Categories
Equality

The feminist coffee changing the industry for better

Since we can’t seem to shake the winter weather in the UK, this week’s business roundup is all about… hot drinks.

CHIMNEY FIRE COFFEE.

In a male-dominated industry, Chimney Fire Coffee is a B-corp trying to do its best to make things more equal. Female-led farms only make up about 30% of the industry, and CFC’s mission is to work with as many of those farms as possible.

They support ethical and eco-friendly practices and donate 25p from every 250g bag and £1 from every 1kg bag of all Discovery Coffee sales to Re-Cycle, a small charity that recycles bikes from the UK and ships them to rural communities in Africa. Find out more.

CHOC AFFAIR.

Choc Affair makes great hot chocolate – from the beginning of the process, right up to the very end. Beginning with small farms and local co-operatives, Choc Affair makes sure that people are getting the money they need, and that it’s going to all the right places.

All of the cocoa is responsibly sourced and sustainably grown – meaning that everything in the process is well cared for – from the planet to the people. Find out more.

GIRLS WHO GRIND COFFEE.

Girls Who Grind Coffee is a brilliant company that describes itself as a ‘womxn-led, anti-patriarchy specialty coffee roastery and rebellion movement’.

They source all their coffee exclusively from change-making womxn producers in a bid to create more equality and visibility within the coffee industry.

10% of the sale price of their retail coffee bags goes right back to the womxn who created it, helping to make the business that creates the drink we all love a better and more equal place. Love! Find out more.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership For The Goalls.

Categories
Culture

6 great things happening in 2023

We’ve shared all the wonderful things that went on in 2022 – and there were a lot of them.

But as the first month of 2023 comes to an end (however long it may have felt), we wanted to remind the world there’s loads to look forward to in 2023.

Got anything you’d want to add? Drop us a line on [email protected] and let us know.

The National Cat Awards 2023.

Let’s start off with a bit of whimsy – the National Cat Awards are coming in 2023!

Run by national charity Cats Protection, this is a heartwarming awards ceremony, celebrating cats in four different categories: Cat Colleagues, Family Fur-ever, Moggy Marvels and Social Star.

The event aims to spotlight the nation’s most marvellous moggies, with “heartwarming tales of devotion, courage and companionship” Cats that have been nominated range from everyone’s favourite work-from-home buddy to those who help out at old people’s homes.

If you need a bit of joy in your life, follow these awards – or nominate a cat.

WorldPride in Sydney.

World Pride will be making its way to Sydney, Australia for a 17-day festival celebrating everything LGBTQIA+. 

From Sat, Feb 18, 2023, to Sun, Mar 5, 2023, there will be plenty of events to choose from, from music to sport, and art to conferences on human rights – whatever you need, it’s here.

The one thing all these events have in common is what they are all in celebration of – unapologetic, queer joy.

Follow the WorldPride on its website.

‘The Jet’.

This hydrogen-powered flying boat will be taking flight (or perhaps setting sail?) at the U.N Climate Change Conference in November 2023.

It’s a brilliant new zero-emission vessel which is a great representation of the work that is being done by scientists in all different disciplines to help combat climate change. We can’t wait to see its unveiling.

Ishikari Bay Wind Farm.

After 15 years in the making, the combined offshore wind and power storage facility will go live this year.

Based off the coast of Ishikari Bay in Hokkaido, Japan, the facility is the largest of the several new wind farms being built to take advantage of Japan’s strong winds.

Ishikari Offshore Wind is comprised of fourteen 8.0 MW turbines and a 100 MW/180 MWhr storage battery, meaning it will be able to collect and store a huge amount of green energy to help power Japan. Get clued up.

Celebrating Picasso.

April 8th marks the 50th anniversary of the death of artist Pablo Picasso – and he’s going to be celebrated in a big way.

Museums across the world, from Europe to the United States, will be putting together a huge programme to celebrate his life and works, through the 20th century and into the 21st.

It’s incredibly important to remember where we came from when moving forward – so if you’re an art lover, this is one for you. Find out more.

The National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards

The National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards 2023 help us to celebrate those who are often forgotten.

