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civic initiatives

An organization came up with ideas for a more inclusive France

in Sustainable development by
Garde manger 1

From the simple donation box to the more elaborate common pantry idea, this organization is bound to better the lives of its fellow citizens. Their organization whose name is ‘On a Pensé à Un Truc‘ which translates as “They came up with something” thinks outside the box and comes forward with innovative social projects. Read more

The most ecological school in the world is in Indonesia

in Sustainable development by

This school in Bali has been recognized as a world reference. With a passionate community of teachers, learning takes place in an unusual environment.

Read more

Neighbourhood Exchange Box: Creating links for happy citizens in Switzerland

in Collaborative Economy by
boite echange en

He always liked to transform the cities and allow the meeting between the inhabitants to make them happy. Geneva’s Dan Acher presented an original idea; The Neighbourhood Exchange Box. Read more

The revival of urban agriculture in Detroit, Michigan

in Agriculture by
detroit 1

Detroit, symbol of the success of the auto industry and the American dream, was officially declared bankrupt in 2013, crushed by $ 18.5 billion in debt. But the inhabitants have decided to take their destiny in their hands and today propose a sustainable urban agriculture. Read more

Positive Energy Territories take off in France

in Sustainable development by

They are sailing into the wind in France. These more sober and cleaner models of development are territories with positive energy for a green growth. It is an integral plan that oscillates around six axes with concrete projects for a smooth energy and ecological transition. Currently, 442 communities have been involved in this process. Read more

Recycled soaps: Bubbles saving millions of life

in Change by

Hand washing with soap may seem as a common simple everyday act. Yet, it remains one of the most neglected life-saving practices in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. Every year, more than 3 million children die from communicable diseases that can be prevented by improving hygiene and access to soap. The recycling of soaps, especially hotel soaps, has been hence launched as a worldwide project to save lives.


Hand washing with soap is one of the most effective and inexpensive means to prevent infections. Nevertheless, it remains a luxury for many people in various African and Asian countries as well as for refugees and victims of natural disasters. Studies have proven that the use of soap is more effective than vaccines or medications alone to prevent deaths in children related to diarrhea or other infections.

The recycling project was launched by Derreck Kayongo, a refugee born in Uganda and who travelled to the United States where he finally settled. On the first day of his stay at a hotel, he was surprised to notice that a wide array of various types of soaps was offered per guest. He was even more shocked when he noticed that these soaps were replaced every day. He wondered what happened to these partially used soaps and understood that they were simply thrown away. As a matter of fact, more than 2 million bars of soap are thrown away daily in the American hotels.

Having been a refugee in Kenya and having survived harsh experiences as part of a poor community not having access to a single bar of soap triggered in him a feeling of revolt against such blatant waste. With his wife, Derreck Kayonga created the Global Soap Project; it became a life-changing and life-saving initiative for millions of children in poor regions. The project consists of bridging hotels and vulnerable people across the world. The founder stated that:

So many people suffer from illnesses just because they cannot wash their hands with soap


Hotels like Hilton and Intercontinental have allied forces with Global Soap Project. In total, more than 500 hotels in the United States have joined the programme. Hotel staff collects the partially used soaps left in rooms and they are subsequently sent to treatment plants where they are sorted out, treated, sterilized and melted again. The only cost that hotels have to incur is transport from the establishment to the treatment plant.

The recycled soaps come out as new ones and dispatched to Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They are distributed freely during medical visits or during sensitization campaigns.

In the light of its success, Global Soap Project has expanded its activities to Europe where hotels have shown keenness to ally forces with the organization to save lives. Up to now, more than 2 millions bars of soap have been distributed over 32 countries.

The other large scale recycler of hotel soaps is Clean the World Foundation. The latter distributes hygiene products to people in the United States and developing countries through collaboration with NGOs.  The foundation shares the same vision as Global Soap Project: “turning trash into treasure”. The recycling of soap largely reduces solid waste as well. Apart from soap, the foundation encourages hotels to recycle the plastic products as well. Lately, Clean the World Foundation and Global Soap Project have been working in close collaboration to maximize their impact.

EcoHelmet: An ecological and foldable helmet for cyclists

in Innovation by

Cyclists and motorcyclists wearing helmets sometimes find it difficult to carry it with them. Such was the case for America’s Isis Shiffer who decided to invent an ecological helmet known as EcoHelmet. Read more

Blacksmith: a handcrafted sustainable coffee

in Sustainable development by
David Buehrer

There is neither aroma nor artificial additives in this Texan coffee. The cups are recycled or composted as well as the coffee beans and food waste are distributed to local farmers … More than just serving coffee, Blacksmith pays an undivided attention to the triple bottom-line; profit, people and planet. Read more

Iceland: A student invents a 100% biodegradable bottle

in Innovation by

If we take the trouble to go further than the simple prototype, this is undoubtedly a good news for the planet. An Icelander has presented an invention at a design festival in March 2016. The bottle is completely biodegradable and loses its strength when it is empty. Read more

Green lanes in Montreal provide free food to inhabitants

in Environment by
Eco Quartiers Montreal

In Montreal, Quebec, volunteers are working towards edible streets. Now, residents can consume fruits and vegetables freely that grow almost in front of their doors. Read more

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