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Eco Friendly Inventions; Philippines E-mail
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Sunday, 16 October 2005
Eco-friendly and Made in the Philippines


Manila Bulletin

In line with the Earth Day celebration, the Zero Waste National Recycling Movement of the Philippines Foundation (ZWNRMPFI), headed by Juanita Abaquin, held Samut-Sari 2005, at the National Ecology Center along East Avenue, QC.

Scientists converged in a one-of-a-kind bazaar featuring their healthy/organic products, inventions for zero waste management and home d├ęcor.

"The idea for this affair is to promote the National Ecology Center as the venue for inventions and eco-friendly products aside from its being an eco-learning center," explained Gene Romero, organizer of Samut -Sari.

Among the exhibitors who showcased their eco-friendly inventions were Tony de Castro and his vermi-compost, Oma Villano with his organic shredder, Gonzalo Catan with his green charcoal, Antonio Agtoto with his styrocutter, and Rodolfo Biescas and his ironmate.

Vermicompost is compost made from the wastes of the creepy crawlers a.k.a. earthworms. If it sounds Greek to you, its concept is simple. The earthworms eat away the dried leaves and twigs collected in a two-level container or "kit" (as Mang Tony calls it) until they turn it into a black, fine grain-like substance or, in short, compost.

"The concept is not only eco-friendly but it is also cost-effective and can be profitable, as well," enthused Mang Tony.

This invention that started as a hobby is now a lucrative family business. Mang Tony sells some of the fertilizers and the "kit" to his neighbors or anyone who passes by their place.

Beside Mang Tonys Vermicompost was a machine that looks like a gigantic aluminum version of a microscope the Go-Organic Shredder of Oma Villona.

Instead of viewing microbes, germs, cells, etc., it shreds organic materials (i.e. coconut husks) to prepare them for decomposting.

The Go-Organic Shredder comes with two other machines the sifter and the composter (which unfortunately was not in the exhibit).

The sifter separates non-biodegradable materials from the compost. The composter finishes the job by mixing and breaking down the shredded materials to turn them into something usable and nutritious for the plants fertilizer.

In answer to the rising cost of LPG gas and its ill-effects on the health of the users, Rodolfo Catan invented the Green Charcoal Hydrogen Cooking System (GCHCS). This makes use of a "green" charcoal, which is an alternative fuel for home cooking and industrial needs.

"Green," is connotative of fuel that comes from biodegradable materials such as grass, agricultural waste and food wastes. These raw materials are processed through a machine which turns it into hydrogen gas ready for home and industrial use.

Housewives need not worry about the size of this alternative fuel. Its sizes range from cooking stoves to the big industrial ones.

"Instead of cutting trees for wooden charcoal, fuel and spending dollars for the importation of LPG gas, why not convert biodegradable wastes into charcoal as an alternative but cheaper fuel?," explained Catan.

Ingenious, resourceful and creative. Such words best describe what Mang Agtoto has done for his styrol electro cutter. From the name itself, one can guess the little "lean and mean" machine cuts styrols.

The machine resembles that of a sewing machine only it doesn’t have the foot treadle and the eye-pointed needle to make it work.

It has instead a cutting string connected all the way from the "hand" of the machine to the flatboard.

With a flick of the switch one can now cut, letter and design styrols all you want. Just add little touches of color to the cut-out styrols and you’ll have your personalized nameplate and what nots.

Since some styrols can be a bit thick, a styrol cutter designed with a string for cutting and slicing solves the problem.

If Mang Agtoto cuts styrols, Rodolfo Biescas, on the other hand, cuts the electric bill to a fraction with his ironmate.

It is a flat device made of metal and shaped like an iron. If a hot iron is not in use, placing it on the ironmate stops the electric meter.

Other products included in the exhibit were tahong chips, lemon grass coolers, Japanese slippers made of abaca and bamboo, soaps made of organic materials, etc.

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