Issue 028 / Microplastics, Climate Migration & The Designer Giving Chewing Gum a Second Life

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 

This Week's Five Links

The Data HarvestersThe Daily Podcast by The New York Times
Last week The New York Times broke the story of how Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy credited with helping Trump win the U.S. presidency, harvested private information from 50 million Facebook users to target — and many would say, manipulate — the American electorate. The breach has caused Facebook’s stock to plunge, motivated a #DeleteFacebook movement and led many to criticize the company’s approach to social responsibility. In this podcast, the reporter who broke the story shares how he did it and his thoughts on Facebook's future.

Welcome to the Age of Climate MigrationRolling Stone
“Climate change is going to remap our world, changing not just how we live but where we live,” writes Jeffrey Goodell in this piece that plots out the parts of the United States that are predicted to become virtually uninhabitable due to climate change. As rising sea levels eat away at our cities and soaring temperatures become fatal, where will we take refuge? And who will be able to afford the move?

Microplastic Contamination Is Found in Most Bottled Water, a New Study SaysTIME
Microplastics — those tiny plastic particles found in sources like synthetic clothing, beauty products and deteriorating plastic trash — plague our oceans, rivers and lakes. And now, they’ve been detected in our bottled water. Researchers tested 259 bottles across nine countries and 11 brands, including Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestlé and San Pellegrino, and found signs of contamination in 93% of the samples — which makes us 110% certain it’s time to ditch the bottle. 

Regenerative Organic Certification Wants to Be the Ethical Standard to Rule Them AllFast Company
Patagonia and Dr. Bronner’s have teamed up on a new agricultural sustainability standard that rolls best practices from existing certifications like Fair Trade, Certified Organic and Certified Humane into a single “standard to rule them all.” Regenerative Organic Certification launched last week and considers factors like environmentally friendly farming practices, economic justice, animal welfare and fair labor.

Dear Tech People
Developed as a passion project by three tech insiders, this new index ranks 100 technology companies on diversity and inclusion using public data from LinkedIn and AngelList — because as one job-seeker put it, “scrolling through LinkedIn to find other black people isn’t sustainable.” Clover Health, Blue Apron and Patreon topped this year's list.

How do you put down roots in a place that won’t exist?
— Jeff Kaplan, a former Florida resident who relocated to North Carolina because of flood risks, in “Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration” (Rolling Stone)

Spotlight: The Designer Giving Chewing Gum a Second Life

Gumdrop Wellingtons_RC.jpg

Spitting out a piece of gum on the sidewalk might seem harmless. But this small act has a big impact — in the U.K. alone, cleaning up littered gum is estimated to cost local governments £60 million (around US$82 million). 

When designer Anna Bullus learned there were no good solutions for recycling all this waste, she got to work on one. The result is Gumdrop, a company that collects gum waste and repurposes it into products like frisbees, combs, reusable coffee mugs and recycled shoes — giving new meaning to the act of “stepping in gum.” 

To collect the waste, Gumdrop supplies pink bins (which are themselves made from recycled gum) that are placed strategically on street corners, train stations, college campuses and places with heavy foot traffic. The containers and the gum are then collected, processed and turned back into raw material. 

Says Bullus: “If we’re able to make people change such a small habit, then we’ve got more chance of solving some of the other litter problems."

Social Impact Jobs

Aldi — Corporate Social Responsibility Manager (Atherstone, UK)
Bulgari — Corporate Social Responsibility Manager (Florence, Italy)
Diageo — Corporate Relations Manager (Bogota, Colombia)
DoorDash — CSR Manager, Project DASH (San Francisco, CA)
Estée Lauder Companies — Manager of Sustainability (New York, NY)
Expedia — Associate Project Manager, CSR & Communications (London, UK)
Fair Trade USA — Vice President, Consumer Packaged Goods (Oakland, CA)
Girl Effect — Account Executive, Institutions and Corporate Philanthropy (London, UK)
H&M — Sustainability Developer (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
JP Morgan & Chase — Executive Director, Global Head of Social Good Programs (Wilmington, DE)
Kiva — Portfolio Manager, South & Southeast Asia (Portland, OR)
One Acre Fund — Strategy & Research Analyst/Manager (Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda)
Optimizer Foundation — Impact Investment Manager (Nairobi, Kenya)
PepsiCo — Diversity & Engagement Manager (Purchase, NY)
Primark — Corporate Social Responsibility Manager (Dublin, Ireland)
Proof of Impact — Head of Operations (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
PUMA — Senior Manager Environment & Climate (Herzogenaurach, Germany)
RSF Social Finance — Senior Credit Associate (San Francisco, CA)
Sattva Consulting — Consultant, Social Impact (Delhi, India)
Swarovski — Sustainability Coordinator (London, UK)
TerraCycle — Account Manager, Brand Partnership (Trenton, NJ)
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation — Mission Investing Associate (Los Altos, CA)
The Honest Company — Associate Brand Manager, Baby Care (Playa Vista, CA)
ThinkWell — Revenue Generation Advisor (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Third Sector Capital Partners — Manager (Boston, MA or San Francisco, CA)
Under Armour — Sustainability Operations and Engagement Manager (Baltimore, MD)
Walt Disney Company — Manager, Strategic Philanthropy (Glendale, CA)
Weber Shandwick — Account Director, Social Impact & CSR (Washington, DC)

This newsletter is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar, with support from content strategist Ysabel Yates and jobs board curator Danielle Vermeer. If you like it, please consider sharing it!