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.]
You learn something every day. Well, particularly if you go visit interesting places. And who knew The World of Coke in Atlanta, GA would be such an interesting place? [Disclosure: Coca-Cola is a BlogHer customer, but I'm just writing this post because I found a picture while uploading three months worth of shots from my point & shoot.]
Here's what I learned about the Coca-Cola bottle while at World of Coke:
I love it when I hear about yet another eco-friendly manufacturer who makes stuff that qualifies both as functional and fashionable...and at a good price.
I'm a big believer that certain folks (like me, I admit) will spend more and accept less in order to buy green. But the vast majority of humans don't want to spend more, and don't want to sacrifice features or function.
That's just reality.
So, I like Reveal. I like their prices. I like that their items have style, and I like that most of it is vegan too!
Not sure I like (or even understand) why this laptop bag is designated as a Man's accessory. Don't see anything particularly manly or anti-feminine about it.
But other than that little weirdness, I like what they have. I just wish they had more. It's a pretty small selection right now.
They have extensive information about what makes their products sustainable, so I encourage you to check it all out.
I've been reading a lot of social action/change/justice books lately as part of a BlogHer Virtual Book Club. After the last three books, we all felt a bit shell-shocked, and like the human race is a bit hopeless. I mean, I do believe I'm taking very positive action, mostly by my vegan diet, if nothing else, but some of the problems seem so big, so systemic, so beyond systemic, even endemic to our species...is our individual action all for naught?
BlogHer Britt Bravo interviews Anna Lappe about her new book, Diet for a Hot Planet, and it seems like there is hope. And there is meaningful action. I interviewed Anna myself a couple of years ago, and she has the same practical, positive message as then. Check out this year's recent interview and feel hopeful, not downtrodden, about mankind's future:
This year at BlogHer we're featuring a panel that's all about how to manage your digital legacy. In other words: Do you have a digital will? What happens to your blogs, your Twitter account, your Facebook account, etc. etc. etc.? You can read more about the session here, and while it may sound morbid, it's something I haven't done...but probably should.
So, having just published that, this headline at HippyShopper caught my eye: Greener Funerals
That's another thing I haven't thought about, and probably should.
For a while now I've been following Alicia Silverstone. Not as an actress (although I like her work there too), but as an author, activist, environmentalist, animal activist. I read and enjoyed her book, The Kind Diet, and I subscribe to her blog and online community at The Kind Life.
I like her voice. It's kind of like her voice as Cher in Clueless, once Cher has grown up a bit...keeping the charm, losing about 30% of the "like"s and "totally"s.
Yes, it's what you think it might be: A post about eco-friendly ways to take care of one's period. IN the post you learn that Alicia is just "not a tampon girl". And she manages to get over 100 members of her community to discuss their own particular preferences and experiences trying various solutions, including more alternative approaches, like the Diva Cup.
I respect the fact that Alicia is willing to be one of those voices demystifying and de-stigmatizing women's cycles and the ways we manage them.
Si, if you're into an earth-friendly (and kind) life, check out her site. I think you'll like it.