The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

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The Cathedral Within

Bill Shore’s book The Cathedral Within affected me profoundly. It described…..”a new movement of citizens who are tapping the vast resources of the private sector to improve public life.” In 1999, when it was released, you felt like you had only two choices: to make money in the private sector or do good working in the public sector. The Cathedral Within proposed a new model and showed, through the stories of innovative entrepreneurs, how it was possible to combine both.

Much has changed since then. More options are available to those of us who want to make a good living and make a positive impact in our communities. Here are a few.

Benefit Corporations, a type of for profit corporate entity, authorized by 35 states and the District of Columbia, that includes a positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals, in that the definition of “best interest of the corporation” is specified to include those impacts. The first benefit corporation was authorized in Maryland in 2010.

B Corporation: B-Lab is a certifying organization that “creates standards, policies, tools, and programs that shift the behavior, culture, and structural underpinnings of capitalism. We mobilize the B Corp community towards collective action to address society’s most critical challenges.

They are working to build the “B Corp movement to change our economic system — and to do so, we must change the rules of the game. B Lab creates standards, policies, tools, and programs that shift the behavior, culture, and structural underpinnings of capitalism. We mobilize the B Corp community towards collective action to address society’s most critical challenges.

Fair Trade: The concept of fair trade has been around since the 1940’s. It started with hand-made crafts and has grown over these many years to include, not just the coffee and chocolate many of us know about, but products for our homes, gardens, pets and personal care.

Fair Trade certification requires passing regular, rigorous evaluations by third-party auditors that track transactions along the supply chain between more than 1,200 companies and nearly 500 producer organizations.

Becoming Fair Trade certified opens up new markets for businesses so their products compete in international markets. 

“Certified entities can sell their products with the Fair Trade Certified label or seal. In addition, a percentage of the profits, called the Fair Trade Premium, goes back to the producers, farmers, and workers to promote sustainable incomes and safe working conditions. For consumers, the label or seal provides assurance that the products meet Fair Trade’s exacting standards and requirements.”

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Fighting Terrorism With Jobs

In a Nigerian hotbed of terrorist activity, entrepreneur Kola Masha founded Babban Gona to bring jobs and stability to his home country.

The north of Nigeria is the hotbed of terrorist activities owing to the operation of Boko Haram and other bandits. Also, the Niger Delta area is another hotbed for homegrown insurgents. There are various reports about how economic factors drive disaffected people into radical groups….For Masha, the only way to make Nigeria secure again is to cut off the oxygen to radical groups: no jobs, no wages, and inability to feed one’s family.

To learn more about Babban Gona, about its impact in the region or if you want to help, please stop by their website.

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Fairphone Focused on Sustainability

Fairphone Teardown

Kudos to Fairphone!

With customers on average upgrading their phones every 2.7 years and less than 5% of materials available for reuse, phones create a monumental amount of e-waste.

That’s the issue Fairphone is trying to tackle. The manufacturer is focused on sustainability, relying on fair-trade sourcing and fair labor practices, and using recycled materials in its phones and modular components that can be easily switched out. The Fairphone 3 showcased this to great effect earlier this year, and now Fairphone is rolling out a new variant dubbed the Fairphone 3+ with exciting upgrades.

To learn more about Fairphone and where you can purchase the Fairphone 3 stop by their website. (Available only in Europe)

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Here are a couple of interesting blurbs about food you may want to share:

Who knew?

…new evidence suggests that if you eat enough spinach, it’s basically like taking steroids.

It sounds crazy, but it’s backed by the results of a scientific study led by a team of researchers from the Institute of Pharmacy at Freie Universität Berlin, with support from the World Anti-Doping Agency (who put together the banned substances list of record).

For ten weeks, 46 men were given either a placebo or a capsule of ecdysterone that was equal to consuming about 8.8 pounds of raw spinach in a day. By the end of the program, the spinach-related #Gainz were readily apparent. The study’s abstract mentions that “significantly higher increases in muscle mass were observed in those participants that were dosed with ecdysterone.” Specifically, it seems that high doses of spinach can help you up your benching max, as “significantly more pronounced increases in one-repetition bench press performance were observed” in the ecdysterone group.

Guinness to make your Holiday happier this year:

In a recent discussion with the Press Association, Aidan Crowe—director of operations at Guinness’s St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin, Ireland—said that, among multiple outlets for excess kegs of its famed stout, a good chunk of the beer should still make someone’s holiday happy—even if they aren’t able to actually drink it.

The Guinness Storehouse Set For A Record-Breaking


When bars shut [due to COVID 19], Guinness offered to recollect unused kegs from pub owners. From there, Crowe explained, “Basically, what we do is we take all the keg beer back, and we decant it, and we disperse the product through a number of environmentally sustainable routes. The vast majority of the beer goes to willow and Christmas tree plantations; it’s used as nutrients in those farms.”

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Earn money every time a brand or platform uses your data

If you feel you should be paid for the use of your data, this article in Newsfile might be of interest to you:

New York, New York–(Newsfile Corp. – July 21, 2020) – Killi Ltd. (TSXV: MYID), a global leader in consumer privacy, announces that its Founder and CEO, Neil Sweeney, was featured in Forbes magazine to discuss the Company’s Fair-Trade DataTM program. The article highlights how the Fair-Trade DataTM program redistributes wealth via the Company’s Data DividendsTM and allows consumers to see what personal data is being bought and by whom.

Article Highlights: “Killi’s fair-trade data program runs off the back of the data dividend concept referenced by California Governor Gavin Newsom, which proposes California residents be paid a ‘dividend’ for the use of their data. Similar to former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income concept, which pays users for the use of their data, every time a brand or platform uses the user data shared with Killi, those users will be compensated. Unlike Gov. Newsom and Yang’s proposals, which lack a mechanism for delivery, Killi’s product is currently live and paying users weekly while providing a full transparency report that outlines what data was purchased and by whom.