From workplaces that are making industries better for people with learning disabilities and autism, to carers and support workers, there is an award for everyone. But if you want to nominate someone you’d better hurry up and pay attention – the competition is fierce.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.

Categories
Planet

Plant a tree with every cuppa with this business

We’re back with your weekly roundup of businesses that are doing their best to be the best – for people, and for the planet.

This week there’s a theme – can you tell? Whatever your morning pick-me-up is, you can be sure to indulge with an extra spoonful of moral superiority after looking at this list.

WAITROSE.

Waitrose has just announced that they will be selling own-brand, home-compostable tea bags.

The ‘Duchy’ teabag range is now accredited with a TUV OK compost HOME certification – this basically means that the teabags can be placed directly into an at-home compost heap or bin. 

Even better, the tags on the teabags have been changed to limit the ink involved in the design – this makes it much easier for the teabags to break down and compost.

According to Waitrose, this could stop 4.5 million tea bags from going to waste in just the first year following the change. Amazing.

BIRD AND BLEND.

Bird and Blend has partnered with the World Preservation Foundation to turn every cuppa into another tree planted.

Every time you buy a drink in a Bird and Blend store and use a takeaway cup, you not only get 50p off your purchase but a tree will be planted with the WPF.

Plus, Bird and Blend uses exclusively plant-based cups for their drinks. So, for any drink you buy, in any cup, in any store, 12p will be donated to WPF – and that 12p will plant a tree. Even more of a reason to try out some fun new tea flavours (and there are so many to choose from!).

GRIND.

Grind is a UK-based coffee company with plenty of cafes, trucks and shops all across London. What makes them really special is their approach to sustainability and the way they are changing what it means to make your morning coffee.

Grind makes Nespresso coffee pods that you can use in a coffee machine, except they are complete, 100% sustainable and compostable. They don’t use plastic or aluminium, which most coffee pods do, and will break down faster than grass in your home compost.

Plus, if for some reason one of their pods were to make it to a landfill or into the ocean – they would still naturally breakdown in this environment. We love it.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

Categories
Planet

8 planet-friendly food habits

Not sure about going 100% vegan but wanting to make your eating habits that bit more planet-friendly?

We’ve got some easy tips to make that transition as smooth as dairy-free butter.

GO DAIRY FREE.

Like your steak but conscious of your carbon footprint? Consider cutting out the dairy – things like milk, cheese, yoghurt, kefir and other products. You can make the switch to dairy-free alternatives, or just embrace that black coffee life. 

According to a University of Oxford study, producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times the greenhouse gas emissions as a glass of plant milk.

BUY SUSTAINABLE MEAT.

If you really don’t want to give up meat, or if you’re already on a fairly restricted diet, there are still measures you can take to make sure you’re being planet friendly.

Not all meat is made equal – some have a bigger carbon footprint than others and, with a little research, it’s easy to find out what works best. Food charity Eating Better tells us that more and more farmers are opting for sustainable ways of farming both meat and dairy, which are better for us, the animals, and the planet!

REDUCE YOUR WASTE.

Not always easy, but a definite way to make your food habits more planet friendly is to limit your waste – both food, and packaging.

Be more mindful of the food you need before you buy something and, if you can get things like vegetables loose rather than in plastic packaging – all the better! Only buy what you need, and what you’re going really to use. Keep Britain Tidy has some great ideas on ways to reduce your waste.

FORAGE AND GROW YOUR OWN FOOD.

A windowsill is enough to grow your own food – even if it’s just a few herbs, or one, lonely bell pepper plant. Although buying seeds and pots and such requires a little upfront cash, you can get all of these things for free, or cheap, if you know where to look. Besides, when you get going you’ll grow more than enough to save you some money – plus, you’ve got a new hobby.

If you don’t have space, or you’re not interested in gardening, there’s still plenty of free food outside. Just make sure to do your research so you don’t end up picking anything dangerous.

The Woodland Trust has a great guide on how to forage responsibly and sustainably.

PLAN AND PREPARE.

The best way to make sure you’re not wasting food is to make a plan. That way, you can make sure you’re only buying what you need so that fresh food doesn’t go bad while you try to decide how you want to eat it (we’ve all done it!).

