Hat tip to Treehugger for cluing me in to the existence of ColaLife. ColaLife is a volunteer-run nascent non-profit organization that seeks to take advantage of the distribution network of one of the largest companies in the world in order to save lives.
To be clear: ColaLife isn't an initiative born at Coca-Cola, although Coke themselves has many many corporate social responsibility programs. But ColaLife has reached out to Coca-Cola with some sucess to take advantage of one simple fact:
You can get a Coke in almost every corner of the Earth, no matter how poor or remote that corner may be. That speaks to a massive existing distribution system...and that distribution may happen by men on bicycles.
What you can't get in every corner of the Earth, however, is clean water.
And sometimes the fix for that problem is pretty small: oral rehydration and water purification tablets, for example.
ColaLIfe has created packaging for such fundamental first aid supplies that slots in amongst the normal Coca-Cola bottles in their normal packaging. It's really genius.
And with Coca-Cola cooperating with ColaLife, it sounds like this could bring revolutionary assistance to those far corners.
I do believe when big companies make change it has big impact. And that even if they don't do everything right, we need to recognize and encourage the things they do right.
And the ColaLife story shows that we can't rely on the big companies to think up every way they can help make these changes: We need to keep nudging them along.
I love this story. I hope it keeps progressing in the right direction. I hope it changes lives, and the world just a little bit.
[Disclosure: Coca-Cola has intermittently been a customer of BlogHer's this year, but I knew nothing about this initiative until I read about it on Treehugger.]