Byoearth as one of the worlds UNREASONABLE entrepreneurial ideas!

Dear friends and wormers,

We want to share important news with you:

Entrepreneurs from over 60 countries vied for the 25 slots available to attend the 2011 Unreasonable Institute. After conducting over 100 interviews, the Unreasonable team has narrowed it down to 45 exceptional finalists. Now, in a true test of their entrepreneurial mettle, each of these finalists face one final challenge before becoming Unreasonable Fellows: galvanizing the globe to raise the $8,000 it costs to attend the Unreasonable Institute.

The first 25 finalists to raise $8,000 , for a total of $200,000, will be chosen to attend. And the decision lies in your hands. Head to the Unreasonable Institute’s Finalist Marketplace and join one million people across the globe to vote with your dollars for an entrepreneur you believe might change the course of history.

In order to enhance the challenge, the Unreasonable Institute has imposed contribution caps, starting with $10 in  week  one  and  increasing  incrementally.  In  addition  to  preventing  single  underwriters  from  providing  full funding,  the  caps  force  finalists  to  mobilize  the  support  of  hundreds  of  people  from  around  the  world, mandating creative marketing, effective storytelling and  the power of social media  to garner support  for  their ideas. In  2010,  the  inaugural  year  of  the  Unreasonable  Institute,  entrepreneurs  raised  over  $160,000  in  the Marketplace from nearly 3,000 supporters across 130 countries.“We  believe  that  absolutely  everyone  can make  an  impact,  and  the Marketplace  is  a manifestation  of  that belief,” continued Epstein. “We encourage people  to visit  the Marketplace and  leave  their mark on  the world, whether it is through a Facebook post, watching a video or donating $10 to an entrepreneur whose idea struck a chord.”Donors have an opportunity  to  test out  their own  social marketing  savvy  through a gaming element: a donor receives one point for every dollar contributed and two points for every dollar that is contributed as a result of sharing their vote via social media. Top point earners receive prize bundles from HP, which has come on board this  year  as  the  Unreasonable  Institute’s  first  corporate  partner  and  as  part  of  the  company’s  longstanding support  of  entrepreneurship.  In  addition  to  the  prizes,  HP  is  contributing  a  scholarship  fund  for  the entrepreneurs and providing technology through which the entrepreneurs can tell their stories and ideas. “HP believes in the transformative power of technology and entrepreneurship to tackle some of the world’s largest social issues,” said Wayne Surdam, vice president of Media and Influencer Relations, Personal Systems Group, HP. “The Unreasonable Marketplace is an incredible platform for high‐impact social entrepreneurs to scale their ideas and connect with the world.

Yes… a Guatemalan social venture is included in the 45 unreasonable entrepreneurs, we need to prove this unreasonable idea, scale up and connect Guatemala and Worms as a tool for development in the world.

Help us please:

Can kitchen waste inspire a new year resolution?

Why not? Kitchen waste is just a vehicle to exploreone of natures precious gifts, worms that recycle degradable waste, also known as vermicomposting or vermiculture.

Kitchen waste is constantly being generated and must be disposed of, right?

With vermicomposting, worms and micro-organisms to turn kitchen waste into a “black, earthy-smelling, nutrient-rich humus.”

For starters, you only need three things:

1. Green waste (from you kitchen or garden)
2. A worm bin (with worms, of course…)
3. Your love, care and enthusiasm.

Heres a quick  overview on vermicomposting at your house:

Many internet sites quote the author of Worms Eat My Garbage, Mary Appelhof, who suggests weighing your household food waste for one week, and then measure its volume to find an adequate space. Mary suggests that bins need to be shallow because the worms feed in the top layers of the bedding. At the same time, your worms will need to be in comfortable bedding. A bin that is too deep is not as efficient and could potentially become an odor problem.

“Worm boxes can be purchased or made. Plastic storage containers are convenient and come in a variety of sizes. These containers are easily transported and are a nice alternative to heavier wood bins. Many people choose to have several small bins as opposed to one heavier, large wood bin. Small bins work best in homes, apartments and school classrooms. They are easy to tuck under desks, place below kitchen sinks and keep out of the way in laundry rooms.” Reference:

Think about it.. worms can change your mind and introduce you to green living.


Rework the world via Vermiculture

Is vermiculture considered as an action to rework the world?

Apparently… Yes. On June Byoearth was represented in Leskand, se, at the “Global YES (youth, entrepreneurship &sustainability) Conference, Rework the World”, to discuss with a powerful audience how vermiculture applied to agriculture ensures long term health of people and land without huge outlays of capital.

