increasingly hampered by major stream and groundwater degradation that needs immediate remedying in order to protect fish and wildlife as well as to store more ground water for communities downstream.
I was in New Mexico visiting the Carson National Forest with Coca-Cola North America’s sustainability team last week to learn about their water restoration efforts in northern New Mexico as well as the company’s overarching nationwide partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Forest Foundation that replenished 1 billion liters of water to nature and communities reaching 60 million people in the United States. Coca-Cola also recently announced that it has successfully reached one of its principle global sustainability milestones ahead of schedule to effectively balance its water usage in its beverages and production. Coca-Cola has reached its goal five years ahead by replenishing 191.9 billion liters of water across the globe in 71 countries. In the United States, Coca-Cola North America has pledged to double the 1 billion liters of water that it has already replenished by 2018.
As we all know the Millennium Development Goals are set to expire in 2015. While much progress has been made globally over the past twenty years to eradicate poverty and to meet each of the individual goals there is still much to do. With the MDGs on their way out, Save the Children has devised a framework for post-2015 work to end global poverty and spur human development.
Save the Children’s Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said:
“An historic achievement is within reach. By committing to these ambitious but achievable new targets, we really can become the generation that ends extreme poverty forever.
“For the first time, it is feasible to imagine that in the next two decades no child will die from preventable causes, no child will go to bed hungry and every child will go to school.”
In Ending Poverty In Our Generation, Save the Children says global poverty can end in 20 years through new goals it lays out for post-2015 global development action. Save the Children notes that the following goals are not meant to be definitive. Rather, they are a starting place to continue the poverty eradication conversation. A high level panel, including Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will meet in Monrovia, Liberia between 29th January and 1st February 2013 to discuss the direction of post-2015 global development.
Goal 1: By 2030 we will eradicate extreme poverty and reduce relative poverty through
inclusive growth and decent work
Goal 2: By 2030 we will eradicate hunger, halve stunting, and ensure universal access to
sustainable food, water and sanitation
Goal 3: By 2030 we will end preventable child and maternal mortality and provide
healthcare for all
Goal 4: By 2030 we will ensure all children receive a good-quality education and have
good learning outcomes
Goal 5: By 2030 we will ensure all children live a life free from all forms of violence,
are protected in conflict and thrive in a safe family environment
Goal 6: By 2030 governance will be more open, accountable and inclusive
Goal 7: By 2030 we will have robust global partnerships for more and effective use of
Goal 8: By 2030 we will build disaster-resilient societies
Goal 9: By 2030 we will have a sustainable, healthy and resilient environment for all
Goal 10: By 2030 we will deliver sustainable energy to all
UNICEF, one of Save the Children’s key partners, said they welcome the new goals and framework set forth in the report saying:
“UNICEF looks forward to continuing to work closely with Save the Children and other key partners for children’s rights, as the debate intensifies on how best to safeguard, extend and sustain human progress in the post-2015 international framework.”
Photo: Children in Hawassa, Ethiopia. Copyright: Jennifer James