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Diaper Daze

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Author: the Inkslinger

Here’s a question few of us ever have to face: what do you do with a quarter million diapers that work fine but can’t be sold? Give yourself a gold star if you answered “give ‘em away to people who can use them.” That’s what we did yesterday. We had all these second-quality diapers that were perfectly usable but had essentially meaningless manufacturing flaws that meant we couldn’t ship them to our retailers. So we partnered with a local non-profit to hold a great diaper giveaway for needy families in central Vermont. Voila! A perfect solution that solves a bunch of problems at once. The diapers don’t get dumped in the trash (a thought that made us all break out into a near permanent cringe) and some folks who could really use them get to now.

It was a great day with smiles all around. Though it was cold and snowy, nobody minded the wait. And we had so many cases of diapers we were able to give a big bunch away to day care centers and some local non-profit organizations that work with families. It’s enough to make you wish the diaper-making machine would screw up more often…

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Giving It Away

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Author: the Inkslinger

Sheila, our Doyen of Donational Doings, has been quite conscientiously forwarding to me news and notes pertaining to all the cool donations we’ve been making to laudable causes and needful folk, and I, for my own humble part in these great machinations, have been dutifully ignoring them while other stuff sucks up my time like a Hoover with an oscillating overthruster. So let’s play catch-up:

We gave the Dream Program, a great Vermont youth mentoring group, $2,500 to fund the Local Foods Program at their summer camp on Camp Fletcher. This initiative will teach camp kids to grow and cook their own food, which in turn will raise local environmental awareness and greatly reduce the carbon footprint of camp meals. They’re even going to build a clay oven to cook in.

We literally donated a boatload of our products to the Esperanza, a Greenpeace ship that’s now in the Bering Sea hard at work defending that ecosystem from harm. Here’s a dispatch about the mission from Greenpeace’s Bill Richardson:

Hi Sheila. Just wanted to let you know that the Esperanza took delivery of the 7th Generation products you sent us. Thanks again for this generous gift.

The Esperanza is currently on its way to the Bering Sea, where it will be until early September. While it's there, we'll be working to
document the beauty and threats that face this region, strengthen our
alliances with Native communities and networks, and work with citizens,
scientists, and other NGOs who are building the case for greater
protection of the Bering Sea ecosystem.

One of the interesting aspects of our work in this region will be the
use of one-person mini-subs. Using these vehicles, we'll be going to
depths of up to 2000 feet to document and provide evidence in support of designating canyons in the Bering Sea (some of the deepest on the
planet) as protected areas.

Speaking of sending our stuff on journeys, we also donated a big supply of Seventh products to JuntoVenture for their expedition from the lowest point on the North American continent, Death Valley, to it’s highest, Mt Denali. The idea is to undertake the world’s first completely sustainable trek, one that uses leaves no carbon footprint, uses no unsustainable gear, and creates no environmental degradation of any type along the way. The trip is being filmed for a documentary and creating a model other trekkers can follow on their own travels.

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Giving It Away

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Author: the Inkslinger

Lara’s post about our weekend in NOLA reminds me that Sheila, Our Grande Dame of Donational Doings, has lately been feeding me her own tales of altruism in action, and they’re well worth a recap. It’s great to be able to give deserving causes some much-needed help and to make smiles grow as fundamental part of doing business. After all, companies and individuals who fail to give something back to the communities that make their successes possible really can’t be considered a success at all. With that in mind…

We recently gave $2,000 to Bike Recycle Vermont This organization collects old bikes, trains disadvantaged teenagers and adults to repair and restore them,

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Ready… Set… Grow!

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Author: the Inkslinger

This just in from Sarah T.:

One little tree makes a ton of difference. It’s a simple idea, and this is what it means: This year for Earth Day, Seventh Generation is partnering with two incredible non-profits to make tons and tons of difference in an area that needs it most. We’re joining forces with the Seed Collective and Replant New Orleans to promote urban reforestation in New Orleans.

It starts with SEED, an on-line experience developed by the Seed Collective, which employs wireless activism to create a reforestation-funding tool. Using your phone and your computer together you can support the replanting and regeneration of the urban forest ecosystem in New Orleans. Replant New Orleans, in collaboration with City Year and a host of volunteers, will plant real trees in New Orleans on Earth Day, April 22nd. Seventh Generation will donate one dollar to that cause for every virtual tree (up to 40,000!) that you grow using SEED.

Both of our partners bring a great deal of passion to their mission of regeneration and community involvement. On Earth Day, we’ll be bringing them together in New Orleans for a special day in which the Seed Collective will show all of the virtual trees that you grew and Replant New Orleans will get the Central City growing.

Everyone can help us grow (and plant!) these trees. All you need is a phone and an internet-connected computer. Here’s how it works:

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How Much Of What We Make Should We Give Away?

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This Sunday’s New York Times magazine had an exceptionally thought provoking article entitled What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You? While I have often pondered the limits of my own generosity, this story created a whole new framework for me to think about what I am willing or at least aspire to do.

As you open all those requests for money you get in the final weeks of the year consider this: The United Nations estimates that the total annual global cost of halving hunger and extreme poverty, halting & reversing the spread of aids, and ensuring that all children attend primary school would be less than $300 billion. Peter Singer’s proposal in the New York Times would generate $404 billion dollars from the wealthiest 10% of Americans!

Check out his plan. The article is long but well worth the read. Singer proposes that the more you earn, the more you give away. He suggests that those who earn over $92,000 give away 10% while the richest 0.01%, whose average income is $12.7 million, donate 1/3 of what they make. Hey, who’s going to miss $4.3 million when you’re making that much?

I’m considering stepping up to the plate, but giving away 15% of what I make would take me well beyond the 10% I’ve been working up to!

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