April 27, 2016
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Winners of Samsung Mobile App Academy join professional developers at the company’s annual conference in San Francisco

Student developers will stand alongside professionals at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco today. The students, chosen from the five winners of the 2015 Samsung Mobile App Academy, made apps to address issues in their local communities. Winning apps include an interactive pill chart to incentivize children with serious illness to take their medication, a system for diagnosing pulmonary illnesses and a game to teach kids coding.

A summer program held at universities across the country, Samsung Mobile App Academy offers students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to learn coding from actual developers and create a marketable app of their own. The goal is to help the students develop the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills critical to careers in the digital age. Participants are asked to focus their apps in one of four categories: health, education, environment and community investment/sustainability.

The five winners of the 2015 Samsung Mobile App Academy will be announced at the conference. They are:

  1. Emily Waite, a senior at Franklin High School in Franklin, Mass., won the Grand Prize, including a $20,000 scholarship, for her app Med Kid, which helps children who are seriously ill take their medications accurately.
  2. Maya Varma, a senior at Presentation High School in San Jose, Calif., won Second Prize, including a $10,000 scholarship, for her app iBreathe, which helps diagnose early five prevalent pulmonary illnesses.
  3. Quymbee Chen, a senior at Bronx High School of Science in Bronx, NY, won Third Prize, including a $5,000 scholarship, for her app Code Clash, a game for kids to learn code.
  4. Gayathri Sridhar, senior at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, Calif., won Fourth Prize, including a $1,000 scholarship, for her app Forte, which helps teens cope with depression.
  5. Noa Schwartz, a senior at Brookline High School in Brookline, Mass., won Fifth Prize, including a $500 scholarship, for her app Connexercise, designed to reinvent the workout experience.

In the Zone at the Conference

Grand Prize winner Emily Waite and Third Prize winner Quymbee Chen will present their apps to attendees at the third annual Samsung Developer Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on April 27 and 28. This year’s conference focuses on the Internet of Things, the interoperability between devices and applications, and virtual reality. Samsung Mobile App Academy winners will be stationed in the Innovator Zone on the showroom floor, with other talented students who participated in similar Samsung programs in regions around the world. The students also will meet Samsung professionals who develop software for a living, giving them the opportunity to meet leaders in STEM fields and likeminded innovators.

Waite got the idea for her digital pill chart from watching her cousin and friend, both with serious illnesses, have to take a lot of medication at the one time. “For my app, I wanted to create a fun way to incentivize children to take their medications,” said Waite. App users receive icon gifts when they take their medicine as well as complete doctor visits. Waite recently decided she will attend Cornell University in the fall and major in mechanical engineering.

Chen chose to make education the focus for her app, as she enjoys tutoring middle school students in computer science. She said: “I wanted to design an app that teaches kids how to code, but I wanted it to be fun, so I modeled it after a popular cartoon. The app trainer pushes the users to improve, while teaching them about computer science topics in ways kids can relate to.”

All five winners participated in the 2015 Samsung Mobile App Academy, attended by a total of 350 students nationwide. The program, which is free and attended by students who are required to go through an application process, lasted five days and focused on a custom coding curriculum. Last summer, Samsung Mobile App Academy programs were held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts; University of California Berkeley in Berkeley, California; Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey; Rice University in Houston, Texas; University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland; and University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.

“These students are well on their way to mastering the art of app creation. They have shown their forward-thinking and creativity through their projects. We are excited to have them at our annual Samsung Developer Conference in recognition of their enthusiasm for STEM and for making a difference in the lives of people around them,” said Ann Woo, senior director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America.

For more than a decade, Samsung’s Hope for Children initiative has been focused on helping youth in underserved communities across the United States gain access to quality healthcare, technology resources and STEM education. In addition to Samsung Mobile App Academy, which started in 2011, the company also supports STEM education through other national programs, including the Solve for Tomorrow contest.

Learn more about the Samsung Developers Conference at www.sdc2016.com.

