Today, in light of how very critical our environment is becoming as evidenced by the horrific Australian bushfires that have been burning since last June, I went in search of good people who are doing good things, small and large, for the environment. Not surprisingly, I found some to share with you …
They call him “Forest Man”, but his name is Jadav Payeng. Jadav has planted a tree every single day for 40 years and now this man-made forest that was once a landscape devastated by erosion is bigger than Central Park! Now this incredible forest is home to hundreds of elephants, rhinos, boars, reptiles, and birds. This botanical-enthusiast says he is planning to plant trees until his “last breath”.
“Nature is God. It gives me inspiration. It gives me power … As long as it survives, I survive.”
Mr. Payeng has been featured on a Tedx Talks, and in 2015, he was honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India. Definitely a Good People, yes?
A new grocery store opened in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2016, and people are still, four years later, clamoring to get in.What’s so unique about WeFood? They are selling food that, for one reason or another, is not sellable in other supermarkets. Some of it is over-ripe or blemished produce, some is food that is near its expiry date, and some is just … flawed in some way, like the ketchup bottle in this short video clip …
WeFood was started by a charity organization, DanChurchAid (DCA). WeFood sells surplus food items at a price that is 30–70% lower than the original selling price. The profits are allocated to tackling famine in countries where DCA works including South Sudan, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. WeFood relies exclusively on volunteers to man the registers, stock the shelves, etc. As interest and support for WeFood continues to grow, DCA opened another surplus food store in the city of Aarhus in 2018, where 100 volunteers signed up to support the running of the store.Føtex, one of Denmark’s largest supermarket chains has supported WeFood since the beginning. An agreement between WeFood and Føtex, has encouraged a mutually beneficial collaboration contributing to overall food-waste reduction.
Lots to love about WeFood … volunteers, cutting down on food waste, and profits being used to support anti-poverty initiatives in other parts of the world.
If you’ve been following Filosofa’s Word for any length of time, you know that I am not a fan of the ultra-wealthy. But, I also believe in giving credit where credit is due, and I have highlighted the philanthropy of a few billionaires in the past, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and others. So, while we’re on the subject of the environment and billionaires, I’d like to introduce you to Swiss philanthropist and conservationist Hansjörg Wyss. In October 2018, Mr. Wyss wrote an OpEd for the New York Times titled, We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating $1 Billion. If you have a minute, read his piece … I was impressed and at the same time, could not help but notice the irony in the difference between Mr. Wyss’ view and our own current government’s. I like Mr. Wyss’ much better …
“I have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target. For the sake of all living things, let’s see to it that far more of our planet is protected by the people, for the people and for all time.”
Thumbs up to Mr. Hansjörg Wyss! 👍 👍
And finally, I would like to finish where I began, with the Australian bushfires that have devastated so much of the flora and fauna, possibly having killed as many as 1.25 billion animals. But, some people are stepping up to the plate to help. Right now, for most of us, that help translates into monetary donations, and a few notable people have come onto my radar in that regard.
- Tennis star Serena Williams won her first big championship title in three years and is using her $43,000 prize money to Australian bushfire relief efforts.
- Hollywood star Nicole Kidman and her husband, country singer Keith Urban have donated $500,000.
- Pop Star Pink has donated $500,000
- Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has donated $1 million.
- Numerous other notables have donated undisclosed amounts, including Selena Gomez, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and more.
And, of course, many people are donating what they can afford, be it $10 or $100. The World Wildlife Fund will be helping care for animals now, and helping re-build their habitats after the fires clear. You can even adopt a koala!!! The National Bushfire Recovery Agency also has information on where to donate and how to help out, for any who are interested.
And thus concludes this week’s ‘good people’ post. Remember, my friends, there are ever so many ways in which we can be good people ourselves. Maybe I should have a contest one of these weeks and see how many of us can be good people … what do you think? To me, you’re all good people. Love ‘n hugs!