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Winner of ‘Beat Waste Startup Challenge’ growing

Founded by Parag Gupta, Waste Ventures works in India to incubate solid waste management companies that are owned and operated by waste pickers.  The company provides the tools to environmentally process the waste and in the process enables them to generate a much better living from selling recyclables,  biofertilizer and earn carbon credits.

In 2010 Waste Ventures was the winner of StFF funded ‘Beat Waste Startup Challenge’ and is now becoming an extremely successful company:

Waste Capital Partners, Inc. Completes its Convertible Note Offering

The Impact Enterprise Will Use Proceeds of Oversubscribed Round to Scale Model in India

San Francisco, CA: On August 29th, Waste Capital Partners, Inc. completed its convertible note offering. The round of finance led by the James Lee Sorenson Family Foundation will be primarily invested in its India operating company, Waste Ventures India, to streamline existing projects and dramatically expand the footprint of the Indian company in South India.

Parag Gupta, Founder and CEO of Waste Capital Partners, stated, “We were thrilled to be oversubscribed in commitments by investors. It is validation of both an extremely important issue that touches upon climate change, sanitation, livelihoods, and agriculture as well as the confidence in our company’s potential to profitably solve this challenge.”

Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Foundation, stated, “The James Lee Sorenson Family Foundation is pleased to invest in Waste Capital Partners and its innovative model that cleans up cities in emerging markets while creating much needed compost for farmers.”

Other investors in this round include the Marshall Foundation, the Cordes Foundation, and Impact Assets. The Peery Foundation has also renewed its earlier investment.

About Waste Capital Partners, Inc.: Waste Capital Partners, Inc. environmentally processes waste in emerging markets to form nutrient-rich compost it sells to small farmers. Its efforts currently affect more than 240,000 residents and have been recognized by the United Nations and the Indian State Government of Andhra Pradesh. It is a Village Capital Winner and a Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) ‘Innovation Against Poverty’ Awardee.

Read more here.

The Light House – new design concept for South African shack dwellers

Photo: Giles Ridely, Stephen Lamb

South African shack dwellers need safe temporary homes and StFF beneficiary Touching the Earth Lightly, run by designers Stephen Lamb and Andrew Lord, have ideas on how to provide them.  One of them is the Green Shack project, supported by StFF, the other is The Light House:

 … the Light House is designed with practicality in mind. It has vertical gardens for onsite food security, rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling, options for solar electricity, and flush toilets. Moreover, the first Light House prototype sits on stilts, providing extra space for those with skills to generate income, which makes it more than just a tin shack.

Article by Cooper Nye, AUGUST 12 2014, BDay Live

Read more here.

Sustainability Conference – 30 September 2014

On 30 September 2014, Blue & Green Tomorrow will hold ‘Sustainable September’, a full-day sustainability conference (8am – 6pm) at the Royal Geographic Society.

Blue & Green Tomorrow provides the knowledge needed ‘to make informed choices without prejudice, scaremongering or Greenwash’. On its site you’ll find insights into how to invest responsibly, travel sustainably, shop ethically and use cleaner sources of energy.  The organisations aim is that the world should be as blue and green tomorrow as it was yesterday.

Blue & Green Tomorrow says: 

The sustainability event will be a TEDx-style conference, which will bring together over 20 visionaries and thought leaders to discuss sustainability and solutions to unsustainability, asking how we create a blue and green tomorrow. 

Follow this link for information on speakers (including Ben Goldsmith).


The End of Disposable Plastic Bags in France?

StFF beneficiary, Surfrider Foundation Europe, reports that there is the possibility that a ban of disposable plastic bags in France could start in January 2016.

This news is a big step for the Surfrider campaign against plastic bag and they are delighted, but remain mobilized to ensure that the bill receives parliamentary approval.

Surfrider hopes that this first victory in France will bring Europe a step closer to the introduction of a general ban.

Please find more information in Surfrider’s blog article :




Akaroa Marine Reserve Opened on 8 June 2014

Sunday 8th June, World Oceans Day, was a very appropriate date for the formal opening of the Akaroa Marine Reserve.  Twenty years is a long time to consult, develop, apply and campaign for a marine reserve so it was a very happy day for the Akaroa community to finally see the reserve come into existence.


The Akaroa Marine Reserve is 512ha and covers the south-eastern area of Akaroa Harbour and extends eastwards towards Damons Bay.  The coastal scenery adjacent to the marine reserve is spectacular and the 275m Dan Rogers bluff dominates the landscape.

Banks Peninsula now proudly has two marine reserves.  Pohatu Marine Reserve is 2.25km away and the opportunity for scientific study of the two closely situated marine reserves is unprecedented in New Zealand.    As yet, there are no other marine reserves on the east coast of the South Island.

Hon Dr Nick Smith, the Minister of Conservation, and Hon Amy Adams, MP for Selwyn, officiated at the opening.

Pupils from Akaroa Area School prepared and displayed a colourful banner advocating for more marine reserves.  Bridget White, a pupil from Christchurch’s Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery School, spoke passionately about the need to protect our oceans and to protest about the National-led government’s oil exploration activities off the New Zealand coastline.

Members of the Akaroa Harbour Marine Protection Society, supporters, community representatives and Department of Conservation staff were also in attendance.

In his opening speech, Dr Nick Smith resolved to review the Marine Reserves Act so that it becomes “less clumsy”.  However, any new marine reserve will inevitably require a political will, not just a “revised process”.

Many tributes were paid to the hard-working core of campaigners who didn’t ever give up on their vision of meaningful protection within Akaroa Harbour.

The support from around New Zealand from marine reserve advocates and scientists is very much appreciated.  This hard won reserve would have been impossible otherwise.

StFF congratulates the Akaroa Harbour Marine Protection Society.  Read more here.



World Oceans Day – 8 June 2014

Why celebrate the oceans?

Whether you live on the coast or inland, we are all intimately connected to the oceans.

The organizers of this year’s event are asking people to help spread awareness by taking a Selfie for the Sea.  See latest news.


Changes at the Natural History Museum, London

dippy6This wonderful museum, Winner of Best of the Best in the Museums and Heritage Awards 2013,  has received an amazing donation of £5m towards its redevelopment plans.

British-Australian businessman and philanthropist Sir Michael Hintze has made a donation of £5 million to the Natural History Museum through the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation. It is the largest single donation the Museum has ever received. The renamed Hintze Hall is probably best known as the home to the Diplodocus, Dippy, which was unveiled to the public in 1905.

This redevelopment is the first part of a long-term plan to improve the Museum’s overall visitor experience and to continue to support the research of 300 scientists who work here, much of which impacts on global research into biodiversity and climate change.

A record 5,356,884 visitors came to the Museum in 2013, an increase of 6.7 per cent year on year.

Read more here.




Teens Sue Federal Government for Not Creating Climate Change Action Plan

Nature World News reports that a group of California youth is suing government agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, for failing to develop a plan of action against climate change.

The plaintiffs demand that the federal government immediately devise a climate recovery strategy to avoid 2 degrees C of warming above pre-industrial levels.

Read more here.