FIRST THOUGHT: Making a Change for the Better
Most of us have a bad habit we wish we didn’t, like biting our nails or tossing something in the trash instead of recycling it. We know it doesn’t take much time to make a change, but often, we just don’t.
Chances are you can easily list off a few of those nuisances about your partner, friends or co-workers. But today, let’s take a harder look at ourselves. If there’s something you can change for the better, just do it, then relish in how accomplished you feel.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 78 Percent
We’ve all seen commercials for bottled water. A virtual Garden of Eden shines from the TV, highlighting a lush jungle and a refreshing waterfall. A spokesmodel brings the bottle of water to her lips and sips it like she’s never had a drop in her life. Pretty convincing stuff.
But researchers from a German university put these bottles to the test. After sampling 20 water brands packaged in both plastic and glass bottles, they discovered 78 percent of waters packaged in plastic had high amounts of endocrine disruptors. Glass bottles had only 33 percent. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with human hormone systems, and those sneaking into bottled water include birth control pills, contaminants and even hormone-therapy medications. Not so refreshing, huh?
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sarah Kauss, Founder of S’well Water Bottles
Sarah Kauss is a force to be reckoned with. When someone like her decides to do some good in the world, we should all thank her.
Sarah worked in tax auditing, consulting and real estate before finding her entrepreneurial zeal. While at her Harvard Business School five-year reunion, she attended a panel on the worldwide clean-water crisis, a topic that really stuck with her.
Sarah turned her interest in the clean-water crisis into a self-funded business called S’well, and is working diligently to rid the world of plastic water bottles, an estimated 200 billion of which are dumped into landfills the world over every single year. But Sarah is hoping to change that.
S’well bottles are crafted from non-leaching and non-toxic stainless steel, and are designed to keep drinks cold for a whole day and hot for at least 12 hours. (And on a personal note, I can vouch that the large S’well bottle not only holds a full bottle of chardonnay, but keeps it icy all day at the beach.) Now back to the story. Harvard Business School was S’well’s first customer, and now, these stylish and safe bottles are sold in 35 countries, online and at retailers like Nordstrom. Ellen DeGeneres featured S’well bottles on her talk show and Facebook ordered them for its employees and clients. The Women Presidents’ Organization, a nonprofit membership group for women leaders, honored S’well on its list of 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned or -Led Companies.
But perhaps the biggest praise ever came from O, the Oprah Magazine, which gave S’well bottles a coveted spot on its O List of recommended products.
S’well bottles are safe and good for the environment, but how do they look? They’re really cool, y’all. There are a ton of styles, like the Galaxy Collection, with gorgeous, shimmering colors, or the Exotics Collection, if snakeskin and crocodile scales are more your style. S’well also has Little Ones bottles for the kiddos.
S’well supports the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, having donated $200,000 since 2015 to help provide clean drinking water to the world’s most vulnerable children. S’well has also funded the planting of more than 100,000 trees through a group called American Forests.
Sarah continues to flourish. Her advice for women entrepreneurs is to understand that an idea doesn’t need to be perfect from the get-go, and women must be patient with themselves. It clearly worked for Sarah, and it looks like there’s no stopping S’well. That all translates to less waste and a much healthier planet. Cheers to that!
QUITE THE QUOTE
A good education gave Sarah Kauss the insight to start her environmentally friendly business. As biologist and researcher E.O. Wilson said:
“The education of women is the best way to save the environment.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.