Nathalie Lafosse gave up a professional cycling career in her teenage years and any dream of winning a medal. However, one never knows what awaits in the future. On October 21, 2017 Nathalie won the PremaGyan Good100 medal at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. There she presented her project, Merci les Abeilles, to the GoodFestival 3rd edition. In June 2017, Nathalie started this project and by the end of August she gave up her full time job.
Teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in schools with Graines d’entrepreneurs / InnovEntrepreneurs, Nathalie was in awe of new agricultural drones. However, this technological advancement left her wondering what had happened to the bees, and until that point she did not know that bees pollinated the fruits and vegetables we need to survive. Throwing herself into research, Nathalie found up to 80% of bees in Europe are dying due to three factors: pesticides, pollution and climate change. Why invest so much money in new technology when a solution already exists? A solution which has been around for hundreds of years; years before pesticides came into play. While she knew that she could not single handedly take down Monsanto, inspiration struck.
In the U.S. and Canada, a reusable beeswax wrap exists to replace clingfilm and aluminum foil to reduce waste. There is one thing Nathalie is certain of: everyone can play a small part in saving our planet and saving the bees but they need to be more conscious, and reduce the amount of waste each individual produces on a daily basis. In an effort to reduce waste, it seemed absurd to buy an eco-friendly product that has travelled from China to the U.S. to Switzerland. So Nathalie set to it; watching tutorials on YouTube, learning to make her very own beeswax food wrap, and coming up with her own method.
Although it may seem crazy to create a product from bees, because Nathalie herself is actually afraid of bees and insects, her beeswrap prototype is getting ready for Swiss and European markets. Not only is the revenue from her zero waste website going to finance bee preservation, Nathalie shall run workshops teaching people about building, running and owning hives, educating children, teenagers and adults about the urgency of the world’s little pollinators’ situation. She hopes to raise awareness for local beekeepers, and ramp up their profits through the sales of beeswax to individuals making beeswax wraps at home.
Having recently started the journey, along with her family, to become zero-waste, the Merci les Abeilles website sells other zero-waste products and provides tips to help people begin the daunting journey of becoming zero-waste.
Even more impressive for a four month old startup are the big plans Nathalie has for the future. The big idea is to have a marketplace connecting local beekeepers and zero-waste products to consumers. Not only is she working to start campaigning to save the bees in Senegal, she hopes to set up a social project providing jobs for disabled people in Switzerland; employing them to make beeswrap and other zero-waste products.
Nathalie wants you!
Lab tests are expensive, but Nathalie needs her beeswrap to pass Swiss and European muster. She has done what she can, but the bees can not wait. Therefore, Nathalie is running an impressive crowdfunding campaign on One Million Sparks. Within an hour and a half, donations have doubled from $600 to $1,120. With a goal of $10,000, she hopes to translate her website into multiple languages, run workshops in cities and schools across the continent, and generate income for beekeepers… all on a quest to save our bees.