Nicola co-founded the Amazon Mycorenewal Project bringing together scientists from around the world to the Ecuadorian Amazon to explore the use of mycoremediation (fungi to break down petroleum contamination). The team have also been researching the use of bacteria and plants to be used in the clean up. The mission; to find the most effective and efficient method to remediate the petroleum contamination left behind in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Building rainwater systems for families most in need. Due to contamination from the oil industry many of the poorest families are drinking highly polluted ground water. Nicola has been working with the Committee of Human Rights in Shushufindi Ecuador where they build 20 families a year rain water systems. A simple filter using stones, sand and charcoal is constructed.
In the global south many countries have little or no rubbish or recycling facilities. This means plastic is either thrown in the river , the ocean or it is burnt.
Looking for a solution Nicola discovered building with eco-bricks (empty plastic bottles filled hard with inorganic rubbish). She has so far helped in building a restaurant, health centre, school and numerous walls and benches. She is a part of the Global Ecobrick Alliance, a collective of eco-brick leaders from around the world.
More recently she has been promoting the machinery which is able to transform rubbish into a resource. By chipping and melting plastic into a new form it becomes a useful and saleable material.
Nicola is currently working on how to scale this into a global initiative to strategically place machines around the world where they are most needed. This will be environmentally, socially and financially beneficial.
For more information on the kind of machinery see https://preciousplastic.com/en/
In the last 50 years we have lost more than half of the worlds tropical rain forest. That is 150 acres…. lost every minute…. of every day. Slash and burn is driven by big business and poverty.
Finding a solution is imperative. Alley cropping is a form of agroforestry using guaba (inga edulis) grown in alleys and crops grown between them. The leaves drop and the trees help to form a nutrient rich soil.
Working with www.rainforestsaver.org and Unidad Juan Jimenez ( an agricultural college in Ecuador) we grew 4000 inga trees, trained 400 students and farmers and established the first 20 demonstration farms in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Zero Waste Waste Dump;
Coordination of a project with the Cascales council in the Ecuadorian Amazon to redesign their entire landfill. Working with a bacterial expert we installed bio-filters to clean the human effluent that runs into the rivers and taught about large scale composting, classification of rubbish and recycling and use of the machinery to convert plastic into ‘ plastic wood’.
Whilst in the UK Nicola is asked to speak at a variety of events.
In schools she gives presentations on the rain forest. This gives children an opportunity to ask questions and gain a deeper understanding about life in the Amazon.
At Colleges and Universities Nicola has spoken on Environmental Design and Technology and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Nicola also gives talks at festivals and for different clubs and associations on her work, empowering people to see ‘How Can One Person Make a Difference’.
Whether you are an individual or big business there is always room for change, growth, evolution and being a part of the solution.
See the Gallery for great images and further information. A picture speaks a thousand words.