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovation leader in consumer electronics design and technology. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA delivers a broad range of digital consumer electronics, IT and home appliance products. Samsung is the market leader for HDTVs in the U.S and America’s fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more of the award-winning products you love with Samsung, please visit www.samsung.com and for the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow on Twitter @SamsungNewsUS.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies that redefine the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space with the open platform SmartThings, our broad range of smart devices, and through proactive cross-industry collaboration. We employ 319,000 people across 84 countries with annual sales of US $196 billion. To discover more, and for the latest news, feature articles and press material, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com

 

April 20, 2016

Women of Worth

Our Mission

The Women of Worth program is inspired by L’Oréal Paris’ iconic brand philosophy, “Because I’m Worth It” and recognizes the achievements of real women who embody the spirit of the L’Oréal brand—women who possess self-confidence and are committed to distinguishing their own lives by making a difference in the lives of others. Women of Worth is a celebration of women who have made a difference through volunteer work in their communities.

Nominate a Woman of Worth

Nominate a Woman Of Worth and L’Oréal Paris will make a $10,000 donation to her most cherished charitable cause.. Additionally, one Woman Of Worth honoree and her cause will be selected by the public at large via online voting and will be recognized as the National Woman Of Worth Honoree. Her charity will receive a donation of $25,000 from L’Oréal Paris in her name.

All honorees will receive national recognition for both her cause and her efforts.

Who is eligible for the Women of Worth Award?

Award nominees must be women, legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, consent to be nominated and 18 years of age or older at the time of nomination. All award nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Impact (50%)

     – the project’s success in addressing an important problem or critical barrier to progress and nominee’s demonstration of impact as a result of their activities. Impact is defined as the effect of an activity on the social fabric of the community and/or the well-being of individuals or families. Impact can be measured by evaluating the programs or activities implemented by nominee and reviewing if the number of people served exponentially increased since the nominee began work.

  • Community Needs and Solutions (20%)

     – nominee’s ability to meet an unmet community need or concern. Community needs are broadly defined as providing food, shelter, and access to healthcare, providing arts programming or activities, strengthening educational programs, or providing enrichment activities that benefit children.

  • Passion (20%)

     – success of nominee’s work in epitomizing the statement, “Because You’re Worth It,” and the spirit of the Women of Worth program (honoring exceptional women making a beautiful and exceptional difference through their volunteer work.)

  • Innovation (10%)

     – ability of nominee’s activities to reflect an innovative or interesting approach to meeting community needs and nominee’s employment of unique solutions to solving the problem.

What is the nomination deadline for the 2016 Award?

The 2016 Women of Worth Call for Nominations closes on April 29, 2016.

How do I nominate a Woman Of Worth?

There are two methods of entry:

  • Method #1

     – To enter online, visit www.womenofworth.com, complete the nomination form, and follow the online instructions to submit your nomination.

  • Method #2

     – To enter by mail, send a completed Official Nomination Form by first class mail, with proper postage affixed to: “Women Of Worth Award” c/o The Points of Light Institute, 600 Means Street, Suite 210 Atlanta, Ga 30318.

April 13, 2016

Honor special bonds with a set of bangles celebrating two of the sky’s most connected constellations and benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they need someone to lean on – someone who will protect them and keep them on the right track. The Big Dipper, like a safe haven, watches over the Little Dipper, symbolic of the unbreakable bonds we share. Across the expansive sky, these beloved groupings of stars are constant reminders that we’re never truly alone.

Shop the new Big and Little Dipper Set of Two Charm Bangles, and ALEX AND ANI will donate 20% of the purchase price with a minimum donation of $25,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

This campaign is valid through 5/9/16.

April 12, 2016
Diction Defender Strives to Help Teach
Denver-based student group wins Verizon’s Innovative App Challenge Best in Nation Award to create gaming app to strengthen writing skills

More than 10 percent of today’s public school students are English language learners (ELL) and even more students speak a language other than English at home. This includes a group of students from Denver-based Altona Middle School who were recently selected as the Best in Nation winners in the fourth annual Verizon Innovative App Challenge.

