Managing and Reusing Plastic Waste

The Kishoka Youth Organization located on the coast of the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, Kenya aims to bring young boys and girls together in an effort to reduce idleness by sensitizing them to the dangers of unmanaged plastic waste and its detrimental effect on the environment and empowering them to become environmental advocates. We are very pleased to be helping them organize workshops educating youth groups on waste management and environmental justice. These workshops will include collecting plastic waste across various communities and the participants will be taught on how to reuse the waste to build various items such as eco-benches, bulb holders, padded stools, wall decors and bangles/bracelets. Additional workshops will be organized in 5 major schools, targeting 3,500 students, with the objective to collect all the plastic waste within and beyond the school compound. The expectation is that the children will then become environmental advocates within their community.


Briquettes for Cooking

The purpose of the Star Initiative organization in Vihiga County, Kenya is to train young mothers in the production of briquettes to be used in households for cooking purposes. Many women throughout the county spend most of their time cutting down trees to obtain firewood. The firewood and charcoal produce indoor air pollution, one of the leading causes of the 400,000 deaths from respiratory diseases that occur each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Briquettes, made by mixing cow dung, water and soil which is shaped and molded into little bricks, produce very little carbon dioxide and no hazardous soot. With our support, more than 50 women will be trained and supplied with equipment to produce briquettes for their community. The production and use of briquettes will not only allow young mothers to spend more time farming and raising their children, rather than spending hours collecting the firewood and needlessly cutting down trees, but will also reduce the number of children suffering from respiratory infections which require expensive treatments and lead to school absenteeism and ultimately to high drop-out rates.

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Restoring the Reefs of Roatan

We are very excited to announce our partnership with Bay Islands Reef Restoration in Roatan, Honduras. Their goal is to get former fisherman, from the relatively poor Punta Gorda Garifuna community, involved in coral gardening by educating them on the importance of protecting and restoring coral reefs and teaching them how to help clean the nursery and plant corals. The organization is currently growing Elkhorn and Staghorn corals in offshore, in-water coral "tree" nurseries and out-planting nursery-raised corals back on the reef. More than 20 genotypes of Elkhorn and Staghorn coral are being curated and to date, nearly 500 corals have been planted back on the reef. Once their dive training is completed and their coral restoration techniques are perfected, the hope is that these fishermen will become ardent protectors of the reef and lessen their dependency on fishing by being actively involved in the growing diving industry.

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Building Efficient Fuel Stoves

The objective of the Namamali Kazi Mashinani self-help group is to improve cooking conditions for women by installing efficient energy saving cooking stoves in poor households in rural Western Kenya, to promote tree planting for increased forest cover for carbon sequestration and to reduce the number of respiratory illnesses in families. The majority of households are still cooking using open fires, wasting up to 80% of the energy produced while consuming large quantities of fueLwood, leading to deforestation, soil erosion and flooding. In addition, these open fires emit vast amounts of carbon in the air as they are very poorly ventilated, resulting in unsafe health conditions for the entire family. Our support will help train 20 poor women to build highly efficient cooking stoves for families. These stoves burn with very little wood and have a ventilation stack to keep the air quality safe in the home. The construction of the stoves will be done using local labour and materials. Once their training is completed, the women will be tasked with constructing new stoves across their community, targeting primarily poor households. The goal is to build an additional 1,000 stoves over a 12-month period.

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Recycling Human Waste

Lung’anyiro Community Health Works in Kenya is working on recycling and using human urine for the purpose of producing agricultural fertilizer. In the rural communities of Kakamega County, women are responsible for half of the food production, and yet the plots they cultivate are mostly poor and infertile. We are supporting this initiative to provide access to a natural and free supply of fertilizer, with a goal to improve overall soil fertility and increase crop yields by four to five times. 20 women will be trained in urine recycling and crop fertilization techniques and the organization will distribute 150 unisex urinals to households in the community. The trained women will then collect the urine from each home and transport it in plastic containers to the urine processing plant, a greenhouse built to treat urine for pathogens. The urine is initially sanitized by using a heated pasteurizer, then left to cool and decompose for a period of 30 days after which it is ready for use as a fertilizer. The fertilizer will then be distributed for free to the poor farmers in the community and the subsequent increase in overall crop production will provide food security and additional income to all the farming families.


Building Materials Made of Plastic Waste

The Crusaders for Environmental Protection and Ozone Watch in Cameroon provide durable solid waste management solutions and an alternative to the use of timber by promoting and encouraging the recycling of plastic waste into aesthetic, durable and environmentally friendly building materials such as plastic lumber, roofing tiles and pavements. The primary objective is to remove over a period of a year 100,000 kilograms of plastic waste in the city of Bamenda which is littering the streets, clogging sewers and encroaching on people’s properties and to use this waste to manufacture plastic building materials. To accomplish this, we are providing our support to empower and train local youth on recycling and manufacturing techniques to produce various materials such as lumber, roofing tiles, pavements, posts, chairs, tables etc. These recycled plastic products do not rot, are termite resistant, outlast timber in application and can be cut, drilled and nailed as easily as timber. The project will promote youth employment by the creation of 50 direct and over 100 indirect jobs. In addition, the community will be sensitized and educated on issues of environmental degradation, waste recycling and the preservation of natural resources through various outreach campaigns.

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Charcoal Briquette Production

Women in Action is community-based organization, based in the Busana sub-county of Uganda, with whom we are partnering to equip up to 120 women and adolescent girls with the skills and equipment to manufacture charcoal briquettes using various organic waste materials mixed in with soil, cassava flour and clay. Due to the lack of available cooking fuels, virtually all the trees have been cut down for firewood in most of the local communities and there have been no reforestation initiatives. Women and children (who represent 75% of the local population) spend on average over one hour a day looking for firewood. The burnt firewood produces vast amounts of pollution and compromises the health of entire households. According to local district health reports, 50% of children have breathing issues and the very little income families have is spent on health-related expenses. On the other hand, charcoal briquettes produce very little carbon dioxide and pollution. Income generated from the sales of the briquettes will be used to pay primarily for school fees, health expenses and other household costs. Some of the income will be set aside topurchase tree saplings to be planted in areas that have been deforested due to firewood collection.


Encouraging Local Conservation in P.R.

We are thrilled to be partnering with Harimau Conservation in Puerto Rico supporting a unique initiative to: 1 – enact humane and environmental education in three elementary and middle schools located in Morovis, a municipality in the northern part of the island, to create environmental awareness and sustainable solutions to the problems caused by the effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria. The goal is to provide 600 children and young adults the tools and motivation to generate a sustainable world; 2 – develop a sustainable community through the use of problem-based learning. Children learn together through activities aimed at understanding the natural world and grow up with those values driving their every action thereafter; and 3 –grow and expand the native plant garden to reforest the nearby neighbouring nature reserve and foster the native butterfly and bee populations that are essential to the reforestation processes. Participants will also be invited to join investigative field trips and outdoor activities at the nature reserve to work on trail restoration and to monitor cave systems and local ecosystem health. The overall objective is to teach the children how to become experts in environmental interpretation, group management skills, the social economy and understanding the Sustainable Development Goals as set out by the United Nations.