Green update

The recycling effort that was started by our friend Warren and physically located at Peta’s studio initially, is starting to get traction. From a first “street level” effort, the recycling program has spread to several neighborhoods. Now a truck with a blaring megaphone on its roof cruises around Granada to inform would be recyclers of a Friday pick up point at our studio. This past week, a fortuitous visit by a German NGO, GTZ, to see first hand the progress that was being made on the recycling front, yielded a small grant that will enable the construction of a more permanent structure, at a different location.

So with this, we close the successful launch of Granada’s first recycling center and look forward to reclaiming our studio to build CO2 Bambu’s first urban “renovation” project.

Speaking of CO2 Bambu, thanks to a timely investment by a US angel investor, we are back on track to deliver a first container of 20m2 homes to Haiti. For the last few days, there has been much media coverage of “Haiti after 6 months” and while NGOs and government spokespeople try to put a positive spin on things, it is patently clear that the level of accomplishment in transitioning populations from plastic and tarp sheeting camps to more permanent, or at least semi-permanent, housing is extremely low and disappointing. There are of course many “reasons” for this, most fundamental of all, the inability of the government to produce clear land titles where semi-permanent homes are supposed to go. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, one other enormous challenge is the lack of progress in removing debris. While initial studies point to years of removal by thousands of trucks, the fact that only 300 trucks appear to be tooling around Haiti for debris removal is hard to understand. Meanwhile, there are dozens of large, shining new earth removal equipment sitting in customs, awaiting clearance. The logistical bottleneck at customs is now reaching over 1 month and this is of great concern re bamboo, which, as a living organism, can be affected by long stays in hot, airtight containers stuck in customs.

Next trip to Haiti is planned for July 28-August 5 and will be an opportunity to connect with current customers, meet new NGOs active in the “schools” market, launch a set of nurseries to grow bamboo plants from Nicaragua seeds and firm up CO2 Bambu’s team of Haitian assemblers.

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