We’ve got a former astronaut speaking on this panel. Woo!
This former astronaut is Dr. Brian O’ Leary, who is currently the Director of the Centre of Peace and Sustainability in Ecuador. His speech was basically basic polemics on the importance of good leadership in maintaining the environment, the roles young people have, and so on – but there were some points where he sounded very conspiracy-theory-ish, claiming that the media and the government are blacking out possible environmental solutions. That may be true, but I would have liked to know what those solutions were when we’re free of the blackout! It didn’t captivate me so I didn’t really pay much attention.
Next was Jon Beyer, founder of TerraCycle, a company that makes environmentally-friendly products using recycled packaging. The Aquafina bottle I’m drinking out of now will turn into a plant food spray in their factory. They also sell worm poop (yes, literally) as fertilizer – the worms eat through the waste and apparently it’s very good. It all started from writing a business plan for a college competition about the worm poop idea – while they didn’t succeed in the competition, they borrowed money to make a larger-scale device and got started. Apparently cafeteria waste is horrid to work it. THey started out as a waste-disposal company but decided to focus more on their end products, while still maintaining the environmental focus. They also had faced challenges trying to get their packaging (originally through custom molds) – when they saw that the bottle process was quite toxic, they figured they had to rethink it – and that’s how the recycling-bottles idea comes from. Other products they have include solid fertilizer (packaged in milk jugs), pots made from crushed car plastic that are uniquely graffitied, and some other ingenious ideas up their sleeve. Intriguing!
Filed under: UN Youth Assembly