Archive for clean water


4Ocean was founded by two surfers who noticed the overwhelming amount of trash that litters the ocean. Deciding to act, Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze started the organization. 4Ocean is an organization that cleans trash out of the ocean. They work with volunteers to do beach cleanups, partnerships with other cleanup organizations, and even have offshore cleanups. The offshore cleanups are done by the organization’s seven vessels that are out there seven days a week cleaning up the ocean. To fund the cleanups, 4Ocean sells bracelets online for just $20. Every bracelet bought pays for the removal of a pound of trash. The bracelets are made from recycled materials, including glass and plastic. Because of two surfers’ care for the ocean and willingness to do something about it, 140,188 pounds of trash and debris have been cleaned from not only coastlines and beaches, but also directly from the ocean.

Better Life Bags

What started as a personal craft project grew to an Etsy store, to a Pinterest phenomenon, and then to a full-scale business- helping people all along the way.

Rebecca Smith made herself a diaper bag, posting the images on Facebook; she was very unaware of what an impact those images going public would have. She received many compliments suggesting and inspiring her to start an Etsy shop selling these bags. The shop is called Better Life Bags, in reference to 10% of profits being donated to people in third world countries helping them start their own businesses. The bags, in addition to being practical and cute, allow the customer to pick from a wide variety of fabrics and leathers letting one totally customize the accessory.


BLB allows you to chooses the leather and fabric colors to create a bag perfectly matching your style. [via]

When a well-known blogger, and then her  many followers, saw the brilliance of this customization and pinned one of her bags, orders flooded in. The number of orders far exceeded what Rachel’s one-woman operation could fill.  Faced with the decision to either quit the business or expand, she rejected the idea of moving production overseas reaching out instead to women in her neighborhood. Smith lives in a neighborhood swirling with diversity and filled with women who have “various barriers to employment,” whether they be cultural or religious. A neighbor from Yemen, Nadia, who is unable to leave her home to work, became Rachel’s first employee. As the business has grown, Rachel has been able to hire many other local women allowing them to provide simple necessities like food and furniture for their families.

These charming bags with cute, customizable colors & choice craftsmanship really live up to their name. Not only will they make your life better, they help Rachel Smith employee those in her community with barriers to employment.

Wine to Water – Doc Hendley

Doc Hendley, born 19 March 1979, founder of the non-profit organization Water to Wine. Hendley came up with the idea for Water to Wine in 2003 while he was still a bar tender. He dreamed of building an organization that fought water shortage and sanitization issues.

In February of 2004 Hendley conducted his first fundraiser and was soon living across the world in Sudan, Africa installing water systems for the people living there amidst the government sanctioned genocide.

His experiences changed his life forever. While there two of his team member were killed. After returning home he only felt more compelled to continue his philanthropy.

In 2009 Doc Hendley was recognized as a CNN Hero.

For more of the Wine to Water story click here


Jackie Stenson is opening stores all over southern India to help people gain access to important household items. Jackie is a co-founder of Essmart and currently runs the American side of operations. Essmart was founded because Jackie and Diana (co-founder and over operations in India) noticed that the people of India lacked access to basic items. Among the items that Essmart provides are: clean water, lighting–including solar lighting options, and cooking equipment. Essmart is a great example of a modern social enterprise. I could not find a mantra so here is their mission statement. Essmart’s mission statement is to bring essential, life-improving products to all people, no matter who they are or where they’re from. They are really doing some amazing things for the people that they are reaching! Nothing that I can write can do them justice, please check out all the things that they provide to people in need Essmart.

United by Blue

Founded in 2010, United by Blue is a Philadelphia based company that produces responsible & durable goods with a mission to keep the beautiful outdoors clean and ready for life’s next adventure.

“We believe that every living creature is united by the blue of our world’s oceans and waterways and we all have the responsibility to protect them.”

UBB uses only sustainable materials to make each product while donating their time to environmental action with each purchase.  “For every product sold, UBB removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized and hosted cleanups.”


Located in Old City, Philadelphia, they “use re-purposed materials…creat[ing] a space that mixes [their] complete line of apparel and accessories with a full-fledged coffeehouse serving up some of the city’s finest organic coffee and food.”

Their brand mainly focuses on producing outdoor apparel that will withstand continuous adventure. “We’re inspired by the go-getters, the landscape around the waters we clean, and a really good cup of pour over coffee.”

