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Month: May 2012

Baltica Project- Raft Building

The main idea of the project was to build a floating vehicle of recycled (and recyclable) materials only. Well, I think we made it! The Baltica project team is still working on the construction of the raft, but we are planning to finish it tomorrow.

There are several major construction materials out of which we build the Baltica raft. First of all, plastic bottles. They were collected in various schools in Kraków. In each school, the collection was preceded by a series of workshops and presentations on the subject of the project, the importance of water in human life, the Vistula river.

The response was different, depending on the school and the age group to which the presentation was addressed. Some kids were extremely active and interested in what we are doing, some kept on repeating
'this can not be done'. Well, we will prove that it can be done! At one of the schools, we asked the kids to draw how they imagined our raft. Their ideas were truly amazing, crazy and inspiring! I think we all discovered that working with children can give a lot of satisfaction and it is the best way of bringing a change to the world.

We packed all the collected bottles (didn't have time to count them properly, but according to our calculation we have something around 2 thousand of plastic bottles!) into plastic bags that are normally used for potatoes or onions. Did you know that around 34 bottles fit in one bag? We do know it now! We made over 50 bags like that! Each bottle cap had to be tightened and at the end of the 'packing-day' we had
blisters on our hands :). Then we used salvage mesh-fence for stiffening the construction. We got the mesh-fence from different people, always for free and always in a pretty poor condition :). At the end of the rafting it will be totally useless and we will take it to a scrap-heap. So this mesh-fence had to be separated into pieces 1,5m wide and 2m long. Then we put the potato bags full of bottles, rolled the mesh-fence and
eventually combined several pieces together to get a 'banana' in effect. This 'banana' is how we call a 5m long float. The whole raft will be built of 7 such floats.

So now we only need to attach the wooden deck (made of pallets we got for free) to the bottles… Friday is the launching day! We are very busy completing the equipment, media work and obviously the construction but I believe we will make it on time. The river is waiting for us to come and I count minutes and seconds until the start of the adventure!

To find out more about teh Baltica Project ad it's mission click here:

Young Explorers stepping forward

Blog written by Simon Straetker

It was only two months ago, that I submitted my one minute application video for the so-called Zeitgeist Young Minds Program of Google. Back then I applied because I thought it was a cool thing and because I was quite inspired by the promotion video (http://youtu.be/3K_9SrHIcQ0). Back then I didn’t know much about what I applied for. Back then I had absolutely no idea that I would get to meet people like war photographer Paul Conroy, previous Greeks Prime Minister George Papandreou or the United States 42nd President, Bill Clinton. The only thing I knew was, that I would get to fly to London with nine other young international entrepreneurs to meet the ‘world’s leading innovators and thinkers’ – but that can be anyone, anyway.

So what is Zeitgeist all about?
As the world’s third-largest company, Google hosts two Partner Forums every year, one in the U.S. and one in Europe. They invite about 300 of their greatest business partners from around the world to join them for two days of sharing ideas, discussing global problems and meeting other people. What makes Zeitgeist (spirit of times) so unique is the simple fact that the event is attended by some of world’s most prestigious innovators and thinkers of the given days. During this year’s Zeitgeist event, speakers included well-known polar adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, singer Annie Lennox and outstanding Egyptian citizens who were majorly involved in the country’s revolution. Google Zeitgeist is about captivating the spirit of times and bringing it together at one place for two days.

The Young Minds Program, in which I participated, has always been a core element of Zeitgeist events. It is about connecting young entrepreneurs with the world’s most successful business leaders, giving the young the opportunity to learn from the old – well, let’s say the experienced. My personal gain from attending this event was huge. Not only that the atmosphere and the other nine Young Minds were incredibly inspiring, we also got to spend some privileged sessions with British musician Akala who taught us all about language and good ways of communicating as well as Israeli investor Yossi Vardi who spoke about project funding.

Attending Google Zeitgeist 2012 (http://youtu.be/VeEnG-S3yjc) has definitely been my greatest experience of the given year and I would love to see some of you guys participating in Google Zeitgeist 2013. In my opinion the application process has been fairly easy, as it’s just about uploading a 60-seconds video that describes your activism. So if you’ve got a great project to share, don’t keep it for yourself. Apply for Zeitgeist 2013!

Keep checking www.zeitgeistyoungminds.com for the new application process to open.

Turtle Rehabilitation Project Update

Blog written by Saraya D’Ath

Last Friday two brave turtles, extracted from their tanks in the industrial area of Cairns were transported on a boat to their new homes. That is the lovely Fitzroy Island in tropical North Queensland.

The volunteers, help to transport two juv green turtles out to their temporary housing out on Fitzroy Island! With media channels and the public eye watching. On this same day a hawksbill turtle called Harry was released back into the wild after spending some months in the rehab centre.

In 2011 major natural disasters occurred along the Queensland Coast, such as; cyclones and floods. Consequently sea grass beds were ruined leaving hardly any food for the sea turtles to feed off. So far this year there has been no severe natural disaster, which has allowed the sea grass beds to re-generate. Many of the turtles brought into the rehab this year are based on more traditional injuries- irresponsible fishing practices.

The benefit of transferring the healthier turtles out to Fitzroy is the cleaner salt water in-take for the tanks. The interpretive centre which will be used as an educational centre to inform people about Cairns Turtle Rehab, what the organisation does and how you can get involved. The extension rehab and interpretive centre will be a unique tourist icon for Fitzroy Island, in hope that more people become conscious of their actions (ie. littering) and create awareness of the human impact on the Great Barrier Reef and its marine life.

A video clip from the event: http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2012/05/01/3492626.htm#.T587-W5XZZA.facebook

Check out the Save Our Sea Turtles website: http://www.saveourseaturtles.com.au/

“Like” our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Save-Our-SeaTurtles/308458645861723

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Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !