If we're lucky, the BP Gulf disaster could soon be over (at least the oil gushing part of it), but the damaged local communities will need help for a long time to come. That's where the Pepsi Refresh Project's "Do Good for the Gulf" initiative comes in. Launched as an extension to Pepsi's Refresh Project, which crowdsources grants for worthy organizations, the initiative will dole out $1.3 million in grants to projects that help the Gulf—and any projects that directly deal with the environmental impacts of the BP spill don't count.
Voting just began today on the 278 ideas in the running for grants, but clear front-runners have already emerged. Our favorites include the Seed Project, Seafood Cooking Classes for the Gulf, Displaced Worker Retraining, Fabien Cousteau's Plant a Fish initiative, and Mental Health Services for Gulf Victims. There are also some odd ones—Take a Group of Kids to the Texas Renaissance Festival and Save Cleanup Volunteers' Hats from Blowing Off, to name a few—but overall, we're impressed with the quality of submissions.
The Refresh Project is accepting votes until Sept. 2, at which point the 32 most popular ideas will get grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. Want to chime in? Vote here—and as we mentioned before, consider using a little less petroleum in your daily life by replacing a PepsiCo Aquafina bottle with water from the tap.