- Describe the problem, issue or challenge and state its causes and effects. Please remember that you can use a video and/or photographs to help illustrate your points (Be as detailed as possible).
The use of alcohol to meet the requirement to sanitize hands due to Covid19 has caused increased dryness of hands, particularly for children and the elderly. This can be improved and mitigated by the use of local aloe vera plant which is known for moisturizing as well as antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Given barriers to importation, the need for more aloe vera plants and gel as a base material for organic products has grown. There is an opportunity to increase organic crop production of aloe vera.
Climate change has caused an annual problem of sargassum seaweed proliferating our world-renown white sand beaches and challenging the livelihood of fisherfolk, tourism workers and other who support the blue economy. This can be improved by extraction of alginates from the seaweed which can also be used as moisturizer for hand sanitizer and other products in a similar manner to aloe vera gel. The seaweed can also be used as a fertilizer, which has proven to result in increased plant growth and yield. The organic, environmentally-friendly fertilizer can be used to increase the yield of the aloe vera and other plants.
As the general population becomes more aware of the hazards of non-organic chemicals which are present in foods, household cleaners, personal care products and so on, there have been more eco-friendly, or green products emerging. One-on-one interviews have indicated that production depends heavily on importation of the base products and there is a need for more local access to aloe vera and seaweed extracts.
Many households, cars and commercial office cleaners, personal care products, and other items we consume and use are comprised of harmful toxins which we inhale, ingest, absorb through the skin, eyes, ears and other areas and which linger on our clothes, utensils, furniture and so on while we are not acutely aware if at all. These contribute to environmental degradation which can have detrimental effects on personal and collective health and wellness. This can be improved by increasing awareness and providing alternatives based on natural and organic ingredients like aloe vera and sargassum and their extracts.
There is a historical environmental problem of land degradation by use of pesticides and burning of leaves and brush. This is perpetuated by people living in the rural areas, particularly elderly people in tenantries, who are tasked with maintaining expanses of land that more often than not, include gullies. There is an opportunity to pilot the development of a “blue and green gully” where sargassum seaweed fertilizer can be used to increase yield of propagated aloe vera (and other plants), and where contour planting, rain water capture and other climate smart methods can be used to mitigate land degradation.
There is a great lessons to be learned in engaging youth and communities in helping to rebuild the economy, increasing awareness of opportunities using sargassum seaweed, aloe vera and other plants and in so doing gain technical and vocational skills, experience and/or certification. There is great potential for product development while having more people change their lifestyles, learning and the environment and Go Green.
- To provide an organic, moisturizing/moisture retaining alternative/s for hand sanitizer, and other organic-based products leading to changes in how people value and interact with their environment.
- To mitigate erosion while increasing awareness of the opportunities offered by the annual sargassum seaweed influx on our beaches, as well as by supplying more aloe vera and other plant-based products.
- To increase the number of people attaining skills/experience and/or vocational certification in the areas related to producing eco-friendly/organic products.
Linked to Goal 1
- a. To develop a moisturizing hand sanitizer using aloe vera, sargassum seaweed extract and/or other
eco-friendly products by December, 2022; and
b. To bring green awareness to at least 110 people, educating them about organic-based products and
their benefits to health/wellness/the environment by December, 2022.
Linked to Goal 2
- To pilot the development of a blue and green gully to resolve challenges like:
- reducing the proliferation of sargassum seaweed from beaches, formulating compost /fertilizer to increase yield of aloe vera and other plants by December, 2022; and
- mitigating ground water pollution and land degradation by propagating the slopes to the gully with aloe vera, ‘mother-in-law tongue’ and other plants and trees.
Linked to Goal 3
- a. To contribute to the development of certification in units towards relevant CVQs by Dec, 2022; and
- Pilot offering unit certification toward CVQs approximately 10 people in phase 2 by December, 2023.