Cardoponics

Recycle, Grow, Eat – Solving two problems with one solution!

Cardoponics (cardboard box + ponics) - the cultivating of crops in containers using recycled cardboard boxes as growing medium.

Use Case

This sustainable food production system can be used on small (home gardening) or large scale (commercially) without the constraints of limited land space or non-arable land. Youths and community groups engage in awareness campaigns on how to convert the cardboard boxes via the grinding process into a medium form and the impact they’ve done by reducing our carbon footprint. Selection of container varies based on constraints. The container is filled with 3 part cardboard medium to one part sand and pre-plant fertiliser (organic/inorganic). A seed or seedling is planted into the mix and as with traditional agronomic practices, it is watered daily and fertilised at least once per week. Same care and maintenance is needed for plant growth. Vegetables and herb gardens are ideal for Cardoponics.

Potential

Our concept is all about change: - Reinventing food productions systems to mitigate the adverse effects of urbanisation and industrialisation. - Changing waste disposal systems to become more environmentally sustainable by reducing landfill wastes. These wastes would have been dumped and burned thus increasing our carbon footprint but Cardoponics makes a change. - Changing the mind-set and behaviour of youths and communities when we educate and train them of sustainable agricultural practices. Therefore families would be producing their own food instead of buying to become self-sustained. Furthermore, since we targeted youth involvement, we give hope for a brighter future and continuity of agriculture. - Low income families have an avenue to become potential entrepreneurs.

Business Case

Lean Business Model Canvas PROBLEM Hunger in low income household ;Urbanisation-limited land space; Poor waste disposal system. SOLUTION Recycling cardboard boxes into growing medium for crop production. EXISTING ALTERNATIVES Traditional agriculture; Hydroponics. UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION Reducing hunger by reducing carbon footprint. UNFAIR ADVANTAGE Knowledge of existing agricultural systems. CUSTOMER SEGMENT Low income landless household. EARLY ADOPTERS 4-Her's agricultural students. CHANNELS Youth&communities of low income homes are trained in making the growing medium and cultivating crops in it. COST STRUCTURE Fixed costs: Mill, tools, bins; Variable costs; labour, packaging &marketing costs. REVENUE STREAMS Sale of excess growing medium to households, farmers &landscapers.

Objectives:

  1. To ensure food security while reducing our carbon footprint, thereby combating hunger and climate change.
  2. To utilize recycle wasted materials such as discarded cardboard box to produce food for family use and generate income.
  3. To encourage and empower youths, especially those from low income households, to adopt Cardoponics at their home, school and community.

Team Cardoponics

Arouca, Trinidad and Tobago

Our Team

Research on the suitability of recycled cardboard as growing medium / Published January 16, 2016 by Jeanette Browne

Research on the suitability of recycled cardboard as growing medium

Our observations coupled with research findings ( Growing plants in recycled cardboard http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/39/38241.pdf ) confirmed that the recycled cardboard box is a suitable growing medium for container planting, seedling production and plant propagation. It can also be used as a soil conditioner and compost material.

We Green and we Ready! / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

We Green and we Ready!

WE DID IT! We Stand for Green has set another milestone. We have taken up the TFF Challenge and is about to submit the Final pitch including videos and concept details! Those late nights and hard work have finally paid off. I would like to formally thank all the people that supported and believed in us. We have made it!
Team Cardoponics…….Solving two problems with one solution! Think Green!

DESIGN STATEMENT / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

DESIGN STATEMENT

To encourage and empower youths, especially those from low income households, to adopt Cardoponics at their home, school and community.

Insight +Insight + Insight........let's add one more! / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

Insight +Insight + Insight........let's add one more!

During this session, these three insights were highlighted

1. Jeanette noted that WES-4G discovered that peer training was more effective than us just training the youths. It should be a collaborative effort. Youths are more responsive and encourage their peers. Therefore, peer training should be incorporated in our planning.

2. Jason was concerned that currently Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is in recession and there should be a strong drive towards self-sufficiency among low income households. Agricultural production should be encouraged to help mitigate the effects of high food prices during recession.

3. Antoinette considered diversifying the use of the waste material. The growing medium could also be used for seedling/nursery production, plant propagation and livestock litter.

4. We all agreed that we would conduct a pilot project where the 4-H club youths and agricultural students at a selected school would produce the growing medium from the discarded breakfast cardboard boxes. It would be distributed to interested persons/households and the excess would be sold to farmers, landscapers and organisations. Revenues would be pumped back into the project and it is expected that this project would then be expanded to other schools across the nation.

What an insight!

We Famous: Newspaper clipping… / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

We Famous: Newspaper clipping…

So we just found the newspaper clipping showing the Recycling Cardboard box project WES-4G mentored that cupped the National Winners Title!!! So now our stepping stone for the TFF Challenge. We Green and we ready! The fight against hunger and climate change!