Four students from Altona Middle School submitted their app concept for “Diction Defender,” a gaming app that will help teach sentence fluency and composition. The idea for the Diction Defender app came while the students were brainstorming ideas of how to not only help ELL students, but anyone learning English. The Innovative App Challenge encourages middle and high school student teams to develop a mobile application concept that addresses a need or problem in the students’ communities or schools.

Diction Defender is a survival game where players are stranded on a desolate island and to escape, they must make good sentences based on certain requirements. The players must then go through a number of levels to earn rewards such as costumes, tools and badges. The app will also have multiplayer mode for users to work together, collaborate and learn new writing skills to move up the leaderboard.

“We hope Diction Defender will cater to those who struggle when it comes to writing one’s ideas and thoughts,” says team captain, Advika Jayanti, age 12. The team wants users to be able to learn through an interactive game without realizing it.

“English was one of our struggles – some of our parents were immigrants and don’t speak fluent English,” added Rachel Su, age 12.

The team reflected on how much time and attention to detail were involved in creating an app that was both useful to a broad range of users while remaining unique enough to stand out. “Once we got the idea, we spent many days working on it, even staying after school and working during our break,” said Jeffrey Hew, age 12.

Verizon’s Innovative App Challenge is designed to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The 2015-2016 competition marked the first year that submissions could come from nonprofit and community organizations along with schools.

Through their hard work, the team now holds the title of Best in Nation, receiving $20,000 for their school’s STEM program, along with LG tablets for each team member. They will now turn their concept into a real, working app with help from an MIT coding expert to help launch their winning app in the Google Play store.  Additionally, they will present their app at the National TSA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in July.

The Verizon Foundation created the Innovative App Challenge to spark greater student interest in STEM as early as middle school.

It is predicted that the United States may be short nearly three million high-skilled workers by 2018. While the education system currently sees enough talent in math and science to fill the need for traditional STEM workers, less than 25% of those students enter STEM majors in college and of those that do, 38% of students who start with a STEM major do not graduate with one.1

In June, members of the nine winning teams will present their apps in person at the National TSA Conference in Nashville, courtesy of Verizon.

April 12, 2016

Earth Day Eco-Tees: Let’s Save the Forests!

Hey humans! As co-habitants of Planet Earth, you might already know that April 22nd is Earth Day-but in case you didn’t, we’re here to tell you we’re doing our part—and here’s how you can help.

Design by Humans has teamed up with the National Forest Foundation and for every tee you buy from our new Eco-Collection in the month of April, we’ll plant a tree.

 

The National Forest Foundation is committed to restoring and sustaining our forests, and with your help, a small portion of the Earth’s resources can be replenished and enjoyed by future generations and sasquatches.

Maybe you can’t get yourself to a forest, are allergic to sap, or maybe you don’t own a shovel…no matter what, we’ve got you covered. All you have to do is get yourself some new threads from our Earth Day Eco-Collection, and we’ll take care of the rest. And as a bonus: your tee, and every tee DBH prints is produced using environmentally-friendly, water-based, phthalate-free inks.

Show your support for your home planet this year. Plant a tree, and look good in the process by rockin’ these tees!

And recycle, always recycle.

To create this collection, we challenged our artists to help us make the world a better place by submitting their very best environmental, nature, wildlife and eco-friendly themed artwork. Here are some of our favorites! You can view the entire collection HERE.

Earthlings by PhilWassellArt From the lowly human to the mighty ant (they’re super strong, look it up), we are all Earthlings. PhilWasselArt keeps it simple and classy on this one, with vibrant colors and plethora of pretty pets to adorn your bod. Dolphin, seahorse, kiwi, the gang’s all here…it’s a regular dream team. Show your support for your fellow space travelers with this awesome colorblock offering from Switzerland.

Meltingsun by Rurara Finally…a shirt that embodies a love for nature AND mind-altering experiences! And of course, by that we mean the natural high one gets from communing with nature. Don’t mind us little deer; just keep drinking from that trippy Technicolor stream made from the melted center of your universe. breathes deeplyBring your Earth Day festival experience to a whole other level with this tasty abstract from Indonesian designer Rurara.

