May 26, 2020

10 citizen innovation projects to take care of the Costa Rican environment

Liberia (Costa Rica), Nov 5 (Efe) .- A light that turns on taking advantage of the photosynthesis of a turtle-shaped plant or drone to detect microplastics in the sea are just two of the ten projects that are developed in the Laboratory of Citizen Innovation held until this Saturday in Costa Rica.

After a jungle road of about ten kilometers from the city of Liberia (Costa Rica), is the Earth University that hosts this meeting organized by the Ibero-American General Secretariat and that this time has a majority of women and 30% of Costa Ricans between participants.

Among mangoes and guanacastes (the Costa Rican symbol tree), macaws and iguanas, several tables receive low-cost technological materials, kilos of land, computers and a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese that permeates all editions of this laboratory.

There, one hundred people from eighteen countries work around ten prototypes that aim to alleviate a need for the Costa Rican environment, such as access to drinking water, the elimination of microplastics from the sea or recovering the presence of pollinating insects.


After a week of work, the projects are already in their final phase and will be presented on Saturday in an open event that will be attended by the Ministry of Environment of Costa Rica, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez and the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan.

Seven days of trial and error in which the members of each project tested dozens of times with different materials and different procedures.

The members of the Fotolámpara project celebrated today the lighting of a led light thanks to the energy emitted by plants in photosynthesis.

From a simple disposable cup, a bit of earth, some cables and a led a light wire comes out that, if applied in places with electrical energy deficiency, can be a solution available to everyone.

"How many times have you tried it these days?" Is heard around these Latin Americans. "Hundreds of times for four days, imagine," answers one of them in the crowd.

Another project that will have to wait until the last day to verify its effectiveness is Biodegradable Electronics, which aims to create an organic alternative to electronic device boards.

"We will see if it turns out," says the team member Alba Nascimento, who, along with his companions, designs plates with edible ingredients to prevent if these plates end up in natural environments damage animals that can ingest them.


The list of citizen innovation projects in Costa Rica are:

1. Low-cost portable filter to purify water in regions with lack of access.

2. Worm-based filter to decontaminate wastewater in communities with sanitation deficit.

3. System of construction of recycled plastic plates and organic waste to generate sustainable products.

4. Electronic devices made from plastics of organic material that replace the use of synthetic plastic.

5. Light emitting systems that use the energy emitted by plants in photosynthesis for areas with poor electricity systems.

6. Low-cost weather station and shelter for pollinating bees while controlling environmental pollution.

7. Salt water removal system from marine water for use in orchards for areas with fresh water deficit.

8. Digital platform to expose how climate change is affecting communities in Latin America.

9. Network of gardens to favor the presence of pollinators in the region where the laboratory is held.

10. Floating and submersible turtle-shaped drone to identify and account for microplastics in marine environmental reserves.

(tagsToTranslate) projects (t) innovation (t) citizen (t) environment (t) Costa Rican

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