I’ll raise a glass to that!
Ketel One and GQ are searching for the next great idea in eco-friendly entrepreneurship.
The companies are running a contest, “A Gentleman’s Call,” to determine which one of five finalists will take home $100,000 to pursue their dreams. And they’re using social media to help name the winner.
The ideas range from a technology that uses infrared to divert clean water to reserve tanks for reuse in other applications or household tasks to rooftop farms that sit atop urban supermarkets, the ultimate in locally-sourced produce, at least for city dwellers.
Here are the finalists:
Tom Rachlin (Boulder, Colo.) Everyday, gallons of water are wasted. However, through mechanical craftsmanship, Rachlin has a systematic plan to turn this wasted water into a reusable resource. Rachlin’s Clean Water Reserve Project will use infrared technology to distinguish between “used water” and “unused water.” For example, when shaving, the system will determine between clean water and would collect it into a reserve tank for later use such as watering the lawn, washing a car or bathing a pet saving gallons of water each year.
Corbin Clay (Denver, Colo.) The Rocky Mountains consist of 4 million acres of beetle-killed pinewood posing a large forest fire risk. However, when the wood is harvested and turned into lumber, the risk becomes a resource. Clay has tapped this resource for his furniture business, The Azure Furniture. Originally trained by a German carpenter and using the artisanal skills of his apprenticeship, Clay uses the abundant wood to create furniture that is crafted to be both affordable and environmentally beneficial.
Daniel Burstein (Jacksonville, Fla.) As Burstein was stopped at a city intersection, he looked across the corner at his local grocery store chain and realized how much space was wasted on the building’s roof. The thought led to his idea to create urban farms on top of supermarkets that will yield fresh produce to be later sold in the store below. Picked in the morning and sold later that afternoon, the project offers shoppers the wholesomeness of an artisanal farmer with the convenience of a modern grocery store.
Adam Johnson (New York, N.Y.) New York City is a jungle of steel, wood, brick and concrete but Johnson sees it as furniture. Johnson’s company, Withers & Grain, takes materials from demolished New York buildings and uses them to craft and carve sustainable design masterpieces. The result is high quality, upcycled furniture that are used in homes, restaurants and high-end, cocktail lounges across the city.
Rance Loftsgard (Philadelphia, Pa.) Loftsgard yearns to open artisanal bakeries in impoverished areas that will provide nourishment in more ways than one. The bakeries would create community centers and spur economic growth through culinary training, business education and employment opportunities to underprivileged residents. This example of social entrepreneurship is called Bread4Change and for every loaf purchased, Loftsgard would donate one to a family in need.
Facebook can select their favorite at Ketel One’s Facebook fan page. Voting ends November 26th, so hurry!