Blogger: Adam Benvie
At this time I would like, not to admire the inspirational innovations of others, but to regocnognize the efforts of our very own Net Impact community. As Net Impact’s 21st year comes to a close, the newly released annual report was full of inspiring initiatives and remarkable stories.
These stories and initiatives can be accredited to Net Impact’s newly reached strength of 300 chapters and 40,000 volunteers. Partly responsible to for this increased strength is Austin Lee who discovered Net Impact only a little more than a year ago. After finding inspiration to make a positive impact at one of Net Impact’s conferences, Austin decided to launch an undergraduate chapter at the University of Maryland. Now, only a year old, the chapter is considered to be in the top 15% of Chapters and has been awarded Gold status.
During Net Impact’s 21st year, Chapters like Austin’s have been working to forge a network of leaders to drive positive change. For Stephanie Peng, this change meant building Net Impact MAP (Making a Path), a career support program for students seeking impact careers. And For Adam Mentor, this change meant creating software tools that help designers, architects, and engineers turn their ideas into sustainable realities. Net Impact members like these are the reason why, during Net Impact’s 21st year, campaigns like Small Steps, Big Wins and Up to Us were launched, both of which engaged in over 30,000 actions of fiscal sustainability, and over 45,000 actions of social and environmental change.
Net Impact’s 21st year was no doubt a success, but this by no means marks the end to a network of leaders who live to be the change they dream to see. Goals already set forth for the upcoming year include introducing 45 Net Impact MAP programs, expanding Small Steps to 100 campuses, and growing Up to Us to 25,000 participants. Looking further into the future, Net Impact’s goal by 2022 is to mobilize 1 Million new leaders to drive transformational change. Ultimately, Net Impact will not stop until a net impact is made, our way of life is transformed, and society’s problems are solved.
The U.K. wastes 4.2 tons of food and drink every year. That’s the equivalent of 24 meals a month. In fact, one-fifth of all food that is bought is wasted, and 60 percent of that food could have been eaten. In order to combat this problem, a food waste recycling company named ReFood, working with the charity BioRegional, is starting a campaign to bring food waste to zero by the year 2020.
The plan is to ban food waste at landfills. The company is urging producers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers to work together towards this goal. Not only will their plan reduce food waste, but it will generate over a terawatt of energy every year. That is enough energy to power over 600,000 homes. They are going to do that by recycling the food waste rather than putting into landfills. They are also going to use methods such as anaerobic digestion in order to return the food waste back into the soil and give it the nutrients to increase its health. This will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make an overall greatly more efficient food production chain.
This is a lofty goal, but it seems that it is possible. If it is successful, I think that this could point people in the right direction for getting things done as far as sustainability goes. If we can eliminate food waste, then we should be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and really do something about the environment. This is a step in the right direction, at least for the U.K., and perhaps we can try a similar mission here in the U.S.