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103: Kazi – All Across Africa – Woven Together

Alicia Wallace is the COO of Kazi, a Mindful Business she founded after years of working in emerging economies and seeing the need for job creation at an everyday living wage. Today, Kazi is the largest artisan employer in Africa with nearly 6,000 artisans who support 24,700 dependents. Nearly all the artists are women. Through the process, the artists become self-sufficient businesspeople, improve their economic situation and gain the dignity and sense of accomplishment that comes with it.

The items they create aren’t pieces you’ll find at just any gift shop or farmers’ market! These intricately handwoven items – including bold wall statements, multi-purpose baskets, lighting and more – are designed with fashion, home and color trends in mind, then made from all natural materials and dyes found in Africa and sold here in the US. What were the challenges in entering markets and countries who are so different than one is used to? Alicia talk about it and other challenges on this episode of Mindful Businesses.

https://kazigoods.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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103: Kazi - All Across Africa - Woven Together
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102: Zoro Card – Build Credit With a Debit Card

It is really hard for a young person to their build credit. How does one navigate the complex and opaque credit rating system? We chat in this episode with Roger Morris, Co-Founder and COO of Zoro Card that hopes to help the 100 million Americans with subprime credit build credit with debit cards. Zoro Card began not as a company, but as a cause. Millions of Americans can’t access affordable credit, simply because they have never had credit in the past. Millions more are buried in debt and have no way out. Rather than help, many financial institutions profit off of people’s mistakes with hidden fees and unfair credit practices. Without good credit, everything becomes more expensive—cell phone contracts, loans, insurance rates, security deposits for utilities and rent—even job applications are affected by your credit score.
Their vision is simple, for college grads focused on building prosperous careers rather than paying off student loans, public school teachers and first responders able to afford homes, and soldiers healing from the wounds of war free from the shackles of debt – to offer a solution that’s available to everyone, regardless of their credit history. Roger was so committed to be part of this solution, that he decided to drop out of college to pursue his start-up. Learn more only on Mindful Businesses.
https://zorocard.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Mindful Businesses
Mindful Businesses
102: Zoro Card - Build Credit With a Debit Card
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101: Eden Green Technology – Everyone Deserves Nutritious, Fresh, and Safe Food.

In the United States, 90% of the lettuce is produced and shipped from California to the rest of the country. When we combine the impact of this long journey on the environment, cost and 30% loss in farm produce – makes vertical farms close to consumption a viable alternative. In this episode, we learn from Eddy Badrina, CEO of Eden Green Technology about Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) where plants are grown hydroponically, in greenhouses, and by using all kinds of methodologies to control the growing environment. Eden Green Technology has successfully grown 100 different types of produce in a vertical farm using hydroponics – in a greenhouse. They rely on sunlight that comes through the greenhouse panes as against other vertical farms that need to be artificially lit with LED or other types of light fixtures. This fascinating technology seeks to revolutionize the grocery retail industry by growing what the stores need nearby, thus reducing costs, waste and at the same time delivering fresh produce to the consumer at a reasonable price. By designing sustainable and scalable vertical greenhouse technology, deployable almost anywhere in the world, their vertical farming technology is helping the world sustainably grow large amounts of food to create a healthier and happier existence for all.

https://www.edengreen.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/all-episodes/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
101: Eden Green Technology - Everyone Deserves Nutritious, Fresh, and Safe Food.
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100: Earnin – Your Money When You Want It

Financial insecurity can be expensive, living paycheck to paycheck and with overdraft fees, penalties, higher interest and mortgage rates. Seven out ten households in America live paycheck to paycheck. Ram Palaniappan , founder of Earnin, noticed that one of his employees had to get payday loans to pay her expenses. Though she had worked her hours she got paid only after two weeks and her bills were due now. He decided to advance her salary as soon as she put in the hours. Soon the word got around, and other employees and non-employees reached out to Ram to avail of their earned wage. He realized the inequalities in our society further accentuates the mismatch between when an employee earns and when they get paid. He started Earnin to break down the barriers of an outdated financial system, to build new solutions that work for everyone. Using the time attendance systems already in place, they are able to provide Earned Wage Access – where their users can access the money as they earn it. This helps the users synchronize their income and expenses. They offer these services without any mandatory fees. They charge a nominal $2.99, only in case of instant transfers – which is much lower than the $15 that payday loans charge. I ask Ram – how can such a business model be profitable? To hear his answer, tune in to this weeks episode.

