Brazil Lutheran University of Brazil; Santarém, Brazil
The Lutheran University of Brazil students partnered with the Community Aritapera Center Association to build mobile, floating vegetable gardens supported by recycled plastic bottles with eight households along the Amazon River.
Project H₂ORTA is inspired by the scientific term for water, H₂O, and the Portuguese word for vegetable garden, “horta.” In addition to leveraging recycled materials, Project H₂ORTA plans to create a system of water treatment and reuse to facilitate irrigation in the vegetable gardens during the river’s dry season. Community members will be trained by the team to manage the eco-friendly gardens and sell the produce in local markets, resulting in a positive impact on the environment and economy.
State University of São Paulo - Faculty of Science and Letters (UNESP Assis); Assis, Brazil
Students of the State University of São Paulo are working with the Rural Producers Association of Assis, representing 200 family farmers, to advance environmental and agricultural sustainability by constructing a biodigester to produce fertilizer. The fertilizer generated by the biodigester will reduce the chemical fertilizers used by farmers and improve the production and quality of foods while decreasing expenses. The biodigester can also produce bio gas as an alternative energy source and generate carbon credits.
In addition to the positive environmental impacts generated, the farmers producing the eco-friendly fertilizer will benefit from selling their product to other farmers for an additional source of income.
Universidade Federal da ABC; Santo André, Brazil
ABC is a Region of the State of São Paulo, comprising three big cities: Santo André, São Bernardo and São Caetano.
Universidade Federal da ABC, is partnering with Núcleo de Projetos Especiais, an organization that assists mental health patients and fosters social reintegration. The student team plans to establish a cooperative to provide job opportunities by creating and selling products made from recyclable materials.
This project’s core products are soaps made from used cooking oil from local restaurants, wood crafts made from waste from construction sites, bags made from discarded banners and plants cultivated from discarded seedlings. The ultimate goal of the project is to address employment and inclusion challenges faced by those with mental illness. Workshops will empower clients to learn management, marketing, sales and computers skills so they may earn an income while building their confidence.
Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia; Belém, Brazil
Students of the Federal Rural University of the Amazon is partnering with members of Cooperativa de Catadores de Materiais Recicláveis Visão Pioneira de Icoaraci, a recycling cooperative to improve their livelihoods by advancing the environmental and financial sustainability of their business.
After performing a needs assessment, the team discovered that wood pallets are one of the cooperative’s least profitable materials. Typically, wood pallets are given to bakeries for burning in furnaces in exchange for bread. The team’s project creates a new income stream for pallets by training collectors how to transform the wood into furniture and décor. Ultimately, the team envisions the creation of a new business, including an e-commerce site, completely managed by the cooperative members