One of the biggest challenges we face in working to create a more sustainable society is the scale of the problem. We face catastrophic climate change, an insect apocalypse, the rapid acceleration of the Sixth Great Extinction, the acidification of the oceans, and so many other environmental crises. It is easy to become demoralized.
Luckily, we have some great examples of what individuals can accomplish, look at what Greta Thunberg has set in motion. Another example I just discovered is Samir Lakhani. While still in college, Samir took an international internship and witnessed the lack of basic hygiene available in impoverished communities in developing nations. He decided to find a solution and has since begun a company to recycle used soap and distribute it around the world to people in need.
Eco Soap Bank, you can find it at ecosoapbank.org is his win-win-win solution. There are plenty of details about the project and the process at the website. Here are a few of the basics to inspire you. He collects used soap from hotels that would otherwise be sent to landfills, reprocesses (and fully sanitizes) it into bars, packages it in reusable towels (for a zero-waste product), sells it in developed nations (where every bar purchased results in 10 bars donated to people in need), and employs residents of impoverished communities in developing nations who sell it below cost and educate their neighbors on the importance of hygiene. Women in developing nations do all of the processing and packaging, while working under fair-trade labor conditions.
Samir is diverting useful items from landfills, creating a zero-waste product, improving health in developing nations, and empowering women through productive work that provides a fair wage. What's not to love?
Please check out what he's doing and use it as motivation for your own journey towards protecting our planet for the future!