Mentions: Prof. Ananth Iyer, Purdue University
https://www.earnin.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/
#fintech, #financialsecurity, #earnedwage, #mindfulbusinesses, #paydayloans,

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Mindful Businesses
100: Earnin - Your Money When You Want It
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99: Ancient Nutrition – Transforming Health With Superfoods

Today we talk with Jordan Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, who encountered health challenges as a young boy turned towards food to solve his illness. He talks and educates us about what are superfoods and what would be a super plate. Super foods can be fruits, vegetables, plants, spices and even fungi. How is his company different? They practice regenerative farming and believe in the long run the nutritional values and the components in food that is grown using regenerative farming will be higher than even organic. They don’t sell the food that they grow, but convert them into potent supplements. Learn more in this episode of Mindful Businesses.

https://ancientnutrition.com/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
99: Ancient Nutrition - Transforming Health With Superfoods
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98: Ecdysis/Blue Dasher Farms – Thousand Farms Initiative

Today we have on our show the passionate and even maybe maverick Jonathan Lundgren, director and founder of Blue Acre Farms and Ecdysis foundation. The word ecdysis means the process of shedding the old skin and that is what Blue Dasher farms wants to do by operating regenerative farm and scientific research hub designed to help foster a revolution in our food system. Blue Dasher Farm combines cutting edge science with hands on experience to remove barriers to the adoption of regenerative agriculture.
​They believe in a food system that promotes soil health, farm biodiversity, and nutrient dense food – all while benefiting the farmers who grow it. As a researcher who was honored by President Obama, in 2015 as one of the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, Jonathan talks about his time at the USDA and how going against the grain is not easy. But he felt change was urgent and left his job at the USDA to start Ecdysis foundation and Blue Dasher Farms along with several of his research fellows. ​Blue Dasher Farm relies heavily on their ability to show that they can support. They want to take the wind out of the argument “that may work on a research farm, but it would not work on my place.” They are transparent and willing to compare their profitability to other more conventional operations. Although Blue Dasher is a for-profit enterprise, their mission is to help promote the regenerative agriculture movement and strive to be financially solvent while farming in a sustainable way.

https://www.bluedasher.farm/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/
Our sponsor:
https://www.silverspungoods.com/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
98: Ecdysis/Blue Dasher Farms - Thousand Farms Initiative
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97: Re-Air: Ceres Greenhouse Solutions – Designing for a Better Future

With Spring just around the corner, we decided to re-air this episode where Marc Plinke talks about how to build an ideal greenhouse.
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We have on our show Marc Plinke, founder/CEO, and Miriam Schaffer Marketing and Communications Specialist of Ceres Greenhouse Solutions. Inspired by the Roman Goddess of Agriculture, Ceres is a company devoted to growing plants. Their core team consists of engineers, architects, builders, plant experts, designers, and tinkerers. Founded in 2011, Ceres Greenhouse Solutions aims to reinvent the traditional greenhouse. They combine passive solar design principles with innovative heat-storage techniques to create the most energy-efficient and durable greenhouses for any climate in the world. The result is a smarter, ‘greener’ greenhouse design: one that regulates its own temperature, can grow year-round, withstands the harshest weather, and uses little to no fossil fuel energy.