No More Machines by Machmigo Of course we all know how the machines will soon become self-aware and take over in a bid to overthrow everything and subjugate the human race…but what happens next? They run out of power, get rusty, and get taken over by kudzu vines, of course. This robo-jerk found out the hard way that nature always wins, in this beautiful watercolor illustration by U.S. designer Machmigo.

Think Greens by Akhyarisme How eco-conscious are you? Unless you have a tree growing out of your brain, not eco-conscious enough. Subtle old-world styling and bold green shading will remind yourself and others to “think green” this EarthDay, courtesy of Akhyarisme’s thoughtful conservation-themed tapestry design.

Garden of Verses by Radiomode You’ve always heard of Mother Nature…but did you know she has an old man? Yeah, he wears a bowler hat. This sharp and colorful design from artist Radiomode out of Antarctica (Say WHAT???!!!!!), is reminiscent of Bob Ross meets a Clockwork Orange, but it looks gorgeous in the process. Plus, you should buy this tee just to help this guy pay for his crazy internet bill.

 

So there you have it. Any one of the tees from our Eco-Collection will help us to help make the world a better place, thanks to the National Forest Foundation-so do your part and look good doing it!
Check out the entire Eco Collection

April 8, 2016

At iGive.com we like to promote social and community initiatives… if you know a company that is worthy please share your story with us and consider nominating them for the Citizens 2016 Award.

Nominations Open Today for 17th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7, 2016 /3BL Media/ The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today began the nomination process for its annual Citizens Awards, which recognize businesses for their positive impact on society.

“Each and every day, businesses across America are using their products, resources, and partnerships to make our world a better place,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president for the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center. “We encourage businesses of all sizes to submit a nomination for the corporate citizenship work they do in communities around the world.”

The Citizens Awards recognize the private sector’s most accomplished social and community initiatives. Dozens of industry leaders, including Citi, Discovery Education, GE, IBM, Shell Oil Company, UPS, and more have received a Citizens Award for their outstanding contributions in addressing some of society’s greatest needs.

This year, six program awards will honor businesses for specific strategic initiatives: Best Commitment to Education Program; Best Community Improvement Program; Best Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program; Best Economic Empowerment Program; Best Environmental Stewardship Program; and Best Health and Wellness Program.

Additionally, the Foundation will award two Best Corporate Steward awards — one for large businesses and another for small and middle-market businesses. These awards will honor companies for exceptional overall corporate citizenship portfolios.

The nomination process is open to businesses, chambers of commerce, and industry associations of all sizes. Details on each category’s eligibility and measurement criteria are available here.

The nomination period is open until June 3, 2016. An external review committee of experts in their fields will review the applicants and select three finalists in each category. Finalists will be announced on September 13, 2016. Winners, selected by another expert panel, will be announced at the Citizens Awards gala on November 16 in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

– See more at: http://3blmedia.com/News/US-Chamber-Foundation-Seeks-Nominations-Recognize-Top-Corporate-Citizens#sthash.hmyAJWj1.dpuf

April 6, 2016
Petco (PRNewsFoto/Petco)

Event marks the launch of season-long, dog-friendly celebrations and weekly adoption events at Petco Park

Apr 05, 2016, 17:36 ET from Petco

Petco and the San Diego Padres are once again welcoming man’s best friend to Petco Park for the annual “Dog Days of Summer” event so that pet parents and their four-legged friends can enjoy America’s favorite past time together! On June 2, 2016, hundreds of pet parents and their furry companions will gain special access to Petco Park as the San Diego Padres take on the Seattle Mariners.

