Years ago, a friend of mine tried to put together a Kickstarter. It was not fun. Because of Kickstarter's then-policy of every project going through a strict approval process, she had to write and rewrite her proposal a handful of times to get her project on the site. That policy has changed.
A few weeks ago, Kickstarter announced a new section on their site called "Launch Now," which allows users to upload projects without input from the staff. The goal was to streamline the process and keep Kickstarter staff only occupied with the truly iffy proposals. However, this new method also evidently leads to a Kickstarter for a $10 potato salad earning $70,000 and counting.
There's no real reason to go into any more detail about that specific project -- it's gotten all the publicity it needs, and has actually led to an annoying amount of copycats in the site's Food category -- but if you're actually considering clicking over and donating money to that dude's potato salad project, why not also throw a little money towards these other, actually worthwhile, projects as well:
A Regional Permaculture Resource Hub
The Permaculture Research Institute: Cold Climate needs funds to create a regional hub in the Minneapolis area that would share "ideas, skills, and resources for growing healthy local food, communities, and ecosystems." Inside the hub will be a resource library, a training site, an event space, and other vital materials to help instruct the community.
Play With Your Brew: Brew Salt
Think your coffee, beer, or popcorn needs an extra little kick? Brew Salt intends to liven things up with their assortment of habanero, chocolate, lime, and bacon-flavored sea salts.
ChocoLazer Chocolate Melting Gun
The ChocoLazer is basically a hot glue gun, but instead of glue coming out of it, it's chocolate. That's good enough for me.
The Craft Your Own Bitters Kit
No longer must you look at those tiny bottles at the bar labeled "bitters" with a mix of amazement and confusion. With the Craft Your Own Bitters Kit, you can create your own bitters in the comfort of your own home!
Save Our Monarchs
Save Our Monarchs is as straightforward as these things get. They want to save the disappearing population of Monarch butterflies by planting as many milkweed plants as they can. (Monarch larvae feed on milkweed.) Every seed pack costs 50 cents, and they want to plant a minimum of 15,000 packets, which is why the project's goal is set at $7,500.
Located in Bushwick, New York, the Farm-In-The-Sky is a 10,000 square foot rooftop farm that will grow 6,000 pounds of food annually to be used to help feed the community. This project is just about funded, so if you act now you can be the one to put them over the top.
Salad Box: Vertical Aquaponics
The Salad Box is a repurposed shipping container that's its own self-sustaining food production system. They take shipping containers, stick solar panels on top of them for electricity, and develop intricate aquaponic vertical garden inside. Once complete, the container can be shipped anywhere someone wants to do some urban farming.
Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate
A husband-and-wife team out of Atlanta are using the expertise they gained in Costa Rica to bring delicious, hand-crafted chocolates back to the U.S.
OmieBox: Hot and Cold Food Lunchbox
The problem with the lunchbox is that you can't use the same one to bring hot and cold food items to work or school. Enter: The OmieBox. They've developed a streamlined lunchbox that stores both hot and cold food, so you or your kids can have a meal with both fresh fruit and veggies and a hot entree.
Organics of Chicago
If they achieve their $50,000 funding goal (it's only at $1,820 as of this writing), Organics of Chicago intends to turn a distressed building in the Windy City into an urban garden to help provide low-income housing units with fresh fruits and vegetables.
So, there you go. Any of the above are more worthwhile than giving money to someone's crappy potato salad.
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