In the everyday clutter, for-profit businesses must stand above the competition.  United by Blue captured the essence of putting a twist on the common retailer.  I’m inspired by their mission to make the world a better place through sustainable materials.  The millennial generation loves supporting causes and identifying with products, companies, organizations, etc. who contribute more than the banality of the everyday.  These young entrepreneurs desire to not only share their passion for sustainable goods, but also give back to our community and earth.    With countless other one-for-one businesses, UBB promises to support not just monetarily, but by giving their time as well.

To learn more about their company please visit




Energy and clean, drinkable water are two privileges that we often take for granted in the United States. Energy is a luxury in some underdeveloped nations, as it is very difficult to make traditional means of conducting energy available in remote areas. Similarly, clean water is limited and not easily accessible.  SunSaluter took both of these crucial needs and created a product that addresses both of them.

Developed by Eden Full, SunSaluter is a gravity-powered device in which solar panels follow the rotation of the sun, while filtering at least four liters of water a day. Solar-powered energy panels are heavy, expensive, hard to install, and do not harvest as much energy as possible, because they do not always face the sun. The SunSaluter rotates so that it is in sync with the sun, producing 40% more energy than traditional solar panels. Furthermore, the SunSaluter is easy to install, assemble, and maintain. While the SunSaluter is collecting energy, it is also purifying water, by having a drip mechanism attached to the end of the device. This innovative product solves two extremely important issues and is so simple that even a child can operate it. So far, there have been two successful projects in Kenya, and the product will soon be used in Peru and India as well.

Eden Full is a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Princeton. Starting from a young age, she was interested in engineering and solar energy. At ten years old, Full noticed that her solar panels were not getting maximum exposure to the sun. She began to work with ideas on how to rotate the panels, and at 19, Full had developed the SunSaluter. Instead of pursuing engineering for her own pleasure, or to earn a high income, Full focuses her attention on helping other people, saying: “I don’t just want to tinker because it’s fun for me. I want it to have an impact on someone else.” Eden was able to make a difference when she was young, by applying a great invention with a great need. As young entrepreneurs, we can follow her example of identifying a problem and creating a simple and innovative way to address it.

The Drinkable Book

There are so many problems in the world that often seem insurmountable. War, poverty, orphan care and world hunger, just to name a few. One such problem that has often discouraged people with its magnitude is the lack of clean water for all people.

What I really appreciate about Theresa Dankovich is that instead of just throwing more money at solutions that work somewhat, but may not be the best, she dedicated her time to coming up with something truly revolutionary. Enter; the Drinkable Book.

Utilizing paper coated in silver nano-particles Theresa created a book comprised of filtering pages. Each page acts as a “scientific coffee filter” purifying out 99% of the bacteria resulting in water as pure as the tap water in our own country. Each book costs only pennies to produce, each filter lasts for 30 days and one book is capable of providing clean water for four years. This innovation is going to revolutionize the water purifying process, being by far the cheapest option out there.

But one of the most unique aspects of the “Drinkable Book” is that on each page/filter is printed information about how to keep one’s water clean. Knowledge that many of us take for granted, such as keeping trash and feces away from your water source.

To see the Drinkable Book in action, watch the short video below. It is truly incredible.



    • Jason Aramburu

    • Age, 27
    • Founder
    Aramburu’s re:char uses biochar to help farmers in East Africa fight climate change and grow more food. Biochar is made from crop and animal waste; for a $60 investment, a farmer saves $200 annually, boosts crop yield 26%, and reduced chemical fertilizer consumption by 80%.
  • What is Biochar

Biochar Is a Valuable Soil Amendment

chartreeBiochar is a solid material obtained from the carbonisation of biomass. Biochar may be added to soils with the intention to improve soil functions and to reduce emissions from biomass that would otherwise naturally degrade to greenhouse gases. Biochar also has appreciable carbon sequestration value. These properties are measurable and verifiable in a characterisation scheme, or in a carbon emission offset protocol.

This 2,000 year-old practice converts agricultural waste into a soil enhancer that can hold carbon, boost food security, and increase soil biodiversity, and discourage deforestation. The process creates a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water.

Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Intensive study of biochar-rich dark earths in the Amazon (terra preta), has led to a wider appreciation of biochar’s unique properties as a soil enhancer.

Biochar can be an important tool to increase food security and cropland diversity in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

Biochar also improves water quality and quantity by increasing soil retention of nutrients and agrochemicals for plant and crop utilization. More nutrients stay in the soil instead of leaching into groundwater and causing pollution.

