MilkCrate

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (100 words):
MilkCrate is an online hub to find local sustainable resources and information. It‘s like a green Yelp and green Google maps put together with a little extra. Users can search or browse our database of over 1,600 businesses, like fashion boutiques selling garments made in the city, bike repair shops, or restaurants serving local produce. Eventually we plan to integrate alternative currencies so that users can find where they can spend SNAP benefits and Equal Dollars. All of this data already exists but it lives in disparate corners of the internet. MilkCrate brings it all together under one green roof (just joking, it‘s really a website). MilkCrate will make living a greener lifestyle fun, easy, and accessible.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $800 is your imaginary budget (50 words):

We plan to meet our start-up costs through a campaign on Kickstarter, however we need funds to help create the incentive gifts for our campaign. The $800 would cover purchasing and printing costs to print MilkCrate t-shirts and tote bags for donors, helping us to raise the $30,000 we need to hire a developer.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):

MilkCrate began as my thesis project for my Masters of Science in Sustainable Design at Philadelphia University. Very early in the process I knew I wanted MilkCrate to be a real world venture because it is still too hard for most people to find the information they need to act on their values, particularly knowing how to support the local economy and businesses who are invested in sustainable practices. I wanted to organize all the knowledge and choices I had made and make it easy for others to participate as well. MilkCrate became the perfect vehicle for my work as a sustainability designer and as a community organizer.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):
Philadelphia does not currently have a consumer oriented hub for sustainable resources and information. While certain organizations and individuals have created directories, maps and other materials to help inform the public, none provide a one-stop point of reference, let alone well-maintained or designed. While Grid Magazine covers these topics, there is no way to search or browse the businesses they cover as someone wanting to know ‘where to eat tonight‘ or ‘shop today.‘ MilkCrate fills this void by unifying this information. MilkCrate has the potential to radically simplify and expand participation with the local sustainable economy.