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This month in social innovation: July 2019

Every day, real solutions are happening to solve pressing issues around the world? Here is a selection of some inspiring news from July 2019!

A moral economy would save taxpayers billions every year
The Deficit Hawks versus the Big Spenders. That’s how the media typically portrays budget battles. But what if government action to tackle our country’s most urgent social and environmental problems can actually save money? In a new report, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Poor People’s Campaign reveal some of these underreported savings as part of a detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of transitioning to a moral economy.

Planting 1 trillion trees could slow climate change. Here’s how Canada could contribute
Planting a trillion trees could be the “most effective way to fight global warming,” according to a recent study, but summoning a massive forest is no easy feat, according to the head of Forests Ontario. The study, published in the Journal of Science, suggests that planting trees could be an affordable and effective way of combating the climate crisis. It also named Canada as one of the six countries with enough land to make an effort in this tree planting process.

This Ontario town is trying to be Canada’s first carbon-neutral community
The project began with a core group of residents encouraging neighbours to take simple steps like switching to LED light bulbs and joining an annual drive to plant deciduous trees throughout the community. One couple, Les Zawadzki and Linda Henry, were about to build a new home in the village and embraced green technologies they’d learned about through the initiative—extra insulation under heated concrete floors; triple-glazed windows; a roof covered with solar panels; special aluminum tiles for heating water and collecting rainwater for landscaping.

What happened after two decades of affordable childcare in Quebec
The program generated income taxes to cover more than 100 percent of the cost. The increase in the number of young women in Quebec’s labor force has generated such a return in terms of taxation, taxes back into economies in social benefits, and fewer families depending on social benefits, which in turn increases government savings.

Dutch supermarket introduces a “Chat Checkout” to help fight loneliness
In the Netherlands (and in many other countries) loneliness amongst elderly people is very common. According to research, about 50% of people 55 years and older experience loneliness. This inspired the Dutch local Jumbo Supermarket in Vlijmen to launch a “Chat Checkout”. People who would like to have a little chat can take this special checkout where things may take a bit more time, as the cashier makes time for some chit chat.

Canadian Food Innovators Network receives $30 million
One of the key projects being undertaken will be the creation of a digital hub, what the government said would be a “first step toward a Canadian Agri-Food Innovation Centre.” The hub for agri-food innovation will be created to help create new food products and advance technology adoption in the sector. Another part of the initiative will involve connecting industry stakeholders through digital resources and collaborative activities.

Syrian refugee chocolatier’s treats are literally going out of this world

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