Biochar is a Powerfully Simple Tool to Combat Climate Change

The carbon in biochar resists degradation and can hold carbon in soils for hundreds to thousands of years. Biochar is produced through pyrolysis or gasification — processes that heat biomass in the absence (or under reduction) of oxygen.

In addition to creating a soil enhancer, sustainable biochar practices can produce oil and gas byproducts that can be used as fuel, providing clean, renewable energy. When the biochar is buried in the ground as a soil enhancer, the system can become “carbon negative.”

Biochar and bioenergy co-production can help combat global climate change by displacing fossil fuel use and by sequestering carbon in stable soil carbon pools. It may also reduce emissions of nitrous oxide.

We can use this simple, yet powerful, technology to store 2.2 gigatons of carbon annually by 2050. It’s one of the few technologies that is relatively inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable. We really can’t afford not to pursue it.

– Jason is a unique entrepreneur working to fight many malfactors like hunger, poverty, famine and malnutrition through his enhanced soil for farmers. He is a great inspiration and a fantastic Millennial Entrepreneur.

The Story of Scott Harrison and charity: water

The Foundation

The story of Scott Harrison, founder of the organization charity: water, does not begin like the stories of the average social entrepreneur.  Scott spent the first 10 years of his adult life as a night club promoter in New York City.  His life consisted of striving after more money, more status and better parties.

At age 28, Scott had the realization that the life he was living was not only unfulfilling, but destructive to himself and the people by whom he was surrounded.  Scott describes his revelation as follows: “I was the worst person I knew…I was emotionally bankrupt, I was spiritually bankrupt.  Everything I had as a value I walked away from…. There [wasn’t] a single redemptive thing about my life.”scott-harrison-1-1139x541_0

Scott, after a process of returning to Christ, decided to begin applying for positions at various charities.  He started questioning what he could do to give back and live the exact opposite of the life he had lived before. He asked himself:

“What if I tried to serve God?… What if I actually served others?…What if I give back 1 of the 10 years and serve?”

After being rejected  from every nonprofit to which he had applied, Scott was finally given the opportunity to work with Mercy Ships, an organization that provides surgeries on the coast of Africa from a boat-turned-hospital.  Scott spent two years with them as a photographer, documenting every surgery and subsequent transformation that took place.

During a gap year, Scott returned to New York and held a photo show displaying the images he had captured over that first year.  The show raised $100,000, 100% of which went to Mercy Ships.

Not only was he extremely impacted by the work that God was doing through Mercy Ships, but he also sought a solution to the root problems of the Mercy Ship patients, many of whom suffered from severe tumors and infections.  Scott discovered that 80% of the illnesses that these people suffered from were caused by lack of clean water.

Although Scott was ashamed of his past life choices, he utilized his connections by hosting his 31st birthday party charging $20 admission to 700 of his friends.  He earned $15,000 in one night. He used this initial capital to build 3 wells in Northern Uganda and repair 3 others.  Charity: water had begun.

441793606_1280 The Model

As Scott Harrison set out on the journey to start his own nonprofit, he wanted to reform the way charities are set up.  Firstly, he wanted to change the answer to the question “How much of my money will actually go to the actual cause?”  For charity: water, the answer to that question, from the beginning, is and has always been 100%.

The second aspect of charity he wanted to incorporate was the ability for contributors to see exactly where their money is going.  To do this, charity: water tracks the GPS location of each well that is excavated, making the specific wells available to view through Google Earth. Charity: water also tracks which donations are funding which project.

Other innovative campaigns such as a mobile exhibit that displayed dirty water in tanks as well as gave information about water union-square-exhibition-charity-waterquality around the world, have been utilized by this organization.  Said exhibit would be set up in different parks in New York City, to educate as well as fund-raise by selling $20 water bottles to support the organization.

One of charity: water’s main sources of donations is through a campaign called “birthdays”, which began with Scott’s idea to send out an email asking for $32 (the age he was turning) from each individual as a donation to charity water.  He raised $59,000, only a year after he had started charity: water.  Supporters of charity water can now do the same through the charity: water website.


The Impact

Since its establishment charity: water has funded 9,015 water projects, providing 3,300,000 people with clean water, in 20 countries.  Its renown and impact are growing every day, especially with a focus on design and marketing as well as authenticity and transparency as a nonprofit. To learn more visit their website or watch the interview with Scott Harrison below: