Impactfully No. 75: Renewed Purpose

Solar energy finds its way to sidewalks, and wastewater goes positively potable.

Impactfully No. 75: Renewed Purpose
Photo by Thomas Tucker / Unsplash

Happy New Year! Hope you are refreshed and fired up for 2024, whether that's getting more involved in your community, taking your next career step, or simply living more sustainably in the year ahead.

We are introducing a new format for the newsletter this year, one that's designed to spark new ideas and collaboration as much as help you find a new job. If there's one thing we know about social impact, it's that it takes a team – we want the newsletter to become a way for us to connect with each other as a community working on the world's most challenging problems.

Against that backdrop, let's get kicked off – onwards and upwards, change agent!

~ Greg

What we're reading

What if our walkways could become sources of energy? A company in the Netherlands has outfitted bike paths with solar panels to produce electricity. (Electrek)

  • My favorite part of this idea is how it takes advantage of existing infrastructure. It can be difficult to carve out land for renewable energy projects in congested areas, but this makes it possible to generate electricity without increasing our footprint.
  • I am curious, however, whether this would be less effective in a country like the United States – we have more space for solar farms than the Netherlands. I would think we'd want to invest in the best energy density per dollar – the sooner to turn away from polluting energy sources.

California passed new regulations so water authorities can convert wastewater into drinking water. They don't have to do so – it gives them the option. The idea is to shore up water supplies in a state increasingly impacted by drought conditions. (Axios)

  • Honestly, when I read this the first time I thought: we're not doing this already?
  • For years, I've heard of recycling urine on the International Space Station. Not too long ago, NASA announced that they are recovering 98% of wastewater.
  • If the thought abhors you, it could be worse: we could be wearing stillsuits instead.

Job of the week

If your current job is ruff and leaves you barking mad – oh fine, I'll throw you a bone and knock it off with the dog puns – you might want to consider this excellent opportunity at West Paw, a Certified B Corp in Bozeman, MT.

They're seeking a Director of Product Innovation with 10 years of experience to lead their product development. It sounds like a great job for a connector – you'd partner with other organizations within West Paw to develop environmentally-responsible products for pups around the world.

Community roundup

  • Murder rates dropped significantly in 2023, and other types of crime also decreased. In contrast, the public generally believes that crime has gotten worse. (The Atlantic)
  • Researchers in Australia have found a way to diagnose Parkinson's disease earlier in life which may lead to better treatments. (SciTechDaily)
  • Desalination may become more energy-efficient in the future, thanks to new solar-powered systems being developed in China. (ABC News)
  • A new wave of startup companies is racing to become the first to leverage naturally-occurring hydrogen as a clean energy source. (The Independent)
  • "Plastic rocks" have been discovered around the world, and scientists are still determining their impact on the environments in which they appear. (Newsweek)
  • Canadian restaurants can no longer offer single-use plastics like cutlery, straws, and plastic bags after a ban was introduced last year, part of the country's goal to eliminate plastic waste by 2030. The ban is being challenged in court. (
  • 2022's nuclear energy breakthrough – a net-energy gain from a fusion reaction for the first time – was repeated multiple times in 2023. (The Hill)
  • The EPA published its Automotive Trends Report for model-year 2022 vehicles, and CO2 emissions fell to the lowest average ever. (Ars Technica)

Hot job opportunities

Hiring for mission-driven talent? Post a job for free on our job board.

Looking for a job? Submit your resume to our talent pool, and let social impact companies come to you.

Upcoming events

Tuesday, Jan. 9

Friday, Jan. 12

  • The Big Cleanup. Clearwater, FL. 9:00 - 11:00 AM Eastern. Clearwater is renowned for its beaches, and this monthly cleanup event helps keep them pristine.

Thursday, Jan. 25

Want to highlight an upcoming event in the newsletter? Send me the details.

Resource of the week

If you read the newsletter each week, you know we feature a lot of B Corps in our job opportunities. B Corps are also great to check out when you want a purchase to further social or environmental impact. So how do you know which companies are B Corps?

The logo is key: it's kind of like looking for the Fair Trade or Made in the USA symbol on packaging. I'd personally recommend using the Find a B Corp tool online, however. You can search by keyword and even filter on company size and ownership. From there, you can research the companies to find out if they are hiring or not.

Don't know what a B Corp is and why it matters? Check out this overview.

Test your knowledge

Get those trivia synapses firing (or rev up your favorite social impact search engine) for this week's question:

In what year was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a historic document proclaiming the rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled, adopted by the United Nations?

Email me your guess, and I'll send one lucky winner a couple of One Work stickers!

I am enjoying that most elusive of Florida weather: a week without humidity. You can find me on LinkedIn and Threads.

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Jamie Larson