Companies Doing Good By Being Good

I think one of the biggest questions we ask ourselves when we hear about sad stories is "what can I do to help?" More often than not, the answer is usually giving money to an obscure company with a phone number to call. Honestly, sometimes giving money without getting something that will directly benefit you in return is difficult, I understand. You work hard for your money and giving it away just doesn't seem practical or logical. If donating to a cause was easy, then we wouldn't have the social issues we have today. I'm not saying that helping a cause is about what one gets in return from donating, but the fact that I've still heard people say "no" when asked to donate a few cents to cancer research at the grocery store checkout line says quite a bit about how society feels about donating money. There are companies that provide the best of both worlds: helping a cause and getting something beneficial in return. These are just some companies that are doing good for society by being good.

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1. Girlfriend Collective: See the water bottles in the picture? How many of you actually recycle those properly? How many of you keep the water bottles and take them to a recycling center? Water bottles are just one of the things that are terrible for the environment. But what if we could reinvent water bottles into something we can wear? Do you love leggings? Check out Girlfriend collective! This company makes their leggings out of water bottles.

2. Tretap is a Vermont based company utilizing naturally filtered water and satisfying the demand for healthier beverage options. One gallon of maple syrup comes from 40 gallons of sap, much of which is water. Tretap uses this water, that is naturally filtered by maple trees, and creates a low-calorie, low-sugar bubbly drink. They have four flavors: maple, cranberry, blueberry and cucumber.The best part about this source of water is that it does not take away from other water sources like glaciers or springs.

3. Regrained is a company making use of the leftover barley from creating beer. The creators of this company, Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz, were home-brewers in San Francisco who noticed that for 5 gallons of beer, there were 15 pounds of spent barley. After taste-testing the barley they realized it tasted like oatmeal and decided to try baking with it. In result, they turned the barley into granola-like bars: Honey Almond IPA and Chocolate Coffee Stout.

                                                                                                                  Photo courtesy of Sarina Soto

4. Commonbond is a company that's bringing some pretty awesome aspects into the student lending system. Commonbond has MBA student loans, Undergraduate student loans, and Graduate students loans. They aim to lower the cost of higher education and shift America’s borrowing culture. Commonbond provides a platform for students and graduates to connect with alumni investors and accomplished professionals. Students have access to lower, fixed-rate financing and can save thousands of dollars with repayment. In addition, Commonbond has an amazing social promise: for every loan they fund, they fund the education of a child in need.

5. Smile Squared is a company doing fun things with toothbrushes. They donate a toothbrush to those in need for every brush purchased. This company produces all of its products in the U.S. In addiion, many of their toothbrushes are made from eco-friendly bamboo. The toothbrushes are distributed in over 20 countries as well as all 50 states. Eco-friendly, U.S. based, and giving to those in need: how could this company not make you smile?

6. For awhile, sustainable fashion was only one of the two words in the name: sustainable. Now, sustainable fashion is fashionable as well as sustainable! Osborn is a company founded by the husband and wife duo, Carla Venticinque-Osborn and Aaron Osborn. They make stylish shoes that can be bought online! All their shoes are handmade in Guatemala using fabrics sourced from thrift stores and traditional materials found in Latin America. So not only does this company make cute shoes, but they also hep stimulate the economy in Guatemala and other businesses in Latin America. Try checking their website out the next time you feel like going on an online shopping spree.

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7. Fruitcycle is a company centered around second chances. The founder, Elizabeth Bennett, decided to make use of apples that end up on orchard floors. Sometimes when apples are ripe they fall to the floor and more often than not, people don't pick them up because they're bruised or misshapened. In result, those perfectly good apples just waste away. Yet we have a world hunger prolem. So instead of allowing those apples to go to waste, Bennett decided to create Fruitcycle. This company buys discounted apples from local farmers and turns them into apple crisps. Fruitcycle also employs women who were previously incarcerated or homeless. This company truly deserves more attention, the second chances Elizabeth Bennett provides are worth supporting!

8. How many times have you stayed at a hotel and they have cute little bars of soap? How many of you actually use the soap? Hotels throw away millions of soap bars every day; this is only in the United States. But what about places like Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, and even back to communities in need in the United States, that need soap? The Global Soap Project has taken these soaps and now over two million recycled soap bars have been distributed to 32 countries that are in need. Now people in those countries can fight illnesses by staying clean.

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