Interested pet parents are invited to show off their Padres spirit by submitting an application on www.padres.com/dogdays now through April 30, 2016. Approved applicants will receive a free dog ticket and two complimentary human passes, which pet parents can pick up at the event. All attendees must be pre-approved, no passes will be approved the day of the event. Gates to the event open at 3 p.m. PT, at which time pets and pet parents can enjoy themselves at the pre-game “Tail” Gate Party. Additionally, local San Diego adoption partners will be present showcasing adoptable pets in hopes of finding them forever homes.

Now in its 12th year, the annual celebration will also kick-off Petco Park’s expanded dog-friendly programs, including the popular weekly adoption events held at the “Park in the Park” during every Sunday home game. Local animal welfare organizations, including the San Diego Humane Society, Second Chance Dog Rescue and Helen Woodward Animal Center will be on-site throughout more than five games this season to help deserving animals find their forever homes. For the past 12 years, these home game adoption events have helped hundreds of shelter pets find homes.

“We are thrilled to kick off the annual ‘Dog Days of Summer’ event and look forward to finding forever homes for shelter pets through our Adoption Sunday events throughout the season,” said David Hallisey, vice president, communications at Petco. “We’re also working closely with the Padres to enhance the overall experience for pets and their pet parents and plan to share more details on some exciting new developments with fans very soon.”

Pet parents are encouraged to share photos of their pets celebrating their love of the Padres on Instagram using the hashtags #PadresPets. Every month one lucky winner will be awarded a $100 Petco gift card.

Fans are invited to join in on the conversation with the hashtag #PetcoDogDays.

About Petco and the Petco Foundation
With more than 50 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,430 Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, including more than 115 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop; prescription services and pet supplies from the leading veterinary-operated pet product supplier, Drs. Foster & Smith; and petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has invested more than $135 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.

April 5, 2016

 Though Sandra Quiroz has a busy schedule with her regular job and her work as a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, she still sets aside time and energy to volunteer in her community. Currently, Sandra is volunteering at The Shade Tree, a shelter in Southern Nevada where homeless or abused women and their children come for aid.

The Shade Tree provides several programs and services designed to help those struggling with homelessness, abuse, or in crisis situations. The shelter offers day shelter, emergency shelter, and transitional shelter programs for women and children as they recover from violent relationships and situations. Sandra volunteers to help anywhere she can within the shelter, and devotes a lot of her time to assist with The Shade Tree’s events. Since the shelter is a nonprofit organization, Sandra helps with fundraising and events that raise awareness — which allow the shelter’s programs to continue running.

For victims who have been caught in the cycle of domestic violence, physical and emotional assistance is often essential to rehabilitation. When victims escape situations of domestic violence, they often need medical attention, counseling, and help to rebuild their lives. Domestic violence not only leaves physical scarring, but it can inflict emotional damage that lasts for years. According to a study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, when a woman is a victim of domestic violence, her risk for developing depression doubles, and her risk for Schizophrenia triples. Even after domestic violence victims escape violent relationships and their physical wounds heal, feelings of anxiety and depression that contribute to mental illnesses can still be present.

Women and children in Southern Nevada are often brought to The Shade Tree by local police, social service agencies, and even local doctors or hospitals. The community knows that women can receive the treatment and help they need at the shelter, through the organization’s many programs.

Sandra feels passionate about her volunteer work and helping the women and children at the center. She says, “To me, volunteering is not just a feel-good opportunity, but also a school of learning. If you open your heart and your mind, you can learn new things about life and yourself.” Sandra’s work serves as an inspiration to other Wellness Advocates, and others in her community. To donate to The Shade Tree’s cause or learn how you can get involved, visit their website.

doTERRA Cares is an initiative through which doTERRA International recognizes and raises awareness for Wellness Advocates who contribute to worthy causes worldwide. doTERRA International is thrilled to share Sandra’s success and service and recognizes her as this week’s doTERRA Cares highlight!

About doTERRA International, LLC

doTERRA is a world leader in the sourcing, testing, manufacturing, and distribution of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils through a global network of Wellness Advocates. In addition to a premium line of single-plant extracts and proprietary essential oil blends, the company offers oil-infused personal care and spa products, dietary supplements, and healthy living products for the home.

