The Socially Conscious Generation
Updated: Apr 7, 2018
Gen X and Y seem to be more socially conscious than their predecessors. Young people are more likely to repurpose old items or find innovative methods of recycling. Some have even created businesses based on these ideas.
Let’s take a look at 5 companies with some truly creative ideas.
The company creates bricks made from crushed glass bottles, which can then be used to build homes, decorative items, and furniture. Recycled glass decreases the amount of litter, ultimately benefiting the environment.
Based on the idea of a traditional library of books lent out to customers, the Library of Things is exactly what it sounds like – a library of stuff. The social enterprise lends out items such as vacuum cleaners, hardware tools, electronics, and sports equipment. The Library of Things promotes a “sharing economy”, where people borrow items they need for the short-term, instead of buying them and accumulating more things.
Packaging is everywhere. Think of all the things we buy: eggs, wine, socks, pillows, etc. Most of these items are encased in plastic packing materials. These often end up in landfills or oceans, harming our environment. Ecovative Design’s solution is to grow mycelium, defined as 'the root structure of a mushroom', which is then used to create materials used for both textiles and packaging.
You’ve just finished reading a great book. You don’t want to keep it, but throwing it away feels wrong, so what do you do? Better World Books was founded on the idea that used books have life left in them and can be enjoyed by other readers. Books are donated by 2,000 libraries, 1,800 college campuses and many individuals. The company helps fund literacy programs, and with over 7 million books sold, shows no signs of slowing down.
Upcycling is the new recycling! It’s the idea of repurposing 1 thing into something else, so glass cola bottles are made into jewelry and coasters, old computer parts are made into clocks or cigar cases…well, you get the idea. Hipcycle gives online consumers major shopping envy with beautiful images, categorized by material like glass, fabric, rubber, and more.
The socially conscious generation continues to be impressive, vibrant, and imaginative, and that’s something we can all benefit from.