Ambiente: El Tercer Pilar

Por: Juan Pablo Pinto, Gerente de Investigación y Desarrollo, Byoearth.

Así como es importante la dirección social de Byoearth y el lado funcional a nivel de mercado, cabe mencionar que uno de los principales ejes de la empresa, sus valores y visión es el impacto ambiental que buscamos generar.

Además de crear autosotenibilidad social y económica estamos en el proceso constante de forjar una conciencia ambiental a través de la Lombricultura para lograr el saniamiento en los ciclos naturales y sistemas ecológicos de cada región.

Como empresa hemos llegado a 4 comunidades rurales distintas, en las cuales se ha montado con cada una, una planta de producción adaptada a sus necesidades específicas, obteniendo como resultado más de 1,400,000 libras de desechos orgánicos transformados en lombricompost (abono 100% orgánico). Estos datos son muy positivos ya que estos desechos al no ser procesados, tendrían como destino final algún botadero clandestino, ser quemados, o desintegrarse en lugares no aptos donde serían vectores de enfermedades y consecuencias negativas para el ambiente y la sociedad. Por el contrario, se transformaron en un objeto comercializable, de alto valor económico y útil para las comunidades que lo producen.

Como meta para este año, estimamos llegar a transformar más de 2 millones de libras de residuos orgánicos. Para ello hemos diseñado un portafolio diversificado de productos (Investigación y Desarrollo) enfocado en proveer al mercado urbano alternativas más amigables con el planeta: kits domésticos de lombricultura, bombas de semillas (Seed Bombs), Abono Foliar (Worm Tea), y otros, sumado a servicios complementarios como jardinización orgánica y capacitación técnica en agricultura sostenible.

Adicionalmente, nuestros productos son en su mayoría desarrollados con empaques reciclados provenientes de desechos inorgánicos como el polipropileno, tetrapack y envases pet.

Creemos que nuestras metas son totalmente alcanzables porque aún queda mucho que hacer por la Tierra, nuestro único planeta. Y como guatemaltecos hemos asumido el compromiso de hacer lo que esté en nuestras manos para ayudar a sanarlo.

ImageFoto de Bomba de Semilla (SeedBomb) por: Juan Pablo Pinto – Gerente Investigación y Desarrollo, Byoearth

A glance at the Social angle of ByoEarth

By Natalia Perez, Summer Intern and Frontier Market Scout 

Byoearth’s social goal is to alleviate poverty, increase quality of life, and elevate the health of impoverished people through various initiatives involving vermicompost.

What sets Byoearth apart from other organic fertilizer (vermicompost) companies is that it has an inclusive business model with a value chain that includes production assistance from women’s vermicompost cooperatives in Sumpango & San Bartolo (Saquetepequez), as well as, women from Guatemala City’s poorest area, Zone 3.

The last few months have been very hectic ones at Byoearth, as the roll out of new exciting products: Seed Bombs, Herb Gardens, and Worm Tea have increased collaboration, capacity building, and business skills training between the Byoearth staff and the various women and communities they work with.

Byoearth’s products have social impacts every step of the way. The organic fertilizer they use in their products is made by  the women’s cooperatives. Further, the packaging for all of products is also made by the various communities with whom they work, specially the women from Zone 3. They source recycled materials for packaging for the abono, the seed bombs, and the worm tea.

The women of the vermicomposting cooperatives of San Bartolo & Sumpango also grow the herbs and source and create the containers for the Herb Gardens. All of this adds up to many opportunities for the women to earn extra (or in many cases), an, income.

Byoearth’s does not only incorporate the various communities into its value chain and inclusive business model – but also do a lot of work in capacity building and business transfer skills. This means everything possible to ensure that the women are as successful as possible. The company wants to create win-win relationships that benefit everyone along the way. In this sense, they not only assist the women in how to create the best organic fertilizer possible, but also train them on how to negotiate, how to sell and find other markets, how to have better teamwork, how to educate their community farmers about the dangers of chemical fertilizers, and if interested how to start their own business.

