I take long showers. Anyone who knows me well enough will tell you this. People always ask, “What do you do in there?”. I’ve even heard the term “hour-shower” thrown around. I don’t really take an hour long shower, but I do take a long one. They’re amazing too. Allow me to explain.

Firstly, it’s the one time a day I get to myself, uninterrupted from phone calls, emails, text messages, instant messages, work chat, and many other communication channels I deal with on a daily basis. It can be exhausting. But, not in the shower. I don’t have any of this in the shower.

Secondly, I have this theory I cooked up one time while taking a shower, about how much more the brain can focus while showering due to temperature regulation and comfort. My body isn’t having to expend additional energy to keep cool or stay warm, and it’s also not distracted by this unpleasantry.

I have a couple other reasons like the pleasant sound of the running water and the overall reliance of this as a thinking place. So, this is why I take long showers, because it’s where I have some of my best thoughts.

Now, why am I sharing all of this with you and what does is have to do with “Where to Buy By-products?”. Well, naturally I had an idea this morning that I felt needed sharing.

st_ives_apricotSo, while taking my shower this morning, uninterrupted from the chaos of modern life, I began my routine standing under the water for a few minutes as my vision began to clear from my night’s rest. After I began to see a bit more clearly, I reached for the facial scrub and proceeded to clean my face. This isn’t just any facial scrub though. This is an apricot facial scrub. My girlfriend picked it out - I quite like it. After scrubbing my face in hopes of ridding myself from any future breakouts, and sitting the scrub back down, I started to think.

Where does St. Ives get the apricot cores that are a key ingredient to their face scrub’s success? Do they buy fresh apricots just for their cores and remove the fruit’s meat? Maybe they send all their employees home with fresh apricots each day. Surely not though, that’d be way too expensive. Maybe they just buy rotten apricots from produce vendors, or maybe they have a relationship with various companies that sell canned apricots and have the seed core as waste - a by-product. Yea, I bet that’s what they do, that sounds the most logical.

And with this new “realization”, I allowed my mind to go further.

So, if St. Ives gets their apricot cores from these relationships with apricot canning companies, how long did it take to establish those relationships? I wonder if they have supply issues and quality control problems. Finding other companies might not be that easy, and if you did find them, how’s that conversation going to go? “Oh hey, I’d like to buy your cores that you’re throwing away”. I’m sure that conversation would be welcomed, but what about the logistics. Does that canning company even know they have an opportunity available with their waste by-product?

I’m sure you can tell where this went next. With this new “realization” in mind, I began down a path of possibilities where there are lots of opportunities for companies and manufacturers with by-products to sell their waste to other manufacturers that have a need for these in their own products.

Now, obviously these companies have some sort of way of obtaining these key ingredients today. I don’t know what it is, I can only surmise for the time being. But, I can only imagine that finding many of these ingredients is difficult at best.

Armed with this new revelation, I concluded that there is a need for a new marketplace where manufacturers can list up their by-products for sell and other’s in need of these by-products can arrange to purchase. Not only would this provide a revenue opportunity for manufacturers with by-products seen and treated as waste, but it would also offer an easier way for others to find those key ingredients. And also, it opens the door for a massive improvement in the re-use of waste, a key piece with regards to recycling.

All the tree-hugging hippies will rejoice and all will be good in the world. It would be an excellent contribution to the world.

Lastly, one other piece that may be overlooked here is the potential for others to get ideas on how to create products and re-use by-products for other creative ideas. Much of the waste and by-products, I can surmise, goes unrealized and with more eyes and thought on the potential for these by-products to become something useful, everyone wins.

So, this is why I take long showers. So I can have ideas like these every day. So I can sort things out in my mind and take a deep breath from the constant stream of chaos.