Morgana is an easy going, low maintenance little cherub. She cares not for much. Give her hummus, peanut butter and fresh crusty bread, and you may not hear an opinion from her about any subject (apart from Love Island) for a week.
Except for food waste.
This is Morgana when someone nearby is about to waste food.
Food waste is lame. It is one of the most unnecessary and arrogant things we do as a species. We have found a way to magic up enough nutrients from the ground for everyone to eat. We raise animals SPECIFICALLY to eat them. We divert lakes and shape rivers into farmland to allow this magic to happen.
And at least 30% of the time, that food never even sees a mouth.
If it were a country, food waste would be the biggest emitter of CO2 after USA and China. That’s unfathomable. We need to do better.
Solutions on a larger scale involve collective action and lobbying governments to hold the members of the supply chain (the farms, the shipping, the supermarkets) responsible. You can do that too! But what can we do ourselves, in our everyday lives?
DO NOT BUY FOOD YOU DON'T NEED unless it is non-perishable.
It is SO tempting to buy fresh food, only to discover by the end of the week you haven't used it. Take Jas this week: she bought a load of veggies, and other various #health stuff, only to find that her visitors wanted to eat at nice restaurants and she didn’t get to it until 4 days later. Conventional internet wisdom says that the solution here is meal planning.
This makes me cringe, personally. It’s so easy to feel like you HAVE to stick to the meal plan, and you don’t have a ‘life’ as a consequence. But if Jas had sat down and worked out how many meals she would be eating, she would have bought about half as much food.
2. DATE LABELS ARE A LIE. Food isn’t bad unless it smells funny. Sell by dates are there for the supermarket workers, not you. Use by dates are about the “peak quality” of a food item. Food is not self aware. It does not observe that is is 12:01 and spontaneously transform into an inedible gremlin. It’s probably fine until it doesn’t look, smell or taste fine.
3. CHECK YOUR FRIDGE. It might be making your food go off quicker than anticipated. We checked ours and found ice build-up at the back (which is a sign that it is using more energy for less refrigerating). Apparently, that bottom draw is for your freshest stuff. We had no idea. So put your vegetables and fresh fruit in that, and the bigger drier vegetables, such as the butternut squash and the broccoli, where there is space at the top. If you have dairy products, they need to go in the middle of the fridge, where the largest, coldest spot is.
4. GET CREATIVE. Despite the fact that we use it for useless things, the internet is really there to try and help us. For example, check out Big Oven. We put in 3 random ingredients we have in the fridge, and bam, 17 recipes.
As proud Brits, we also know how to turn anything into a drink. Fresh fruit might go off quickly, but it also tastes great when blended with ice and rum. Mango daiquiris ahoy.
5. FREEZE. Contrary to popular belief, you can put glass in the freezer. Just make sure it's a wide glass container, like a jam jar, rather than a milk bottle which is curvier. Give it room to expand at the top when it freezes (remember high school chemistry?) and you’re good to go.
There is a common myth that claims a habit takes 21 days to form. Buying excess food is the habit of a lifetime, and takes sustained commitment to break. Jas and Morgana are used to small, regular shops for fresh food, but doing this as a family of four with evil children is probably much much harder. The most useful advice is looking past the dates printed on the side, as this takes no effort, and looking into creative recipes.
Sign up for our newsletter. Every week, our founder Mathys will send you the best stories about the world of doing good.
American Internet celebrity and makeup artist Jeffree Star wants to open his own vegan-friendly fast-food chain.
As reported by LiveKindly, Jeffre Star made the announcement during a live stream on his Youtube channel where he speaks to an audience of 11 million subscribers.
During the video, the makeup guru said that he is "in talks" to start the business. The concept? A vegan-friendly ('that's the real gag") restaurant, selling pink cheeseburgers and cotton candy fries.
Yes, you got that right.
As noted by LiveKindly, this is not Mr Star's first foray into the world of veganism. Over the years, his beauty brand Jeffree Star Cosmetics already launched a series of vegan products like Thirsty, a vegan eyeshadow palette, and, more recently, the four festive vegan lip scrubs.
We'll see whether these business plans will turn out to be something more substantial than a Youtube announcement.
Meanwhile, we can't help but gladly notice that plant-based burgers and veganism at large are gaining momentum across different audiences.
If we want to save our planet and ourselves from climate apocalypse, we need new policies and governmental action. We're not gonna save the Earth changing our household light bulbs.
Extinction Rebellion – a burgeoning social movement to fight climate change that is taking hold in the United Kingdom – is asking for just this: governments must tell the truth about the ecological emergency and enact legally binding measures to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025.
There are no other ways out of this mess: structural change is needed.
However, this doesn’t mean that as individual citizens we can go on a carbon spree without consequences. Or that all the ways to reduce our personal carbon footprints are equally ineffective.
Different studies highlight that there are four effective ways to cut on your individual carbon emissions. And no, changing light bulbs is not one of them.
While we should keep asking for top-down changes, it’s also good to remember that we can start making an impact on the environment right now by adapting our lifestyle.
