It’s St. Patrick’s day, and green is the name of the game! Green is the color of Ireland, leprechauns, and money, sure, but it’s also the color of an awakening earth that is ready to embrace the finest season of the year. So, today, as you sneak around drinking Irish coffee in the office and pinching those sad souls that forgot to sport the holiday color, take a minute to appreciate those that are working hard to preserve the greenness of our earth.
There are many big organizations leading the fight to protect and restore our environment. While their work is critical, it’s important to remember that the wonderful thing about eco-friendliness is that even the smallest efforts can make a huge impact. Senegalese company Bégué Coco is living proof of this.
What’s the story?
Bégué means “happiness” in the Senegalese language of Wolof. And that’s exactly what this small business is all about it.
Based in Dakar, Bégué Coco is an environmentally-conscious social business that is promoting healthy living and sustainable business practices through the small-scale production of natural coconut products. As Senegal’s first virgin oil producer, they use their virgin coconut oil product line to introduce healthy beauty and cooking practices into the Senegalese market. Between the raw juice cocktails and virgin coconut oil cosmetics, Bégué Coco supports African producers and consumers through creating wholesome alternatives at affordable prices.
“We started Bégué Coco because we wanted to show the people of Senegal the incredible things you could do with its natural resources. We also did it to show the world that the people of Senegal have the skills and initiative to develop their country through a sustainable and responsible business.”
– Emma Giloth, Co-Founder and Assistant Director
How does it work?
Bégué Coco uses a triple bottom line approach. This means that they measure their impact by analyzing the environmental, economic, and social elements that make their business truly sustainable.
Bégué Coco is built on the principles of “recycle, reduce, and reuse.” They repurpose raw coconut parts for artisanal, combustible, and gardening purposes, and they limit their use of plastic as much as possible. The team even uses a solar dehydrator to minimize energy use and reduce pollution. Bégué Coco also goes beyond selling coconut products. They partner with neighboring organizations to sell clean cooking and lighting products that are eco-friendly and economical.
The Bégué Coco Cabana is a communal space that promotes ecological design, healthy living, and happiness! It’s built completely out of recycled materials, including thousands of plastic bottles and 60 tires. The Cabana serves as a meeting space for the Jokko Association’s Environment School Initiative, a program that benefits around 1,000 local Wolof youths. Bégué Coco also hosts weekly donation-based yoga and meditation classes at their cabana.
With over half of the working population unemployed, job creation and retentions is a top priority for the Senegalese. Currently, more than 50 individuals rely on Bégué Coco’s revenues. As the business grows, it will be able to provide for even more Senegalese families. Moreover, all of the company’s employees are paid fair wages and provided with suitable work conditions. The wide range of products also allows customers of all income levels to benefit from their coconut-based goods. Bégué Coco is bolstering the Senegalese economy not only by creating jobs, but also by sourcing its materials from local producers and retailers.
How can you help?
The easiest way to support Bégué Coco’s work is to order some of their fabulous products! You can check out their inventory and place an online order here.
Do you have a rock on your left-hand ring finger? Consider helping Bégué Coco by creating a charitable wedding registry!