I believe wholeheartedly in the power of community. For many startups, especially in this era of tight credit, getting a Kickstarter or IndieGogo campaign together and successfully launched can make the difference between launching a new product, expanding capacity, opening a new store….or not doing those things. The power of community to create green jobs in this way has never been stronger. And with crowdfunding websites, the community also benefits – it’s not a donation, it’s a contribution, for which you get some gifts from the company.
One great new project is an expansion of an organic cane juice business. Cane juice is a much healthier sweetener than processed white sugar sweetener, and Kalapana Organics is planning an expansion of their growing and processing operation to begin marketing their product coast to coast.
Kalapana is committed to organic agriculture and say in their video that they will help mentor other farmers in their area to help create more organic products and move agriculture away from chemically dependent production. According to the company, their juice has B-vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants, and, unlike most regular sweeteners, is very low in simple sugars and higher in complex carbs (meaning no crash, and you don’t need to knock back an energy drink just to make it through your workday).
For rewards, Kalapana is offering its juice, some instructions on how to create a great soil inoculant that will increase productivity of soil (it’s a mycorrhizae thing, for you biology nerds out there), and some of their turmeric hot sauce, all grown and made on the organic farm.
Next, for those who love a good pair of flip-flops/sandals/zorries/slippers (depending on where you’re from), there’s the Happy Feet Happy Life project. ProperFlops, the company behind the project, partnered with Verde Fulfillment, a storage, shipping, warehousing business that uses recycled paper for packing slips, and is zero waste.
The sand – uh, let’s just call it footwear – is 100% recyclable, itself zero waste, vegan friendly, and has a 2 year warranty. They’re made from 25% recycled material, which is good, but still means that these are 75% plastic. But it’s the 2 year warranty that caught my eye. Having had not a single pair of this kind of footwear last longer than a year, I am intrigued, to say the least.