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Con-Post: Prisons focus on greening too

Being sustainable is something that everybody is doing, no matter where they are in life. Interesting article from MSNBC

Inmates of the minimum-security facility, 25 miles from Olympia, the state capital, raise bees, grow organic tomatoes and lettuce, compost 100 percent of food waste and even recycle shoe scraps that are made into playground turf.

“It reduces cost, reduces our damaging impact on the environment, engages inmates as students,” said Eldon Vail, secretary of the Washington Department of Corrections, which oversees 15 prisons and 18,000 offenders. “It’s good security.”

Article is continued below

The most interesting and reinforcing part of this article (for me) was that people can be entrepreneurial ANYWHERE. Inmates should not be allowed to make money, but should do positive projects that build skills, and more importantly, give them hope to make a decent, peaceful living when they leave. Some recycle scraps from old prison blues to make diaper bags for women’s shelters and dog beds for animal shelters. Another inmate is managing a bee hive, learning to make honey and lotions from the wax.

How great would it be if companies like Burt’s Bees or smaller farmer market businesses came into prisons and taught sustainable skills? Reform is possible for those willing to change.

About the Author: Christine Haskell

Christine is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft with several years experience in the .com industry. She recently started social venture labs, an idea incubator for those leading small mission-driven businesses or organizations looking to create relationships, share ideas and [...]

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