Twitter Roundup – August 20: Whiskey-fueled cars, prescriptions for produce, greenest universities
Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets from the last week:
At this point, you’ve probably heard of (or even used) Groupon, the social coupon site where you can find huge daily deals in your city and share them with friends. Starting this week, though, an enterprising entrepreneur has improved on the model. CauseOn (@CauseOnPortland) has adapted the model, with 20% of its profits going to charities selected by coupon-buyers. It launched Thursday in Portland, with New York and Seattle versions coming soon. CauseOn plans to expand to dozens of other cities within the next year.
A team of scientists at the Edinburgh Napier University (@EdinburghNapier) in Scotland announced it has developed an inventive new fuel. Using select waste by-products from the whiskey distilling process, a $6 billion industry in Scotland, the team worked out a way to create biobutanol — a biofuel that is 30% more efficient than ethanol. It even works in cars that traditionally run on normal gas. The university is spinning off a company to produce a commercial version of the fuel, so look for more news about this in the near future.
Health professionals in the Boston area, including the Codman Square Health Center (@CodmanHealthCtr), have begun rolling out a new program to encourage low-income families to eat healthier foods. Doctors who serve those communities now have the option to prescribe fruits and vegetables in place of medication for obese children and adults. Through this program, doctors give families “prescriptions” (vouchers) worth $1 per day per household member, which can only be redeemed at local farmer’s markets. In conjunction with food stamps, which are also accepted at farmer’s markets in the Boston area, it allows low-income families to eat healthier foods at reasonable prices while simultaneously benefiting the local farming economy.
The Sierra Club (@Sierra_Club) announced its annual top 100 “green” universities list this week, highlighting those American colleges with the greatest commitment to sustainability. The study, which takes into account efficiency, food, academics, and waste management, among other things, found Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont to be the country’s best. Want to see if your alma mater made the cut? Check out the whole list, and the methodology behind the whole thing, at the Sierra Club website.
Did you come across other notable #socent tweets this week? Leave a comment here or tweet @dowserDOTorg.