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School by Boat: Architect Brings Classrooms, and Healthcare, To Flood-Prone Bangladesh

A fleet of solar-powered boats—equipped with classrooms, healthcare, and other services—is helping reach Bangladeshis who are stranded by floods.

Every year, during monsoon season, much of low-lying Bangladesh goes underwater. As climate change causes rising sea levels, the flooding has gotten worse. When the floods come, millions of families are stranded in their homes without clean drinking water, electricity, or access to services like school or healthcare—for months at a time. Now, in some areas, the land is underwater all year long.

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How the U.S. Farm Bill Keeps Food Off West African Plates

Local sourcing of food aid would save $500 million a year and meet the needs of an additional 17 million hungry mouths. It's time for a change.

Married young and a mother at 17, Etta Brahim Senussi tries to enjoy the simple pleasures her children bring to her life in parched Andrabad in northern Chad—even as trouble looms. "When my kids are having fun, when they're not hungry, when they jump left, right, and center, that's the most pleasure I get," she said.

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GOOD Maker Partner: A Vermont Creperie is Taking Local to the Next Level

The Skinny Pancake takes the ethos of individuals who vote conscientiously with their wallets and applies it to a commercial scale.

When Jonny and Benjy Adler started serving their flavorful crepes from a vending cart on the Burlington promenade in 2003, they didn't imagine that the Skinny Pancake would become the social enterprise success story that it is today. The brothers have since opened two brick-and-mortar eateries in their native Vermont and built a loyal following of sweet tooths and epicures alike, all while preserving their secret ingredient: a business model that values the common good over the bottom line.

The Skinny Pancake takes the ethos of individuals who vote conscientiously with their wallets and applies it to a commercial scale. “As a business, our impact is compounded by the volume we purchase. We know we can achieve a great amount of good simply by being deliberate in how allocate our resources,” says Benjy Adler. Every crepe dish on the menu is made using fresh, local and sometimes unconventional ingredients, like rabbit from Fresh Tracks Game and Poultry Farm in West Haven, and yak from Vermont Yak Company in Waitsfield. Because the Skinny Pancake is committed to sourcing its food locally, the company funnels several thousand dollars back into the hands of small, sustainable farms every year, creating an economic ripple effect that extends well beyond their own profit margins.

Every quarter through GOOD Maker, the creperie also offers a $500 grant to an organization promoting sustainable agriculture and the local food movement. Benjy sees it as a natural extension of their community-minded business practices. “Rather than pay for more ad space, we can create a positive impact while still promoting the Skinny Pancake,” he says. Last spring, with a $500 grant, the Hinesburg Community School broke ground on a garden that will supply its cafeteria with fruits and veggies. Another recent winner, the Family Center of Washington County, used their funds to build a short boardwalk with an edible plant garden. And, from now through February 9, the GOOD community is invited to vote for their favorite entry in the Skinny Pancake Community Garden Challenge.

If you’re a small business interested in offering a Challenge through GOOD Maker, drop us a line: maker@goodinc.com. For a look at the latest funding opportunities, visit maker.good.is.

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Organics Have Been Debunked. What Do We Do Now?

Locally grown, organic food used to be the last word in environmental awareness. Not anymore. For one, organics have a negligible carbon impact (though exceptions might exist); eating less red meat is probably the best you can do to lower your carbon footprint. And locally grown food might not be a workable..

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