Plus, this means you can account for scraps and leftovers – save any vegetable peelings in a freezer bag for soups and broths, and have leftovers for lunch to save cooking. It feels like a lot of work at first, but you’ll soon be glad you did it!

DITCH THE ‘BEST BEFORE’ LABELS.

We can all get a little paranoid about the dates on packets and containers – but the truth is, a lot of the time they don’t matter. It’s much more important to judge the food by how it actually looks and smells – foods might go off before their ‘date’ or, if they’re well stored, may last much longer.

If something is a couple of days past its date but looks, smells and even tastes okay – it’s probably fine to eat. Plus it saves you money and prevents you from creating more food waste. WRAP has a great guide on how to know what to do with your food – and whether it’s salvageable or not.

COMPOST AND RECYCLE.

If you have food scraps left over that can’t become something else (carrot peelings go on to make a pretty great soup!) like egg shells, they can still become useful by being turned into compost.

Set up a little compost spot outside, and you’ll soon have plenty of free, nutrient-heavy fertiliser for all those fruits and veggies you’re going to be growing. No waste, and free stuff – what more could you want?! Social Farms and Gardens have a great guide on how to get started with your own compost, if you’re not sure how!

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

Categories
Equality

11 ways to micro-volunteer

When we think about volunteering, it can often feel overwhelming – like we should be giving up whole days, weekends, or even more. And not all of us have the time for that.

But volunteering, or doing something charitable, doesn’t have to be a huge time dedication. You can put a lot of good back into the world just by giving up an hour, or even 30 minutes of your time – and even from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re struggling to figure out how to get started, here are 11 ideas for you.

EXPAND YOUR VOCAB.

Test your vocabulary skills by playing FreeRice, a vocabulary game that donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme for every question you get right. It’s quick and easy, and you’re making an impact every time.

GET PAW-SITIVE.

The charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People has a huge amount of micro-volunteering opportunities available. From occasionally walking dogs on a weekend, hosting a one-off fundraising event, or volunteering virtually there are so many ways you can support without making a regular time commitment.

PICK UP THE SLACK.

When you’re out and about, take a rubbish bag or two with you and see how much litter you can pick up. It might feel strange the first time you do it, but you’ll find that you’re able to make a huge difference with just ten minutes of your time – just like that.

SEND A SMILE.

Write a letter or postcard to a sick child with Post Pals – you don’t need to do it regularly, or even more than once, but it will put a huge smile on their faces. And it won’t even take you more than a few minutes to do.

TEST YOURSELF.

Take an online test with Project Implicit. The tests only last around ten minutes and can be done from a laptop or computer. It’s designed to help scientists better understand how to tackle society’s prejudices.

MAP THE WORLD.

Use AXSMap to rate how accessible shops, restaurants, cafes and more are. The rating is split into three stages – entrance, interior and restroom, which you can evaluate based on what you see. Just by popping out on your lunch break, you can make life much easier – and much more accessible – for everyone.

REPURPOSE.

Volunteer online with FCancer. With plenty of opportunities available, you can use skills like copywriting or editing that you might use at work or in your daily life to help support the charity. Pick up a one-off project, or go back again for more – it’s up to you.

BE SUPPORTIVE.

Help out Family Action by becoming a volunteer with their FamilyLine service. Commit just four hours a week to giving emotional support and guidance to family members over the age of 18. Training is provided.

DECODE THE WORLD.

Become an Amnesty International Decoder and use your phone or computer to help keep people safe around the world. From analysing tweets to photographing security cameras, there’s always something you can get involved with – and there’s no consistent time commitment.

DREAM BIG.

Use your phone for the greater good by downloading the DreamLab app. Your phone is a computer in its own right and, by downloading the app, it can process thousands of calculations while you sleep. The DreamLab app uses your phone to process data from research into cancer and, more recently, Covid-19, meaning you can save lives even while you sleep.

GIVE WHAT YOU CAN.

