Students in action
Following the activities of the Bayer Young Environmental Envoys.
If you are interested in any of their ideas, could help develop them, or want to do something similar where you are, please contact us through Facebook (www.facebook.com/tunzamagazine) and we’ll put you in touch.
Educate, inspire and connect
Oscar Contreras-Villarroel of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile, is the founder of KIMLU, a youth network that connects the next generation of environment, science and technology leaders. KIMLU runs a summer camp in Chile for these young people, and is about to run a camp for science teachers as well. Quite apart from being inspirational on a personal level, Oscar is dedicated to building a network of future leaders, in Chile for now, but with plans to spread his camps all across Latin America. For more, see http://kimlu.cienciajoven.cl – and can anyone help?
Calculate your carbon footprint – then reduce it!
Quin Wang encourages her fellow students at Yunnan University, China, to calculate their carbon footprints and then reduce them. But it isn’t only among her peers that she is active. Once she has caught their attention, she recruits them to help take her message into schools and work with students to look for ways to repair the local environment.
Green student power
Eliot Mojapelo is part of the students’ Environmental Association at the University of Limpopo, South Africa. The Association works with the local community to teach sustainability in the face of climate change. Eliot is totally convinced that true sustainable development begins with education.
Nanyang Polytechnic School of Engineering student Daniel Tan Shi Jie is also an avid graffiti artist. Now he has recruited a group of secondary school students in his native Singapore to join him in using his enthusiasm to raise awareness of recycling amongst local residents. A pretty powerful communications medium, and one which could enthuse young people all over the world.
Improving age-old processes
Conventional leather tanning is very polluting, but the powdered pod of the tara tree can be used instead and is very much more environmentally friendly. It makes leathers soft with a smooth, firm grain, and great resistance to cracking. Henry Bonilla Bruno, from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru, is working both to make this better known and to increase knowledge of the tree (Caesalpinia spinosa), which grows in the Peruvian highlands, and improve its yields so that it can become the main tanning agent used around the world. As the pods are valuable, Henry’s work could really help local farmers by giving them a new source of income.
Blister packs – who wants them?
We all know what these are: blister packs for pills and other medication. But once they are used, what happens to them? Because they are a mixed waste, they tend to end in landfill. But Bruno Carlo Borro from the ESPOL university in Quito, Ecuador, is using his knowledge of chemistry to extract the aluminium from the foil and transform it into potassium alum, which is used in water purification, leather tanning, dyes and fireproof textiles. And he told us he was working on using the plastic component, too. There’s value in that trash, so get your thinking caps on!