April 1, 2016
From the Justmeans Blog by Vikas Vij

Corporate green bonds are a debt taken on by a company to finance environment-friendly projects. The green bond market is still in its infancy. According to Climate Bonds Initiative, the first corporate green bond was issued only in 2013. Since then, a handful of leading companies, such as Bank of America, Toyota and EDF, a French power company, have jumped on to the green bond bandwagon.

Apple has announced its decision to issue its first green bond to the tune of $1.5 billion. This brings into focus the key role that this type of investment could play in reining in global warming. With its bond sale, Apple has become the largest American company to have issued a green bond.

Apple’s green bond will fund several initiatives, including the company’s conversion to 100 percent renewable energy, installation of more energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and an increase in the company’s use of biodegradable materials. Apple’s initiative reflects the urgent need for companies to invest in environmental resources in order to protect the sources of their products.

Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, said that the company decided to issue its green bond after December’s UN Climate Summit in Paris, during which hundreds of companies pledged to fight climate change. As a global company, Apple will need to raise billions of dollars to achieve its ambitious plans to reduce its environmental impact.

Globally, the green bond market is expected to keep growing. According to HSBC, an estimated $55 billion to $80 billion worth of green bonds will be issued around the world in 2016. Toyota’s green bonds, for instance, demonstrate a growing investor interest in fuel efficient transportation. The company has issued two green bonds totaling $3 billion since 2014.

Clinton Moloney, sustainability advisory leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said that as the effects of climate change become more devastating and widespread, green bond projects could become more complex. Evaluating these projects needs to be more sophisticated.

To track and understand how the green bond money is spent, the International Market Association, which has worked with investment banks and firms such as JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock and World Bank, has created a set of guidelines called the Green Bond Principles. The guidelines define the types of environmental benefits that could be covered by a green bond, such as reducing pollution or conserving wildlife. They also recommend an annual reporting by the bond issuers on how they use the proceeds.

Source: The Guardian

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations “Decisions for Life” run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.

– See more at: http://3blmedia.com/News/Apple-Issues-15B-Green-Bond-Spearhead-Environmental-Efforts#sthash.6YD4YRmq.dpuf

March 24, 2016

Today we are happy to share this blog from Walmart Employee Steve Outain, Reverse Logistics, Walmart

walmart-logo

When your job is helping a company find ways to achieve zero waste across its global operations, you have to look beyond the obvious for opportunities. Who knew that this year, a plastic Easter basket could be one?

Walmart operates bakeries in the majority of its stores across the U.S., so we produce a lot of cakes and cupcakes. So many, in fact, that frosting is delivered to our stores in 3- to 5-gallon plastic buckets. And the last thing we want is for that constant stream of plastic to end up in a landfill, so we started looking for ways to turn something that was once thought of as trash into a valuable commodity.

This year, Olivet International stepped to the plate, helping us turn 119,000 pounds of resin – derived 100% from our empty frosting buckets – into a line of plastic Easter baskets that recently debuted in our stores. In creating them, we found a way to introduce those empty buckets back into the manufacturing stream, while also lowering the retail price of these Easter baskets to just 88 cents.

While this represents a huge win, the best news is that it didn’t just start with Easter 2016. Over the past several years, we’ve worked to change the specifications of our frosting buckets to make them as recycle-friendly as possible. As a result, we’re working with suppliers to turn this steady stream of post-consumer resin into 2.5 million plastic pet bowls annually, plastic liners for 4 million soft-sided coolers annually and more.

The opportunities aren’t just tied to our frosting buckets. We already use discarded hangers from our apparel department to manufacture the Mainstays packs of plastic hangers sold in our home department. We’ve gone from contracting with recycling companies to purchase the by-product generated in our stores, to creating solutions directly with suppliers. In doing so, we’re finding opportunities to re-engineer the ways products are made in the first place, making it easier to close the loop on the back end.

I’m proud to work for a company that’s helping create solutions for a better tomorrow. These solutions are good for people, planet – and business.

www.igive.com/Walmart