A month ago, we encouraged our readers to vote for the winner of Nau's annual Grant for Change. Out of 124 nominees who proposed projects that would use design for a humanitarian purpose, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney were selected as the winners. Their project, Truck Farm, is exactly what it sounds like—a 1986 Dodge pickup truck converted to house a traveling farm that boasts heirloom seeds and green-roof technology.

So far, the farm has visited schools around the country to inspire students to create their own urban agriculture projects. The truck's travels are the subject of a documentary that Ellis and Cheney now plan to screen nationwide on a grassroots tour, using the truck as a mobile outdoor movie theater. The grant money will finance the tour, which plans to visit as many schools and urban communities as possible.

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Nau, the sustainable clothing company (read about them more here), kicked off their annual Grant for Change contest this May, and now the polls are open. On July 27, one of 123 nominees will receive a $10,000 grant for a project that uses design for a humanitarian purpose. Vote on the nominee you would like to proceed to the Top Ten anytime between now and July 6 at 5 p.m. PST. You can peruse the full list of nominees on Nau's site. For now, here are three to start off with.

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Submissions: Design an Everyday Solution to an Extraordinary Problem

We recently challenged the GOOD community to come up with an everyday solution to an extraordinary...

We recently challenged the GOOD community to come up with an everyday solution to an extraordinary problem—something simple, brilliant, and easy to implement that could have a big impact. We received a wide range of submissions, including everything from academic papers to infographics to single tweets. See a selection of submissions below. Some of these have been edited for length. The winner of the project gets a $500 gift certificate from Nau clothing. We'll announce the result on April 6, 2010.

From Kyle Williams

Problem: Waste in the form of paper and plastic cups... and forgetting to bring a reusable bottle.

Solution: The Belt Bottle! Never forget your bottle again.

The Belt Bottle is a water bottle with a rigid cap/mouthpiece and a collapsible body. The cap would have cool designs and velcro straps, so you could keep it on your belt and wear it as an accessory (looking similar to a belt buckle, but anywhere on the belt). The body could be a thin but durable plastic bladder that could scrunch up against the lid, or a harder plastic with a construction similar to Tupperware's FlatOut products—collapsing flat.

From Brittany Bowden

A global issue? Sure! Trying to find items in the grocery store...

Rushing through a crowded Whole Foods with a crying newborn is a challenge. A challenge that is greatly intensified when I can't find that one last item on my list.

Why not have a simple type-pad search engine mounted to the handle of your grocery cart? I would type in "tahini" and "isle 4 / 2nd row / near checkout" would appear. Simple!

Particular brands and grocery stores could use this small screen to showcase specials and points of interest while a search is not being preformed. Why not have the information relative to what section you are shopping in?

From Jeff Halsey

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