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"Every single day, there are people doing beautiful things and making the world a better place." -Colleen Osborne
 
Hello everyone! It’s been said that creativity is seeing what everyone else sees and yet thinking of something that has not been commonly thought of yet. For example, furniture made from used chopsticks, or delivering individual flan desserts, with gratitude, to all of a city's firemen! :) In our issue this week, we share stories of creativity and innovation that lead to making the world a better place. Enjoy! And wishing you a week of beauty and love.

EVERYDAY HEROES

After 40 Days In A Bomb Shelter, 2 Ukrainian Refugees And 17 Dogs Start New Life In Poland

After 40 Days In A Bomb Shelter, 2 Ukrainian Refugees And 17 Dogs Start New Life In Poland

CNN

The day before the war in Ukraine began, Valerie Liscratenko and her mother, Liliana, moved into a bomb shelter with their puppies. They setup older dogs in the nearby factory where Liscratenko worked as a guard, and would run out to feed them. When the shelling got too heavy to risk exposing themselves, they moved all the dogs into the bomb shelter one morning. Some dogs were too sick or injured to come, but they rounded up all the canines they could and ran back into the bomb shelter. Shortly after, a bomb exploded right where they had been running. After 40 days in the shelter, drinking water became contaminated, and people and dogs began falling sick. It was time to go. They found an animal shelter in Ukraine that connected them to Aaron Jackson, who had traveled from Florida, US, to Poland shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. Jackson found an empty animal shelter in Poland and got permission to begin running it. The Liscratenkos, with their 17 dogs, were the first to arrive. "I could see right away that they were good with dogs. ... I couldn't help but notice that all the dogs really loved (them)," Jackson told CNN. Now Valerie and her mother work at the shelter. She calls the dogs her children, and remarks that while the people at the shelter speak different languages, they all understand each other "because it's love that unites us." Read Full Story.

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NEWS

Dutch Students Have Invented A Zero Emissions Car That Captures Carbon As It Drives

Dutch Students Have Invented A Zero Emissions Car That Captures Carbon As It Drives

In the Netherlands, college students have invented a zero-emissions car that captures carbon while driving. They call it ZEM for "Zero Emission Mobility". "This car was made with the goal to minimize the CO2 emitted during the manufacturing phase, the life phase and the end-of-life phase," Jens Lahaije, member of the Eindhoven University of Technology team who created the vehicle, told Euronews. The team estimates its 3D-printed car features two filters that can capture up to 2 kilgrams of CO2 over 30 thousand kilometers of driving. While this is a small amount (it would take at least 12 cars driving 30,000 km each to absorb the same amount as the average tree annually), the students hope to increase the filter's capacity over time, and they imagine a future when the filters can be emptied at charging stations. "The final goal is to inspire the industry," Lahaije explains. "If some car manufacturer sees this and wants to produce it, we're all in for it, of course. But a more realistic perspective is that they adopt certain technologies and innovations we've implemented." Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

A Boy With Cancer Hoped To See Monsters. Hundreds Of Strangers Showed Up In Costume.

A Boy With Cancer Hoped To See Monsters. Hundreds Of Strangers Showed Up In Costume.

Clint Patterson | Unsplash

Alexandros Hurdakis of Ontario, Canada, was less than a year old when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Recently, the Hurdakises were told there was nothing more doctors could do to save their son, now 5. The treatments that had kept Alex alive were failing and the boy had only days or weeks left to live. The boy's parents wanted to make his remaining time as meaningful as possible and asked what he wanted to experience. His answer: Halloween, specifically monsters. When a close friend came by to visit the family and learned of Alex's desire, she made it her mission to bring Halloween to the family. She posted on Facebook; the post was soon flooded with comments from strangers and almost immediately. "My inbox exploded," said family friend Paula Tzouanakis Anderson. 500 people replied to the Facebook event she created and roughly 1,000 showed up in costume for the parade that Tzouanakis Anderson organized. The Hurdakis family was floored by the community support. "It was surprising and amazing. We never expected something like this. It was beautiful, said Alex's father, Nick Hurdakis. Hurdakis said he and his family felt carried by the community; amidst the most painful point in his life, Hurdakis and his family are feeling gratitude for all of the support. Read Full Story.

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BUSINESS

Making A Desk With 10,000 Recycled Chopsticks

Making A Desk With 10,000 Recycled Chopsticks

ChopValue

While eating at a sushi restaurant five years ago, Felix Böck remembers venting to his wife about the disparity between living a circular economy versus just talking about it. "Felix, sometimes you have to start very small," she said. As he watched a waiter toss used chopsticks in the trash, an idea  surfaced: "What if I start "really" small, with chopsticks?" The day after his sushi dinner, Böck set to work. He brought bins for used chopsticks to restaurants in his Vancouver neighborhood, and picked them up weekly. "The restaurant owners were happy because they have less trash to get rid of; I am happy because I can use a precious resource, and the customer gets high-quality products." Böck's 35 employees now collect 330,000 chopsticks from restaurants in Vancouver each week. Since he started, Böck has diverted over 77 million chopsticks from the landfill in Canada, Asia and the U.S. From Bali to Boston, Singapore to Liverpool, his 60 microfactories now turn chopsticks into desks, shelves, cutting boards, and more. His company, ChopValue, also aims to have a low CO2 footprint: "Ideally, when a customer in Singapore places an order, my colleagues in Singapore will manufacture his products from local chopsticks." At one Vancouver restaurant, Pacific Poke, customers eat at tables in front of wall panels made from chopsticks of previous customers. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

30 Before 30: South SF Man Vows Dozens Of Acts Of Kindness Before Next Birthday

30 Before 30: South SF Man Vows Dozens Of Acts Of Kindness Before Next Birthday

Ditto Bowo | Unsplash

Bryan Tsilacos of South San Francisco, US, considers himself fortunate; he has a job that lets him work remotely and spend more time with his family. He's grateful and he thought now is a good time to show it. He's committed to completing 30 acts of kindness in the last year of his 20s. "Thirty being around the corner, I thought probably now would be a good time to do some self-reflection and one of the things that stood out to me was that I realized that all of the achievements and successes were not possible without the generosity and kindness of others. Because so many people have helped me along this journey and I decided for my last year of my 20s I wanted to give back by doing 30 acts of kindness," he told NBC Bay Area news. One of his first acts of kindness is to deliver individual flan desserts to every fire station in the city of San Jose, California, where his brother lives. That's 32 fire stations and almost 400 individual flan desserts in all. He is both committed to completing his 30 acts of kindness and to inspiring others and starting a chain reaction of kindness. Read Full Story.

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