To learn more about Killi’s Data DividendTM and more extensive Fair-Trade DataTM program, please visit

Download Killi here.

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Shop Fair Trade For All Your Cooking and Baking Needs


Fair Trade USA has a convenient list of companies that carry fair trade products for all your cooking and baking needs. Visit their site whenever you need to stock your pantry with staples like herbs, spices sugar and more.

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A cooperative for the 21st Century

This post is focused on a segment of a more far ranging article in DieM25 regarding the platform economy and unionization in the European Union. We focus on how, in Germany, a group of food delivery riders set up the Kolyma2 collective that has been able to successfully operate on a local level with the use of Coopycyle, an open source software platform that helped them go from 60 orders on a weekend to 80 orders a day.

Alexandre Segura, who goes by the moniker Mex, thought that…

cooperatives belonged in the 19th century, as he vaguely remembered some socialist writings by thinkers like Charles Fourier or Robert Owen. However, he suddenly realized that the concept makes perfect sense in the modern world.

The idea arose that he could develop an app that belonged to delivery riders and that it could act as the “factory” they commonly own. Riders could run the platform on a local scale without global structures involved. “Technology is not everything, for sure”, he adds, “but you need to have an app and a functional website to compete.”

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Fair Trade, Carbon Neutral Rum – Woohoo!!

Not to sound like a total ad for this rum, but their dedication to the environment, their workers and community is pretty impressive:

In 2017, Flor de Caña became Fair Trade certified (by U.S.-based organization Fair Trade USA), assuring consumers that the rum is sustainably produced in compliance with over 300 rigorous labour, social and environmental standards. Further raising the bar on sustainability for the global spirits industry, in April 2020 Flor de Caña became carbon neutral certified (by U.K.-based organization Carbon Trust), after demonstrating the brand offsets all carbon emissions during the entire production process of the rum, from field to bottle

Flor de Caña rums are aged naturally, for up to 30 years, at the base of the San Cristóbal volcano

With the environment contributing so much to the quality of the distillery’s line-up of premium rums, the company has been implementing a series sustainable practices for a while. Since 2005, in an effort to protect wildlife and water resources, the company has planted 50,000 trees every year in the region surrounding the distillery. For more than a decade, it has distilled its rums using 100% renewable energy generated from biomass, eliminating its dependency on fossil fuels. It also captures and recycles all CO2 emissions generated during the fermentation process, which are then sold to breweries and soft drinks industries in the region.

Flor de Caña’s efforts to lead the way as a sustainable brand go beyond its care for the environment, it also includes its employees and the community. Since 1913, Flor de Caña has offered free education to the children of employees at the company school, and since 1958, the brand has provided free healthcare to employees and their families at the company hospital.

Flor de Caña has also been the main donor of APROQUEN for almost 30 years, a non-profit that has provided over 600,000 free medical services to children suffering from burns or from cleft lip and palate, and for more than 15 years the brand has proudly supported the non-profit American Nicaraguan Foundation in working to alleviate poverty in Nicaragua through various social programs.

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The Importance of a Healthy Gut

In his blog “Turning the Tide” Dr. David Glass discusses pre-biotics, probiotics and most recently – postbiotics.

Post-biotics are metabolites of the bacteria in the intestine that have beneficial activities on the body.  These include short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as propionate, butyrate and acetate (vinegar).  I remember learning about these substances way back in physiology class in 2nd year medicine, but in those days their role in health was relatively unknown.  We will discuss these in more detail.  Here is a scientific report of research showing the benefits of a high fibre diet in managing viral infections, and particularly suppressing the cytokine storm – one of the really dangerous consequences of Covid-19 infections.

This is particularly relevant in our Covid-19 pandemic, as a healthy gut means a better immune system to protect you against the ravages of this frightening disease.

Up to 97% of Americans, and most probably most Westernised societies, are starved of fibre.  This is the greatest nutritional deficiency in our modern age.  Recommended daily fibre intake for women is 25 gms, and for men 38 gms.  Note that no animal product has dietary fibre.  There is no fibre in red meat, or white meat, or dairy products or eggs.  (This is one of the big problems with a Banting or ketogenic diet).  Most processed foods have had fibre removed.  Thus white bread and pastries have very little fibre.

Dr. Glass suggests his readers…

…make sure you are increasing the diversity of your gut microbiome by ingesting a wide variety of plants and their fibres to boost your immunity.

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Buru Island Fishermen Profit from Small Scale Fishing Through Fair Trade

For all you sushi lovers out there concerned about the issue of overfishing, you’ll be happy to learn about how Anova Food, LLC, (who leads the industry in global sourcing of wild caught and sustainably harvested tuna) was able to work with local fishermen and processors in Indonesia to insure sustainable fishing practices.

An article in the June 8th issue of the Jakarta Post highlights how Buru Island fishermen are able to profit from the hand-line, single-hook method of fishing, preserve the environment for future generations and set an example for other small scale fisheries in Indonesia.

“At least nine fishing communities made up of 123 fishermen…have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and its eco-label trademark, making them the first small-scale fisheries in Indonesia to receive the global recognition and the second-ever recipients in the country.”

This fair trade partnership was:

…the result of ongoing efforts initiated in 2012 by North America’s leading sushi-quality tuna company Anova, local processor Harta Samudra and the Indonesian Fisheries and Community Foundation (MDPI), which focuses on sustainable fisheries. They assisted Buru Island fishermen in getting Fair Trade certification in 2014 and forming Fair Trade Fishing associations, paving the way for the fishermen to attain the MSC certificate.