By Nudge Sustainability Reporter Thanh nh
A group of 6 friends, 4 girls and 2 boys, all of which are still studying in university except for one who is still in high school, have initiated a project to transfer garbage into building material. In an interview in 2012, they said the idea simply came from their ambition to clean up the living environment while providing better living conditions for people. After some research, they found that more than 60% of the garbage of a Vietnamese family is inorganic material and can be used to create building material. Based on this knowledge, the group took 4 months to design and experiment with the manufacture process. Surprisingly, none of them have a qualification in construction or the environmental field. Therefore, their result must have taken a lot of effort, energy, and motivation.
After a few months, their product was tested by the administration of environment in Vietnam and amazingly, the bricks have plenty more advantages than the common ones. First of all, they are more environmentally friendly, because their main component is family garbage. Secondly, the manufacturing process uses pressure instead of heat, thus applying it will save about 6 million tons of coal a year and reduces the pollutant as well. Thirdly, these new bricks do not lose colour, they do no smell when they get in contact with water, and they are also less heavy than the traditional bricks. And lastly, since their main component is garbage, their price is much cheaper than conventional bricks.
In an interview with the national television channel, the reporter asked the young inventors what they thought about this project affecting their study in university. They all said that they just took the opportunity to pursue their ambition and this was what studying is all about.
In 2011, the idea received recognition by winning the first prize of the “Lighting 2011” competition (which was held by Viet Young Entrepreneurs in association with Stanford University technology investing foundation). From this point on the group started receiving more support. In 2012, these students were the representative of Vietnam in the 2012 young entrepreneur contest. After that, professor Tom Kosnik (working at Stanford’s technology investing section, who was the founder and consultant of many famous organisations like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Novellus) highly appreciated the project and will introduce it to foreign investors.