Set up a ‘take what you need’ station outside your home. They can be as cute as you like, or just a small shelter – but they’re a great way to help people out. Stock the shelter with items like toothpaste, canned goods or clean pairs of socks and restock every few days. Here’s one a teacher put together outside their classroom – it takes very little effort, but can make a huge difference!

Still stumped? Or maybe you just love unpredictability! If so, sign up to websites like Do It to sign up for one-off volunteering roles as and when you can.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.

Categories
Equality

5 brilliant initiatives supporting women in work

Google India has committed to mentoring 1 million Indian women entrepreneurs. Amazing stuff.

In fact, it’s so great, we decided to research other companies with similar initiatives. Here are six companies doing what they can to empower women at work.

GOOGLE INDIA. 

Announced by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Google India has committed to mentoring 1 million Indian women entrepreneurs, helping them to grow, thrive and succeed in the business world. How exciting to see.

HSBC.

HSBC has created a Female Entrepreneur Fund, with $1 billion available for women around the world who want to set up their own businesses. They also have resources of interviews with women they have collaborated with previously providing a wealth of information and advice.

HSBC has also become a sponsor of the Financial Alliance for Women (FAFW), a network of financial companies dedicated to championing the female economy.

VODAFONE.

Vodafone’s ReConnect programme gets an honourable mention.

The ReConnect programme is all about helping people to return to work after a career break, which can be extremely difficult for mothers. It aims to help people find work after they’ve taken time out of their career – whether it is to raise a child or something else.

VISA.

Visa has an ongoing programme called ‘She’s Next’, helping to uplift, empower and enable Black women. The programme involves giving grants of $10,000 and one year of IFundWomen Annual Coaching Membership to 60 Black women-owned businesses across six key cities in the U.S.

Visa has recently launched She’s Next in Fashion, spotlighting 50 incredible women-owned fashion and beauty small businesses across North America with even more perks to help promote women in business, and fashion.

GENERAL ELECTRIC.

General Electric’s own Women’s Network has been around for over 20 years, helping to support women in the company and provide them with tools, skills and business opportunities. The Women’s Network has also funded over $1 million worth of scholarships to help young women obtain engineering degrees.

Additionally, General Electric runs the ‘GE Girls’ programme every year; a weeklong getaway for young girls to help foster a passion for STEM, and help encourage them to pursue STEM-based careers. Amazing!

COCA-COLA.

Though it is now finished, Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative had to be mentioned. Coca-Cola committed to enabling the economic empowerment of 5 million women by 2020. By the time their deadline came around, they had helped over 6 million women in 100 countries around the world.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Gender Equality.

Categories
Planet

Chocolate that’s good for the planet

This week, we’ve got some great businesses doing amazing things for you to check out.

From flowers and chocolate (for those of you already thinking about Valentine’s Day) to sustainable shirts, there’s a lot going on.

TONY’S CHOCOLONELY.

By now, we’re sure people are aware of all the great things that Tony’s Chocolonely is doing in the world – but we just want to shout about it some more! Tony’s Chocolonely is on a mission to end slavery in the chocolate industry and is doing it in so many different ways – starting by committing to paying all their cocoa farmers a higher wage.

An added bonus is one of last week’s businesses has linked up with Tony’s Chocolonely – Ben and Jerry’s! Delicious. Ben and Jerry’s have joined Tony’s Open Chain, to help trace where the cocoa beans come from and provide their farmers with a good life.

To celebrate, Ben and Jerry’s have launched a new ice cream flavour, and Tony’s has announced new chocolate bars. Yum!

BUNCHES.

Family-run online florist Bunches has been giving back to the community by gifting bouquets of flowers to the staff at its local hospital, as well as donating £500 worth of essential items to a nearby food bank. 

Since its inception, Bunches has made inspiring happiness and joy a priority and  has always donated a minimum of 10% of its profits to charity. Amazing!

TEEMILL.

You might recognise Teemill from our Black Friday article – they enable people to print sustainable t-shirts for their business, and sell them online. And now their new API means it’s easier than ever to print and sell your own sustainable shirts

Teemill’s public API, sample code and demos allow people to copy-paste to connect their online store or app directly to the factory. This means that anyone on the internet is able to control a factory producing real products – making it so much easier for people to create sustainable shirts for their business.

