Impact stories

Elaina’s Sustainability Grant Award Winner

Company: Demi Composting:

Location:Chicago, IL

Their need:

Demi is on a mission to make composting the new normal. Composting offers a way for small choices to aggregate into big impact by dramatically reducing methane emissions - one of the leading causes of climate change. But until Demi, there have been no feasible options for urban apartment buildings and no strong enough incentives to make the average person want to compost. We want to disrupt this, by partnering with building managers to offer everyday residents sleek, biodegradable composting bins, streamlined pick-up services, and a mobile app that makes composting fun and engaging. However, as a young start-up, we need support to turn our innovation into reality.

"Thank you so much for helping us get our project off the ground and into a reality! We are so excited to fund our first pilot project and bring composting to the city."

Our gift:

Demi is currently focused on standing up all operations of their business. They have worked tirelessly on building their team, refining their environmental business model, and developing strategic partnerships with community organizations and compost processors. Demi is now focusing their efforts on a business development and marketing project, looking to build their brand among urban apartment buildings and raise awareness around composting as an activity for apartment-dwellers.

Through this project, Demi hopes to fund 10 pilot initiatives with small condo buildings, catalyzing operations so that they can build momentum towards the Fall, when they hope to land their first major partnership with a large apartment building for a soft launch. This project will also involve launching a social media marketing campaign to broadly disseminate educational information and awareness around the positive impact composting has on our planet.

Elaina’s Sustainability Grant Award Winner

Company: Apple Patch Community, Inc. dba Pillar

Location: Louisville, KY

Their need:

The Apple Patch Community was founded because a group of parents worried what would happen to their children with disabilities when they could no longer care for them. Pillar built 17 homes over the course of five years with the oldest being approximately 20 years old. They are seamlessly integrated into two neighborhoods, so that one home may belong to Apple Patch and the other may belong to your family.

"We have a responsibility to maintain these homes and keep them a warm and comfortable place to live for our residents. Conducting air sealing on our homes will not only make our homes more sustainable but will also lower the costs of utilities for our organization and by proxy our residents. 100% of our residents are low income and while utilities are included in their rent fees, if utility prices continue to rise rent costs will have to rise.

This will be such a great opportunity to lower our utility costs and hopefully provide a model to be replicated in other communities around the country!"

Our gift:

The Apple Patch Community will be able to address the energy usage of their homes with real world environmental data, which benefits everyone as it reduces our energy usage which is good for the environment. More directly it benefits the adults that live in these homes.

A $2,400 grant will allow the community to work with a weatherization company that is providing services at cost to air seal one of our 17 homes. This is the most effective weatherization tool that reduces energy use for homeowners. Following the results (and hopeful savings) of the first home, Apple Patch will be able to replicate it to their other 16 homes.