I've talked previously about Gearin’ Up Bicycles, an early-stage nonprofit in which I’m a board member. It’s a phenomenal organization that combines a passion for bicycling and sustainable transportation with a desire to help those in need at the grassroots level: in this case, underserved and at-risk youth in Washington D.C. (scalable to other cities).
Gearin’ Up is gaining traction and support by generous individuals and organizations including Silicon Valley stalwart Salesforce.com via its philanthropic arm, Salesforce Foundation, and nonprofits such as Bikes for the World.
As a GenXer, I’ve been inspired and motivated by the founders: Millennials, social entrepreneurs, and athletes (bicycling, running, swimming) including our energetic leader (yes, she bicycled across the country) and chief bicycling officer (aka executive director/CEO), Katie Lupo.
So, if our mission resonates with you or your organization, then please message me, Katie, or Gearin' Up Bicycles (info@GearinUpBicycles.org) directly to discuss how you can get involved (volunteer/outreach, board/committee member, donor). You can also follow Gearin' Up on Facebook.
And, if our mission about advocating a healthy sustainable lifestyle via bicycling and helping underserved and at-risk youth doesn't align with your values – then contact us anyway and we can provide guidance on how you, too, can make a difference as a social entrepreneur (spoiler alert, to quote Nike: Just Do It! ).
Large scale solar energy projects heated-up in 2013.
According to EcoWatch’s recent blog and Mercom Capital Group’s white paper titled 2013 Fourth Quarter and Annual Solar Funding and M&A Executive Summary, dollar amounts of projects financed increased from $8.7 billion in 2012 to $13.6 billion in 2013, representing a 56% increase year-over-year.
Below is a chart provided by Mercom Capital Group:
And, if you are wanting a little something to show your solar energy enthusiasm, below is a creative product offered by the T-shirt Guy (and, no, we are not getting paid in any way by sharing this link):
Coventry League embraces bicycling as a healthy, sustainable form of transportation, so reading about bicycles’ outselling new cars in practically every European country is encouraging. Small Business Labs wrote a blog today referencing the article at NPR titled In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars.
Small Business Labs also provide some additional statistics and perspectives. For example, it mentioned that even in the U.S. bicycle outsold cars (18 million versus 14.3 million, respectively). Also, last October Coventry League highlighted the Top 20 Bicycle Friendly Cities globally (Portland was ranked #1 in the U.S. and Amsterdam in the Netherlands was the overall #1 city).
Who doesn't want to strive to be a bit more sustainable nowadays? Some of the most respectable companies that have growth and profitability as goals also factor in externalities (costs on society) and the quality of life (note, this is not synonymous with ‘standard of living’) for employees and stakeholders to achieve said growth and profits. Patagonia (an interview with the founder, Yvon Chouinard) and WL Gore (maker of Gore-Tex fabric) are just two companies that are role models for others.
On a more personal level, citizens can put in place legislators who will put forth progressive policies to help achieve better outcomes for their respective communities. I particularly like to reference the policies instituted in Copenhagen, Denmark regarding bicycling (virtually eliminated vehicle street parking; imposed meaningful taxes on purchase and ownership of cars; relatively expensive gasoline; bike tracks separated by physical barriers – not simply painted lines and sharrows; etc.). Also, individuals may choose to be the change they want to see; for examples, bike to work or to do local errands, plant a garden, eat more foods that require less resources to generate, and – well, as the infographic below illustrates – learn how to compost.
Blogentaries are part original content and part commentary by Coventry League about sustainable business, structured finance, and M&A. Actionable ideas are often presented indirectly and subtly, like a puzzle!
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