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Responsible Consumption and Production and Partnership for the Goals.

Categories
Culture

3 big companies – with even bigger hearts

This week for our business roundup, we’re showing you some big companies, with even bigger hearts.

Here are three businesses that are giving back to the planet, and to the community.

BEN AND JERRY’S.

Ben and Jerry’s have long been known for their philanthropy. A certified B Corporation, Ben and Jerry’s was one of the first companies to put social mission at equal importance to profit.

The company has set up Ben and Jerry’s Foundations in both the US and UK, both of which they have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to in recent years. The money contributed to the Foundations help to work towards economic, social, and environmental justice, making our world a better place.

Find out more.

BOMBAS.

Bombas is the name, and comfy socks are the game – but that’s not where it ends. With socks being the most requested item in homeless shelters and temporary accommodation, Bombas is making a huge difference in the world.

Working with their 3,500+ charity partners, for every pair of socks bought Bombas donates another, so that everyone can have access to warm, clean necessities, no matter who they are.

Find out more.

DR BRONNER.

A family run soap making business for 150 years, giving back has always been at the heart of Dr Bronner’s business. Also a certified B Corp, Dr Bronner focuses on social sustainability, organic integrity, and progressive business practices.

Dr Bronner supports a number of causes, including youth programmes and charities, regenerative agriculture, and animal advocacy. Through the company’s All-One International initiative a minimum of 1% of sales to Dr. Bronner’s participating international markets are donated to local efforts in support of social justice, environmental sustainability, and animal advocacy. Find out more.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.

Categories
Wellbeing

15 ways to spread happiness in 2023

The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.

If you want to make 2023 one of spreading positivity and helping others, here are 15 ideas to get you started.

GIFT FLOWERS

Did you know that most men will only receive flowers at their funerals? But we say why wait until someone is dead to make them happy, so they know they are loved and appreciated – even if it’s coming from a stranger.

Take a leaf out of Patricia’s book and give old flowers a new lease of life by handing them out to strangers. You never know – you could be just the thing to brighten someone’s day!

DO A CRAZY FUNDRAISER

Life is too short to be boring – if you have a cause you’re passionate about raising funds for, why not do it well? You don’t need to be a mega athlete like Gary McKee aka the Marathon Man – but if you have the imagination and creativity of the Scooter Grannies, you’re sure to make a difference.

DONATE BLOOD

Perhaps not one for those who are squeamish about blood or needles, but something that is always needed is blood donations. It doesn’t take up too much of your time, there are many places you can donate blood all around the country. Take a look at the NHS blood donation website to find out more!

FOSTER A PET

Most people are up for adopting an adorable puppy or kitten – especially when they come house-trained. But the real struggle for rescue centres is often housing the animals before they are adopted out into their permanent homes.

If you have plenty of space or work from home, could you volunteer your home and time as a foster parent to an animal?

HOST A GUIDE DOG IN TRAINING

Guide dogs help thousands of visually impaired people to regain independence, but training them can be a long process, and requires somewhere to house the dogs before they are paired up with their humans.

Guide dogs of all different ages need somewhere to live – from small puppies to those rambunctious teens, through to mums who are waiting to give birth. If you would love a dog but can’t afford the food and vet bills (which will be covered by the charity) or don’t have anyone to take care of them while you work, this might just be the one for you! Find out how.

MAKE COMPLIMENTS MORE AUTOMATIC

Scared about giving compliments but still want to make someone smile? The best thing to do is to compliment decisions and choices. Is he wearing some fantastic shoes? Has she braided her hair in a way you only wish you could? Is their eyeliner enviously sharp?

Make the decision to compliment people more actively – start on your friends (and always remember to be respectful!) and watch as giving compliments becomes second nature to you.

LEAVE GIFTS FOR STRANGERS

Want to make someone’s day but don’t feel up to confronting the situation head-on? Why not try leaving gifts for strangers? Take a look at Ursula from the flower bank, or Madeleine who left ‘worry worms’ for people in her community.

There is always a way to bring joy to people, even if you don’t feel like you are able to walk right up to a stranger and start talking to them. Find what works for you.

