sustainably smitten

A community of ideas to celebrate, nuture, and protect our planet for generations to come

Fresh Start & Clean Water

Taking a month to separate a bit from the digital world to focus on relationships, holiday traditions, and finishing up my Master’s degree not only proved useful, but exceedingly meaningful!

I was privileged to complete my final applied research project for my Master’s in Sustainable Business program with Cascade Engineering’s Triple Quest, whose mission is to manufacture, sell, and distribute the Hydraid water filter to developing world communities who are in need of clean water. Cascade is unique in that it is one of the largest B-corps, or Benefit Corporations, which are bound to not only produce profits, but also positive social and environmental impact. This structure ensures sustainability!

Organizations can purchase Hydraid filters directly from the company to implement in their development projects and the company is also doing work utilizing the carbon market as a financing strategy for select projects. It was my task to produce an innovative strategy to expand their reach and penetrate new markets with the goal of decreasing death and illness from water-borne illnesses.

Globally, diarrhea is the leading cause of illness and death.  

  • 88% of diarrhea cases worldwide are from unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene. (Source: WSSCC) 
  • 3.575 million people die each year (Source: WHO)
  • Diarrhea remains in the second leading cause of death among children under five globally killing more kids than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.  (Source: UNICEF/WHO)
  • More than 800 million people lack access to safe water supplies. (Source: UNICEF/WHO)

Lost Productivity

  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients with diseases associated with lack of safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
  • One-tenth of each person’s productive time is sacrificed due to water-related diseases (Kimani-Murage and Ngindu, 2007)

This new millennium has begun to bring economic opportunity and higher standards of living to the world’s poorest through market based approaches, but has yet to make pervasive quality of life changes for the billions living on less than $2 a day (Prahalad, 2009).  That’s what Base of the Pyramid approaches are all about, looking at the $15 Trillion worth of purchasing power of those making less than $2 a day and entrepreneurship as an approach to solving the most pressing development issues that philanthropy alone has not been able to address.

So that’s a little update on what I’ve been working on, but I am SO excited for what 2013 can bring. I hope to highlight sustainably innovative products, local food (especially from the Mitten), new, clean recipes, and fresh ways of being involved and impacting your community and our global neighbors! Cheers to the new year and fresh starts!




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