Monday, July 25, 2011

Taking A Bird In The Hand

In a VUCA world a stream of disasters means that there sometimes seems to be a constant succession of worthy causes competing for our hearts and the finances needed to rebuild, renew and restore. While there is almost always an outpouring of public empathy and generosity when a new tragedy emerges, often the recovery is a long-haul deal, requiring perseverance and creativity to bring in new funding to sustain the work as new causes rise and capture our attention.

One great idea helping to keep up the momentum for the recovery from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the Bird Project, which is raising funds by selling black bird-shaped soaps.

The bird soaps are a power-combo of mystery, sensuality and intimacy, reaching into daily routines – the morning shower, the washing of hands – with purpose and symbolism. Each soap is made from sustainable ingredients (including glycerin, a biodiesel byproduct – smart!), and has a clean, white ceramic bird inside, which is revealed and ‘cleansed’ as the outer black soap is used. The soaps are made in Louisiana, so a hint of cypress is added to capture the scent of the bayous. Proceeds from sales go towards the Gulf Restoration Network and International Bird Rescue. It’s truly an object lesson in social entrepreneurship. This is creativity making the world a better place.

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