TAKE CARE OF THE BEES

You don’t need to go out and buy a beekeeper’s hat for this one – it’s all about what you’re putting out into the world. If you have window boxes or a garden, or if you have the opportunity and influence to plant flowers anywhere else, make sure they are ones that the bees love.

We all know just how important bees are to our world, and what an impact they have on nature. If you can plant some flowers and make our world a little more beautiful, and help the bees at the same time, why wouldn’t you?

WALK DOGS FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T

So many people wish they could have a dog to walk, but simply don’t have the time, energy or money to dedicate to a pooch on a daily basis. So why not look into people in your community who have dogs that they need walking, either because they are temporarily unable to do so, they are too old, or they have an illness that makes walking difficult.

You can talk to people in your community to find out who is in need, or you can go through charities like the Cinnamon Trust.

HELP A FRIEND REACH NEW MILESTONES

Perhaps you have a friend who is anxious about ordering food in restaurants, or maybe you know someone who wants to complete an athletic challenge but doesn’t know where to begin.

You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be present in their life – encouraging them, and letting them know that they have the space and support to succeed. Everyone needs a helping hand now and then.

INVEST IN SELF-CARE

Just like oxygen masks on an aeroplane, it becomes harder and harder to take care of others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. So run a bath, force yourself to go outside (even if you REALLY don’t want to), and reread your favourite book – because you’re worth it!

LITTER PICK

Why are we letting cigarettes and food wrappers clog up our beautiful country? If you’re out walking anyway, why not take a litter picker and rubbish bag along with you? Make it a challenge with your friend and see how many you can pick up – the loser buys dinner.

BECOME A MENTOR

There are so many teenagers and young adults out there who would benefit from mentors – whether they need tutoring in a specific subject, or just need a friend. Talk to your friends with children, or join a local charity looking for people to help out.

Maybe you crack open a text book or two, or maybe you just drive them to Starbucks once a week and set the world to rights over a caramel frappe. Either way, you’re going to be making a huge difference. Check out this nationwide mentoring programme.

VOLUNTEER YOUR TECH-KNOWLEDGE

Libraries aren’t just for books – they are also the only place many people are able to access a computer or the internet. This makes it much harder for people to learn how to apply for jobs and benefits and gain important tech knowledge in an increasingly online world.

If you’re someone with basic computer skills and you want to help out, visit your local library and offer to run sessions teaching people how to use computers and the internet. It’s more important than you think.

DONATE YOUR WINTER COATS

Not everyone has a coat to keep them warm this winter – and this is especially true of people experiencing homelessness, as well as refugees and asylum seekers who had to leave much of their possessions behind. If you have a coat in good nick that you aren’t using, consider donating it to your local charity shop or to Coats4Calais.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnerships for the Goals.

Categories
Planet

Donate to charity with your morning coffee

Welcome to our first weekly business roundup of 2023. If you forgot to buy presents for someone (or if their gift is “on the way”) and you need some quick ideas… look no further.

ELVIS AND KRESSE.

Making luxury accessories out of rescued materials is what Elvis and Kesse do best – and the number of materials they rescue is truly something! Created in 2005 to save London’s decommissioned firehoses, Elvis and Kesse now make accessories like handbags out of 15 different materials that would otherwise go to waste, including leather cutoffs from Burberry.

Not only that, but 50% of profits from the Fire Hose range go to The Fire Fighters Charity and 50% of profits from the Fire & Hide range go to Barefoot College International. Find out more.

SOLIOS WATCHES.

Creating solar-powered wristwatches made from recycled stainless steel, Solios is great from the get-go.

But their clean energy and sustainable materials aren’t the only way they like to give back to the planet – for every watch purchased Solios commits to protecting an acre of rainforest, and you can even buy a special ‘Make A Wish’ edition of their watches to help the charity make children’s wishes come true. Find out more.

BLQK COFFEE.

Blqk Coffee was created by former NFL player Justin Watson to help bring joy to others and give back to communities in need.

The company creates ethically sourced coffee, with an incredible 25% of every purchase being donated back to social justice charities like Thrive Scholars and Brotherhood Crusade. Find out more.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.