Ceres greenhouse solutions can be found around the world, in climates as far-ranging as Alaska to South Africa for backyard gardeners, sustainable farmers, school administrators, and big industrial growers. Listen to Marc Plinke and Miriam Shaffer on Mindful Businesses.

https://ceresgs.com/

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Mindful Businesses
97: Re-Air: Ceres Greenhouse Solutions - Designing for a Better Future
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96: Re-Air: Geoship – Regenerative Architecture

“Out beyond ideas of right angles and hard lines, there’s a bioceramic dome. A place where nature, community, and healing come full circle. We’ll meet you there.” – Morgan Bierschenk, founder and CEO of Geoship, a homebuilding cooperative, owned by the people. Bioceramic domes combine the geometry/math of Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller with the material science of Rustum (Rusty) Roy – Geoship’s Founding Fathers. Bucky was a legendary American polymath and future architect. He invented Synergetic Mathematics and introduced the geodesic dome into mass awareness. Rusty was a legendary professor of material science with a focus on crystal chemistry. Morgan is knowledgeable and visionary in how regenerative architecture can be used to build living environments that reconnect human communities with the natural world. Geoship domes are built with all-ceramic composite panels, struts, and hubs. The lightweight ceramic parts are fused together on-site with ceramic mortar. The dome is repaired and resurfaced with the same highly crystalline ceramic material. Learn more by listening to our episode.

https://geoship.is/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
96: Re-Air: Geoship - Regenerative Architecture
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95: Center for Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics (CUWP) – Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics

We talk with Dr. George Huber, Richard Antoine Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and the director of Center for Upcycling Waste Plastics (CUWP) about his research in recycling plastics. His technology offers a solution to filtrate the polymer from different plastics by applying solvents solvents. Though multi-layer plastics are more complicated his technology, solvent-targeted recovery and precipitation (STRAP), is able to use thermodynamics and solvents to disintegrate them into their constituent resins. It’s a fascinating process – the key is to capture 99% of the polymer and make sure nothing is release into the atmosphere. With consumption of plastics showing no signs of abating, it is crucial to recycle efficiently to reduce the consumption of new plastics. CUWP consists of six universities, over ten industrial partners, one national laboratory, and one industry association. They also share with scientists, engineers, policy makers, business leaders, and the general public to help them make informed decisions about the costs and benefits of new technologies for plastic recycling. Learn all this and more from Dr. George Huber.

https://cuwp.org/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

Art by Xin Zou, University of Wisconsin-Madison for Hochan Chang, Min Soo Kim, George W Huber, James A Dumesic, Design of closed-loop recycling production of a Diels Alder polymer from a biomass-derived difuran as a functional additive for polyurethanes, Green Chemistry (2021) 23, 9479-9488.

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
95: Center for Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics (CUWP) - Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics
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94: The Glad Products Company – ​​Doing More to Waste Less

In this episode we talk with Eric Schwarz, General Manager of The Glad Products Company. He talks about Glad’s commitment to reducing our environmental footprint, and helping consumers with their own green goals. Their sustainability journey focuses on 4 key areas: Products, Production, Packaging and Programs.
Products with less plastic – Glad has developed breakthrough technology that enables their most popular product, the drawstring kitchen trash bags to use less plastic than leading competition without sacrificing strength. They have to reduce 50% of virgin materials in Glad Trash by 2030 and have reduced it by 13% as of CY2020. Production with less pollution – they are improving manufacturing processes to reduce environmental impact. They have achieved the goal of Zero Waste to Landfill manufacturing for North American plants and utilize 100% renewable electricity in our North American plants. Packaging with less waste – reduce its environmental impact with the goal of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable. They have achieved in making their packing 99% recyclable and have a 48% reduction in virgin packaging as of CY2020. Programs with more purpose – Glad teamed up with Recyclops to improve curbside recycling access across the U.S. Learn more in this episode.

https://www.glad.com/sustainability/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Packaging
Packaging
94: The Glad Products Company - ​​Doing More to Waste Less
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