Friday, October 2, 2009

The Do Gooders List

Today I am starting a new monthly post. On the first Friday of each month I will tell you about a few companies, big and small, new and old, that are making an effort to do good things for the environment or the community. Send me an email if you know of a company you’d like me to mention.

Now, on to today’s Do Gooders:

1. Toms Shoes: Started by Blake Mycoskie after befriending children while visiting Argentina and realizing they had no shoes, Toms Shoes donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Shoe drops have happened all across the world, including here in the U.S. They make three basic styles now, in multiple colors, patters, and fabrics, for men, women and children. You can purchase them online or at many stores across the country. There are also several ways you can get involved if you’re interested in doing more than just purchasing a pair of shoes.

2. The Bolder Mat Company: This one is for all the yoga and pilates fans. Send your old yoga mat to The Bolder Mat Company and they will clean and refurbish it before donating to a yoga inspired charity across the country. There are organizations that teach at risk populations the benefits of yoga and your mat will help support their cause. You pay the cost of shipping, but they’ll send you a $5.00 coupon off your next purchase from their website.

3. Nugaard Designs: Two friends, Alessandra Feio and Erica Pacey, founded this independent jewelry company. Their beautiful designs are inspired by the natural beauty of their native Brazil and they work to be ‘eco-conscious’ in all aspects of their business. They use natural Brazilian materials such as golden grass, real leaves from exotic trees, and “Olho de Boi” seeds from Jatoba trees. In addition to the green practices they follow in their offices, production, and business travel, they also work with Trees for the Future to plant a tree in Brazil for every piece purchased from their FLORA collection.

4. Habana Outpost: This trendy hub in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn is the sister restaurant of the celebrity filled Soho Cuban restaurant, CafĂ© Habana. The Brooklyn location is (according to their website) NYC’s first eco-eatery. A few of their green initiatives include: solar panels for electricity, the use of 100% biodegradable plates, 100% compostable cups and cutlery, a compost & recycle station, a human powered bike blender (you’ll appreciate your drink even more after you’ve peddled for it!), and a rainwater collection system that provides water for the toilets and garden. They also work with local community groups and have created Habana Works Inc., which provides free programs for the community that show how we can help our planet. The food isn’t too bad either!

5. New York Road Runners Foundation (NYRRF): Created in 1998 by the New York Road Runners, the foundation’s mission is to create running-based programs that promote children’s physical fitness, character development and personal achievement in under-served communities. There are now programs in over 250 schools and community centers, servicing 50,000 children across America and in South Africa. The foundation provides children with a strong understanding of how to live a healthy and productive life while teaching them valuable social skills. Their work is essential in combating the childhood obesity epidemic while boosting children’s self-esteem. The work of the foundation relies on monetary donations by individuals and corporations as well as time and talent of volunteers. Team For Kids is a running team that raises funds for the foundation while training and running in half and full marathons. Since 2002, TFK has raised more the $12 million to support the cause.

Have a great weekend!

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