Our Mission

Most developing countries are faced with two major challenges; food security and proper disposal of waste material. Our team discovered that sustainability can be achieved by maximizing our resources and waste efficiently. Therefore our main objective to combat hunger will be to employ the concept to reduce, reuse, and recycle resources in order to produce food. Cardboard box materials are used daily in most household around the globe for packaging of food and other items. In Trinidad and Tobago, the government, provides children in all public schools with breakfast and lunch in disposable cardboard boxes on a daily basis. These boxes are discarded and usually ends up in landfill which is either burnt or buried. This method of discarding the breakfast boxes significantly increases landfill waste and contributes to a rise in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. WES4G brainstormed and came up with the idea of Cardoponics. This system is one in which it entails the cultivating of crops or plants in pots or grow box system using recycled cardboard boxes as the growing medium or the soil conditioner. Cardoponics is targeted for home gardening in low to middle class urban communities which usually have limited space or without ready access to cultivable land. This solution has two-fold benefits where we in one aspect we increase in food production while simultaneously reducing our carbon footprint. That’s what you call “Solving two problems with one solution!"

Our Background

We Stand for Green (WES-4G) is a non-profit organization dedicated towards providing sustainable, eco-friendly and social solutions to address the needs and challenges faced by today’s children, youths and their communities. Our team is comprised of four zealous youths Rudi Browne, Jason Rosales, Jeanette Browne and Antoinette Browne. We are motivated to achieve the following core principles and practices for an improved sustainable livelihood: 1) Good agricultural practices- these are procedures applied to agriculture that ensure production of safe and wholesome food for consumers. 2) Food security- this is when all people at all times have access to sufficient safe nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. 3) Post-harvest technology - involves processes and methods used to extend the shelf life of agricultural products in a safe and wholesome manner. 4)Environmental sustainability- these are present activities conducted to ensure that the environment is capable of preserving and supporting future generations of humans. In keeping with WES-4G’s mission, this ttf challenge is the ideal forum for us to extend ourselves to explore and investigate innovative yet sustainable ideas to combat hunger not only in our little Caribbean island but also at an international level.

Research on the suitability of recycled cardboard as growing medium / Published January 16, 2016 by Jeanette Browne

Research on the suitability of recycled cardboard as growing medium

Our observations coupled with research findings ( Growing plants in recycled cardboard http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/39/38241.pdf ) confirmed that the recycled cardboard box is a suitable growing medium for container planting, seedling production and plant propagation. It can also be used as a soil conditioner and compost material.

We Green and we Ready! / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

We Green and we Ready!

WE DID IT! We Stand for Green has set another milestone. We have taken up the TFF Challenge and is about to submit the Final pitch including videos and concept details! Those late nights and hard work have finally paid off. I would like to formally thank all the people that supported and believed in us. We have made it!
Team Cardoponics…….Solving two problems with one solution! Think Green!

DESIGN STATEMENT / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

DESIGN STATEMENT

To encourage and empower youths, especially those from low income households, to adopt Cardoponics at their home, school and community.

Insight +Insight + Insight........let's add one more! / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

Insight +Insight + Insight........let's add one more!

During this session, these three insights were highlighted

1. Jeanette noted that WES-4G discovered that peer training was more effective than us just training the youths. It should be a collaborative effort. Youths are more responsive and encourage their peers. Therefore, peer training should be incorporated in our planning.

2. Jason was concerned that currently Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is in recession and there should be a strong drive towards self-sufficiency among low income households. Agricultural production should be encouraged to help mitigate the effects of high food prices during recession.

3. Antoinette considered diversifying the use of the waste material. The growing medium could also be used for seedling/nursery production, plant propagation and livestock litter.

4. We all agreed that we would conduct a pilot project where the 4-H club youths and agricultural students at a selected school would produce the growing medium from the discarded breakfast cardboard boxes. It would be distributed to interested persons/households and the excess would be sold to farmers, landscapers and organisations. Revenues would be pumped back into the project and it is expected that this project would then be expanded to other schools across the nation.

What an insight!

We Famous: Newspaper clipping… / Published January 10, 2016 by Rudi Browne

We Famous: Newspaper clipping…

So we just found the newspaper clipping showing the Recycling Cardboard box project WES-4G mentored that cupped the National Winners Title!!! So now our stepping stone for the TFF Challenge. We Green and we ready! The fight against hunger and climate change!

Our Team

Our Mission

Most developing countries are faced with two major challenges; food security and proper disposal of waste material. Our team discovered that sustainability can be achieved by maximizing our ...Read More

Our Background

We Stand for Green (WES-4G) is a non-profit organization dedicated towards providing sustainable, eco-friendly and social solutions to address the needs and challenges faced by today’s children, youths ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.