The Greenhouse Initiative
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The Greenhouse Initiative is an incubator/accelerator for environmentally-focused collegiate social entrepreneurs. The Ecology Center and Sambazon select the top 4 student startups from universities across the country. The finalists each receive a stipend as well as a year-long mentorship in order to advance their efforts on campus and in the community. The program culminates in an impactful experience that provides the students the support, network, and skills necessary to continue their work.
The Greenhouse Initiative 2019 Finalists
San Diego State University
What if we told you we could solve one of the world's leading contributors to food waste, by something as simple as eating cookies. SOUL MUCH is a women led startup venture that has found a solution to restaurant food waste by repurposing what would have been food waste into healthy snacks such as cookies. HOW DOES IT WORK? At the end of the night the chefs put the grains left over in the rice cookers into a container we provide. They store overnight in the fridge. The following morning our crew comes by and picks the grains up to take to our kitchen. We then begin to dehydrate the grains, grind into a flour, and with that flour bake into healthy snacks such as cookies
University of North Carolina
Carolina Thrift is a community oriented project that will reduce needless waste from UNC’s off-campus housing. The project’s purpose is to extend the lifespan of items that are usually disposed of by collecting donations of used items throughout the school year, and then hosting a discount sale where the goods will be sold back into the community at extremely low prices. The best part about the event is that its benefit to the community is three-fold. As it will have an environmental benefit through the waste-reduction it creates, a fiscal benefit through the money it saves members of the community (because of the heavily discounted resale), and a social benefit through the funding of future social entrepreneurship that it enables and the community building that it facilitates.
University of Washington
Global Sustainability Initiative (GSI) is a student organization at the University of Washington, who works on a Biogas Project which aims to reduce campus food waste through transforming it to biogas and educating people about the food waste issue. The biogas is generated in biodigesters that take organic waste from the UW dining services and local restaurants and convert it into high-quality fertilizer and biogas. The Biogas Project trailer will showcase infographics and other educational materials to help the UW and Seattle communities learn about the potential of biogas technology and the issues related to food waste. In addition, it is GSI’s hope that the Biogas Project can be a part of environmentally focused classes to help students learn about the environment, entrepreneurship, and careers in sustainability.