Like most passionate digital agencies in the Miami–Coral Gables area, we looked into becoming a sponsor of a CMS comedy convention this year. For anyone who doesn’t know – have you been living under a slab of coral? – there is a yearly convention where local web developers and designers get together and talk about WordPress for a long time. WordPress is a fantastic, easy-to-use content management system that we use for designing awesome websites for our clients, so we figured it must be even more fun in a live setting. Unfortunately, we found that the costs for sponsoring the annual CMS event in Miami were quite higher than we expected. Is this the absolute best way that surplus money could be spent? We brainstormed. We incubated. We shared workspaces. We even held a hack-a-thon to make a useless app for some reason. At the end of it all, KiloThought Media‘s Miami thought leaders came to a realization that was truly disruptive.
“Maybe other good things can be done with unneeded money besides using it to fund web designers talking about WordPress and, at best, teaching the most computer savvy generations in history the basics of the most intuitive CMS ever developed,” our founder Jack said. He took a much-needed breath. As a power-hungry technology business looking toward the future, KiloThought wanted to reduce its carbon footprint. Some things led to other things. After consulting our mind map, we decided that instead of sponsoring another WordPress festival in Miami this year, we’d do the next best thing and plant food-bearing shade trees in Guatemala. “Coral Gables has enough trees,” pointed out graphic designer, Natalia.
KiloThought + Buenas Cosas = Nuts!
Buenas Cosas is a women’s directive in Guatemala involved in many different, positive environmental and community-related activities. In English, their name aptly translates to “Good Things.”Google that shows exactly where the mighty KiloThought trees are growing: And here is Reyna from Buenas Cosas to tell you more (video is in Español): Over the next three years, the cashew tree seedlings will grow into large, carbon-absorbing evergreen shade trees. The trees, and the cashew apples and nuts they produce, provide several important benefits to the local population – in addition to the more obvious benefits of “more trees on Earth.”
Nutritious Food Source
Before we contacted Buenas Cosas, our hipstery group of Miami web designers didn’t even know a thing called a “cashew apple” existed. What slab of coral were we living under? Apparently, it’s even better than the cashew nut, which is already pretty good. Oh yeah, they also produce lots of cashew nuts, or “cashews” as we know them here in the United States.
The “apples” of the cashew tree not only provide a reliable supply of delicious, hearty, and nutritious food, but their juice (a potent diuretic and sudoforic) has proven effective in use as a remedy for treating various ailments including chronic dysentery, rheumatism, sore throat, and neuralgia. Other medicines made from the cashew nut shell liquid have been used to treat other ailments from ringworm to psoriasis.
Shade from the Sun
Shade trees like the cashew are essential for hundreds of thousands of people living in the Peten region. At the time I’m writing this sentence, the temperature in the town where our trees were planted is 102 degrees, and the UV index is 11 (extremely high). Suddenly April in Palmetto Bay doesn’t seem so hot after all.
Natural Insect Repellent
The resin from the trees provides a highly effective insect/mosquito repellent. Additionally, the liquid from the cashew nut shells has many industrial and medicinal applications including as a natural insecticide and fungicide.
Net Carbon Neutrality by 2015
Back here in Miami, we currently use energy efficient web design workstations, participate in electronics recycling, and host our websites on 130% wind-powered servers. We hope that by sponsoring environmental organizations like Buenas Cosas, and participating in other carbon-offsetting green initiatives like the ones listed above, our inherently energy-hungry digital media/web agency will attain and exceed carbon neutrality by 2015, if not sooner. Thank you again to Reyna, Angelica, and the rest of the directive at Buenas Cosas for allowing us the opportunity to work together to do some good things for the environment. See you at DrupalCon, Miami!