1) Eat a plant-based diet
I enjoy the flavour of meat a lot and I’d find it difficult to go 100 percent vegetarian (let alone vegan) right now. Nevertheless, I can considerably decrease my meat consumption. This is already highly beneficial for the environment.
Moreover, I can advocate for meat alternatives like plant-based or clean meat.
2) Avoid air travel
Flights are a notorious source of gas emissions. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to avoid flying. Many jobs require travelling on a regular basis and even though in many cases a virtual meeting will do just fine, there are still some occasions in which your physical presence is needed.
How to solve this ethical dilemma? One solution might be to donate some money to carbon offsetting schemes. These projects can go a long way in fighting carbon emissions.
3) Live car-free
Research shows that living car-free saves about 2.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year (while a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent every year).
I’m lucky enough to live in the Netherlands, a country where it's easy to move around without a car. This is possible thanks to an efficient public transportation system and the omnipresent cycle lanes.
In this case, it’s interesting to notice how my personal decision to live car-free is supported by environmentally friendly public policies.
4) Have a small family
If someone doesn’t exist, she doesn’t have a carbon footprint. This reasoning might seem at the same time cynical and stupidly obvious. But it’s also true.
According to Population Matters, having one fewer child is 25 more effective in cutting carbon emissions than living without a car.
What else could I do to reduce my carbon footprint?
Support Cool Earth, a highly effective organization that we thoroughly vetted.
Cool Earth is not only an offset scheme. It provides grant funding to rainforest communities, supporting community work in rainforest protection and ensures their voice is heard in agreements about the future of the rainforests. At the time of writing, 234,436,540 tonnes of CO2 has been stored as a result of their projects. Their Asháninka project shields millions of acres of forest from loggers, with 901,679 acres saved to date.
You too can help to save our planet. A more liveable Earth is just a click away 👇
It’s known that many celebrities support noble causes. After all, if you’re a celeb, you supposedly got the visibility and the money. So, you’re particularly well-suited to help other people.
Some VIPs go the extra mile and found their own charitable organization.
But are these celebrity-powered charities effective? Or even: are they doing any good?
To answer these questions, we picked five charities founded by celebrities and ran them through our Kinder Vetting Framework. Let’s see what came out.
Our selection of charities below isn't based on any scientific criteria. We browsed lists of celebrity founded charities and tried to pick out a balanced list
These are the charities that we picked:
The Lopez Family Foundation. Co-founded by journalist Lynda Lopez and her sister singer Jennifer Lopez, the Lopez Family Foundation “advocates and invests in policies and programs that make a positive, measurable impact on communities and makes quality healthcare and health education available for underserved mothers and their children.”
Born This Way Foundation. A charitable organization created in 2012 by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta “with the goal of creating a kinder and braver world” (we can’t help but sympathize with such aim).
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Created in 1998, the foundation was established with the mission of protecting the world’s last wild places.
The Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation was founded in 2003 by Angelina Jolie as a “conservation and community development program in the Samlout Protected Area” (Cambodia).
The Kinder Vetting Framework
At Kinder, we developed a vetting framework to assess the performance of charitable organizations. At the moment, it’s made of two steps but we’re working to add another two in the near future.
The first step is called Initial Screening. With it, we examine the transparency and accountability of charitable organizations by evaluating their official websites.
In particular, we evaluate the charities on five parameters.
This is a fairly low initial threshold. To pass the Initial Screening, you need a score of 95.
The second step is called Organizational Competence. With it, we try to determine whether a charitable organization is competent and well-suited to solve the problems it’s addressing.
If an organization fails the Initial Screening, we usually don’t vet it on its Organizational Competence. Our aim in the next months is to start reaching out to all the organizations that fail the Initial Screening, share our results with them, and ask if they’re willing to improve their score.
So, to start with, we just wanted to see whether the five celebrity-run charities passed the Initial Screening.
I asked our in-house research team to have a look. This is the screenshot that they shared with me:
Again, to pass the Initial Screening you need to score at least 95. None of them did.
Quite discouraged, I read the notes the research team attached to the screenshot.
All charities with the exception of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation lack relevant information about their strategic plans. At the same time, DiCaprio’s organization needs to improve on other parameters like publishing its financial statements.
The Born This Way Foundation’s website was deemed “quite minimalist” by the research team, lacking information about key staff members and financial statements. Similarly, the Lopez Family Foundation should expand its website to include financial statements, strategic plans, relevant information about key staff members, and contact information (they don’t even have a contact form).
Obviously, the fact these five charities don’t pass the Initial Screening doesn’t mean that they’re inherently inefficient. It just suggests that they should work more on their online transparency and accountability.
In general, Kinder is not in the business of bashing charities and we would never share an organization’s poor results without discussing them with the relevant stakeholders beforehand. In this case, we made an exception since these five charities are exceptionally well-backed.
And if you’re Lady Gaga, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, or Angelina Jolie and want to improve the Initial Screening score of your foundation don’t hesitate to drop us a line at email@example.com
Header Image: The Wolf of Wall Street © Paramount Pictures