Vermicomposting and vermiculture help the vulnerable populations to address important issues such as food security and environmental pollution. Part of Byoearth´s mission is to enable users to generate valuable products out of waste; solid organic fertilizer,worm tea fertilizer and worms themselves. Vermiculture and vermicomposting are opportunity to make sustainable livelihood out of waste. Economic, social and environmental impact can come directly from worms & waste.

Byoearth found inspiration in an uncommon source, worms. Promoting the use of  vermiculture in urban and rural areas, creating a scalable model for villages all around the world, is part of our vision.

flicker gallery:

Heres a link to a great video of the conference

NC State University’s 10th Annual Vermiculture Conference

For the past ten years, North Carolina State University, has hosted the Annual Vermiculture Conference, along with the Biological & Agricultural Engineering department. This year, 100 worm experts from different states and five countries where gathered in Raleigh, NC  state to discus the wonderful world of worms from a scientific, a business and a social point of view. The two day agenda covered important themes such as:

– The principles of Vermicomposting, The status of vermicomposting in North America, raising and selling worms, commercial scale vermicomposting, mid scale, closed loop vermicomposting and worm husbandry, effects of vermicompost on plant growth, applications, and many other themes.

Byoearth had the opportunity to share with such expert audience some of the experience obtained in Fertilize Your Future project. The one hour talk was a total success! Some of the content I shared with my colleagues was under the theme “Fostering entrepreneurship and social change via vermiculture in Guatemala”.  I discussed how Vermiculture & Vermicomposting is a sustainable livelihood for women living in extreme poverty, who value the waste that the city generates like gold. Also, how the project has acted as an arena where social change meets vermiculture, generating a light at the end of a tunnel for one of Guatemala’s most vulnerable communities.  The technical challenges that we face were also presented and great input was received.

Sharing the positive social change that can be achieved with vermiculture gave the conference a new perspective on how vermiculture is used in developing countries.

Guest speakers at NC state

Worms, Worms, Worms: Your friends & allies

Many of us have a memory related to worms….  Was it a worm coming out from your garden in a rainy day? As a kid playing with worms? Worms in a fishing trip or maybe worms in your golf court?

Worms have been very important in the past decades as well as today. In 2010, worms will feed hungry populations, worms will produce collagen for skin recovery, worms will produce the best organic fertilizer for healthier crops, and will be used in water filters. My message here is not to underestimate the value of worms (any species) but to encourage the reader to have an open mind towards one of nature’s most fascinating creations.

In Guatemala, worms (through vermiculture skill transferring) have brought underprivileged women living in a slum area a degree of independence, a new hobby, economic income, knowledge and understanding of biological processes and an option for a sustainable future livelihood. Worms and passion for Guatemala’s development have brought together a diverse group of women; rural area immigrants from the highlands to Caribbean afro descendants. 

Worms are the future, and having this said, @ Fertilize Your Future project we are ready to keep growing worms and transform polluting degradable waste into organic fertilizer. This year, Byoearth and Junkabal hope to encourage more women to join the project and discover the amazing adventure of breeding worms.

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2009 vermiculture at its best!

2009 has been our best year exploring and promoting vermiculture in Guatemala. In the city slum area (project Fertilize Your Future) we started 2009 producing in a small-scale box and ended the year producing in a qualified plastic box, perfect for worms!

The boxes are now red and are big enough to have a competitive production of organic fertilizer at home. There is enough space in the box for composting the fruits and vegetables that are not used at home that will later be fed to the worms. Junkabal supported this idea and made it economically feasible for Fertilize Your Future beneficiaries to upgrade their vermicompost production.

Compost at home: Reduce global warming

Many people argue if composting at home really helps reducing global warming, the answer is yes.

"When waste is sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste. As the waste decomposes, it forms methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, which damages the Earth’s atmosphere. However, when this same waste is composted above ground at home, oxygen helps the waste to decompose aerobically. This means no methane is produced, reducing global warming."

So, we want to share an example of how to compost at home. Space is not an issue, however, you need a small piece of land to compost.

1. Gather degradable waste (fruits & vegetables) and place them in a small whole in your garden.

worms 0122. Cover waste with a portion of soil and leaves so that oxygen can come through and degrade the waste into organic live matter.

worms 014Degradable waste will blend into soil if you leave it there for two weeks or you can also remove it and incorporate it to the rest of your garden and inside plants.

But then again…. R E D WORMS would be grateful to eat all your waste and produce a rich organic fertilizer!