Best Ideas 2022 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Dragon's Belly (Anaerobic Digester)
Explain your idea in details:
One-third of food produced for human consumption, approximately 1.2 billion tons, is wasted globally annually. This contributes 18% to global warming annually by generating large amounts of methane, 25 times worse than CO2. Our team proposes a solution that reuses food waste in our city and captures the methane it produces. We then use the methane to boil water, producing steam to spin a turbine that creates electricity. In addition to bioenergy production, our machine produces organic fertilizer as a by-product. We will donate it to local farmers to eliminate the use of chemical fertilizer, which pollutes our land, water, and air. In short, our solution aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create green energy to replace fossil fuels, and minimize the use of chemical fertilizers. Were currently improving our prototype. By June 2023, we will implement it in our school. Afterwards, we will obtain funding from donors, our school, and environmental clubs to build and implement our machine in schools around Ho Chi Minh city. As our project prospers, we aim to establish a company that manufactures electricity from food waste and sells it to the government to power homes. We will pitch our idea to local waste management companies such as Vietnam Waste Solutions. Our collaboration would entail creating management plans to effectively sort waste and having access to food waste in landfills to input into our machine. If successful, we will take a loan to invest and sustain our business. Once our company becomes successful, we will put it on the stock market and seek potential stakeholders. In the long run, we hope to inspire the youth and contribute to the well-being of our city and, in turn, our world.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
The Dragons Belly will positively impact sustainable development by addressing UN SDGs 12.3 and 7 halving global food waste and providing affordable, clean energy. In reusing and recycling food and capturing the methane released during its decomposition, the Dragons Belly reduces the waste in our landfills while promoting sustainable and innovative practices for the energy industry. To measure the success of our idea, we have three target milestones: implementing the machine in our school, expanding to at least 60% of schools in the city, establishing a company, and successfully pitching our collaboration ideas to landfill management companies. Running the Dragons Belly in our school will be crucial in determining the following stages of our project. This is because it will allow us to identify the issues that may arise from our machine and fix them before moving towards the next milestone expanding to other schools. If we have 60% of schools on board with our idea, then were repurposing the food waste produced by millions of individuals, meaning a significant portion of the food waste produced by the city. By establishing a company and collaborating with landfill management companies, we will be able to use the entirety of the food waste in our town and eliminate its emissions of greenhouse gases. Ultimately, we aim to replace 15% of the energy supply of Vietnam, which consists of primarily unsustainable and unreliable power supplies which pollute our atmosphere. Air is what sustains the very existence of life on planet Earth. Therefore, preventing it from reaching an uninhabitable stage is essential to ensure the livelihoods of us and future generations. If we can enact this idea, were performing our duties as citizens of Earth to help our world become sustainable and green.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The first stage of our business model requires using resources and funding from our schools STEM lab. The food waste produced within our school will be used to test our prototypes, and our finalized design will be implemented at school. After a successful in-school implementation, we will expand to other schools in Ho Chi Minh City to widen the scope of our program and its environmental benefits. At this point, our primary sources of income will include our school, sponsors, fundraisers, donation drives, and other community events. To increase our community outreach and marketing, well use social media such as Facebook and Instagram. In the beginning, our program will be run by us. As we expand, we want to employ other students who are passionate about tackling environmental issues through innovation. As women, a minority in STEM, sustainable development, and entrepreneurship, we will try our best to employ and work with engineers and suppliers led by women and other minority groups. Well partner with engineering departments in local universities departments to further machine developments. With the help of loans and angel investors, we will establish our company and build an electricity-producing factory. In collaboration with the Vietnamese government and local waste management companies, we plan on creating a long-lasting system to collect food waste, produce bio-energy, and donate organic fertilizer. We hope to cover the starting operational costs and infrastructure with the help of Angel Investors and reach a breakeven point where we start to make profit by selling electricity to the government. Our end goal is to replace 15% of all energy used within Vietnam with the electricity produced with the Dragons Belly and to ensure the programs long-term sustainability.
Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, our diverse team consists of Meherika Majumdar, a 15-year-old Indian ex-pat, Amelina Stiff, a 16-year-old British-Malaysian ex-pat, and Phuong Anh Vo, a 16-year-old Vietnamese native. We are a team of young and aspiring juniors from Saigon South International School looking to make the world a better place through science. In our own ways, we make a well-balanced team that utilizes Meherika's specialty in technology and science, Amelina's passion for environmental conservation, and Phuong Anh's knowledge of sustainable consumption, production, and economics. Each of us contributes our own experiences, such as Meherikas position as co-leader of the Robotics Club, Amelina's leadership role in our school's Environmental Conservation Club, and Phuong Anh's years of experience in a rice-exporting company. Together, we are members of the National Honor Society and have won countless awards in debate, MUN, varsity athletics, economics, and more. Passing by the devastating amount of food wasted by our school community every day, we became motivated to come up with a solution to tackle the problem. In January of 2021, we submitted our idea to the local innovative Eco TREE (Technology, Renewable, Environmental, Economics) competition, where we won first place and worked with our school administration to start transforming our solution into a reality. Due to Vietnam's nationwide lockdown later that year, the nation's food waste crisis was further exemplified, making us realize the importance and necessity of our idea. We want to share our idea with the Entrepreneurship Campus community to improve further, develop, and implement our plan. This would help us on our journey of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thereby positively impacting the environment that we're a part of.