Two ways human ingenuity in service to others can change the world
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We are called to be good stewards of the earth and to take care of each other, and these men and their companies are doing just that…
Oscar Andres Mendez and his team at Conceptos Plásticos in Bolivia have found a way to take discarded plastic and rubber and create stackable bricks with them for building. These bricks are then snapped together to create quick and easy housing for the poor. The company has won Unilever’s Young Entrepreneurs Award for their forward thinking and technological innovation which are helping address two great problems in the world: homelessness and environmental pollution.
Then there’s Alfredo Moser’s invention, which is lighting up the world. In 2002, the Brazilian mechanic figured out how to make light without electricity, using just a plastic bottle, water, and bleach. It really is as simple as that since the energy comes from the sun. The inspiration came to him during one of the country’s many blackouts. “The only places that had energy were the factories – not people’s houses,” he says, talking about Uberaba, his city in southern Brazil. He says an engineer measured the light and depending on the strength of the sun, it ends up being 40 to 60 watts. The plastic bottles are up-cycled in the local community. And now, following Moser’s method, a company called MyShelter is training underprivileged people to make the lamps. In the Philippines, where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line and electricity is very expensive, as well as in 15 other countries, Moser lamps have taken off.