When people buy Byoearth’s products we want them to know that they aren’t just supporting a company with Earth friendly and socially conscious products, but also supporting poverty alleviation, women’s empowerment, and increasing the quality of life for over 100 women throughout Guatemala!Image

By Natalia Perez, Summer Intern & Frontier Market Scout July/Aug 2013

2012: Spirit Indestructible

 

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“I have a spirit indestructible, a heart that was made pure, unbreakable and that’s for sure, unshakeable so give me more…”

 

2012 was a challenging year.  A year of growth, full of lessons. The worms and I  made new friends and integrated them into our crazy family of love and social entrepreneurship. 

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Growing a worm business, social venture, company, or whatever you may call it… is challenging, but in a good way. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else but this. Having the opportunity to work with strong, intelligent and passionate guatemalan women is a gift from heaven. 

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Meet Bonifacia Ixcoy. Boni was born in Quiché, in the highlands of Guatemala. After the civil war, Bonifiacia and her family where looking for a place to live and found a humble house in one of the communities that surround the city dump. Bonifacia can’t read or write properly, but she is in love with her worms. Whenever a new woman joins our group, she is the first to explain the worms favorite diet and reproduction process. She is more than amazing and practices vermicomposting since 2009. 

 

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I wish I could tell all my friends and beneficiaries’s stories today…. I will eventually because if there is one thing I learned last year is that vermicomposting may open hearts and strengthen the spirit. 

“I have a spirit indestructible, a heart that was made pure, unbreakable and that’s for sure, unshakeable so give me more…” – Nelly Furtado

The Wonderful World of Worms

This is the worm movie that Cathy’s husband Rick edited from our work in Guatemala city, Petén and Sacatepequez. Cathy had so much to teach us and we are already seeing the fruits all the time she invested. (pictures coming soon).

Guatemala + worms + women = success!

A Wormderful Adventure

Worms have always had a way to take me to the most amazing adventures in Guatemala and around the world, sometimes its hard to communicate all the power and magic that worms and the whole vermicomposting process has.

The past years have been full of blessed field work and they have helped Byoearth to take its next steps and scale up. Nevertheless, to scale up one often needs mentors and advisers with the right vision and in the “worm world”  that might  be a bit challenging….but not impossible.

One of my mentors of the past months has been Cathy Nesbitt, founder of Cathys Crawling Composters, a company based in Canada that has successfully mastered the art of vermicomposting. Cathy and I met through twitter and we made such a great connection that courageously she decided to come to Guatemala and embark on a worm adventure with the groups of women that Byoearth has been working for the past year.

Cathy will be producing a video summarizing her two weeks in rural and urban Guatemala that is going to be fantastic!

Wormilicious Update – GoYoung interview

A couple of months ago, the amazing and creative GoYoung team visited Guatemala to meet and interview social entrepreneurs under 30 years old. GoYoung will release a documentary featuring many social entrepreneurs around the world and their ideas to change the world. We are honored to form part of this amazing adventure and we wish them the best of the best. We hope you like and enjoy this Spanish interview where we got to share some of our passion for WORMS!!!

“A worm bin in every home”

worm dreams come true

Microsoft once dreamed of a computer in every home,  at Byoearth, wee dream with a worm bin in every home and we are making this real by starting in Guatemalas city slum area. We have been working in this interesting and challenging area for more than two years now. And we feel proud. Proud to encourage women living under vulnerable conditions to struggle and to learn new skills that can become a sustainable livelihood. Vermiculture and vermicomposting has taught them that it is possible to help themselves and the environment with withe power of worms. Thanks to the support of 10 volunteers from a local university, our most promising vermicomposters have now a worm bin / worm kit, to produce at home. Some of them already had worm bins at home, but now they get to duplicate their production.

We are passing from vision to action, with love and passion for Guatemala, worms and the environment! :)

xoxo Maria

See our pictures and like our page on facebook:  http://on.fb.me/lLZTPT

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