Posts with term Tom-Blog X

Sustainable Funding for Private Green Businesses

Financing tends to be on the top of the list of hurdles for sustainable companies looking to scale. A business does not survive on a mission alone, and in order to generate profits and revenue, it needs capital to operate. But for sustainable enterprises setting out to meet the triple bottle line (“Planet, People, Profit”) while minimizing impacts, attracting and raising funding can be a particularly challenging task.

Why I Turned Down $1 Million From Investors

Financing tends to be at the top of the list of hurdles for entrepreneurs setting out to start their small business. But, when I started TerraCycle as a college freshman at Princeton University, our original business model of vermicomposting (converting garbage into worm poop fertilizer) came to me only after the Entrepreneurship Club's annual Business Plan Competition caught my attention with a grand prize of $5,000.

Cleaning up coffee culture

We meet for it, offer it, pick it up and put on pots of it: whether you drink it or not, coffee culture is a real thing. A coffee-drinking consumer today has their choice of café (Internet to Cat [yes, the pet]), style (espresso, americano, cold brew, to name a few) and easy ways to obtain their brew of choice at home and on the go. Even those who prefer tea, hot chocolate or cider can agree that the market for hot beverages is one that offers convenience and quality, just the way they like it. But as it is with many products that are fast and convenient, the trade-off is often a lack of sustainability along the supply chain. This can include diminished equity for producers and negative environmental impacts. Thus, the International Coffee Organization created International Coffee Day. Recognized on September 29 in the United States (the world’s second-largest importer of coffee beans), the event is a way to acknowledge that something as ubiquitous as coffee has varying degrees of sustainability. Being aware of these can help us make better choices.

The Positive Impact of Environmental “Gamification”

Getting people excited about environmental issues can take a bit of strategy. Natural resource depletion, global warming, landfill waste and water contamination are topics that can be intimidating when presented to the average consumer, especially for the demographic we most hope to reach: young people and future stewards. With so much on the line for establishing sustainable infrastructures for future generations, it is important that we find ways to engage youth and make motivations for environmentalism positive and fun.

The "Three R's" of Back-to-School

For some recycling ideas, TerraCycle has a variety of recycling programs for common school supply waste streams. Empty pens and markers, for example, can be recycled through the Writing Instrument Recycling Program. In partnership with Newell Brands (makers of Sharpie, Papermate, Uniball), TerraCycle can collect any brand of common writing instrument and recycle them into new products, like park benches and playgrounds for schools.