VIDEO: Children In Paraguay Create Music Out Of Trash

Life in Cateura, Paraguay, is tough. The neighborhood is built on a landfill and the people there make their living rummaging through the garbage for things to sell or reuse.

Now they’re using their skills to turn trash into beauty. They’ve started the Recycled Orchestra, in which local children play instruments made from trash. As this video shows, it’s not just a cute pastime. The instruments sounds like proper ones and the kids show real musical talent.

Now their efforts have caught the eye of some independent filmmakers who are working on a documentary about them called Landfill Harmonic. Check out their Facebook page and Twitter feed, for more information.

These kids are growing up in the depths of poverty and yet have made something out of their bleak surroundings. One of the girls in this video says she’d have nothing without her music. As their teacher says, “People realize that we shouldn’t throw away trash carelessly. Well, we shouldn’t throw away people either.”

New hotel in Rome made of garbage from Europe’s beaches

That’s right – this hotel is, quite literally, garbage.

In an effort to raise awareness about the trashy state of Europe’s beaches, Rome erected a hotel covered with over 26,000 pounds of debris. The building, located on Capocotta Beach, is aptly named “Save the Beach Hotel” and is spear-headed by Corona. According to the website, the Save the Beach Hotel is a reminder to people about how filthy their beaches have become.

The website states:

“Our Corona Save the Beach campaign builds on the project by launching its own initiative to help preserve Europe’s beaches. Teaming up with environmental artist HA Schult, best known for his extraordinary ‘Trash Men’, we have created a pop-up hotel in the centre of Rome made almost entirely from rubbish collected from beaches across Europe. Our first visitor at the hotel was supermodel and eco-warrior Helena Christensen, as well as competition winners from Italy, Spain and the UK staying the night.”

It’s fascinating the amount of filth that can be discovered on a beach, and turned into a standing hotel. Corona plans to make this impression on other coastal cities around the world, and you can vote for the next endangered beach that the organization will clean up by clicking here.

Ok, Florida… how about it? While BP works to stop the oil spill, maybe we can build the world’s first crude oil hotel?

Sherpas prepare to clean up Everest

With the spring climbing season on Mt. Everest in full swing, a special team of 20 Sherpas from Nepal is preparing to mount an expedition of their own. But rather than going to the summit, as most of the other climbers on the mountain are preparing to do, this team hopes to scour the peak, collecting tons of trash and other items from expeditions long past. They even hope to collect the bodies of dead climbers who have been left behind, and them down the mountain at last.

The team, which is led by Namgyal Sherpa, plans to focus on a portion of the mountain above 8000 meters, or 26,242 feet, which is commonly referred to as “The Death Zone.” This section of the mountain is especially dangerous because of the high altitude and extremely thin air, but surprisingly enough, there is still plenty of garbage to be removed, including spent air cylinders, old tents, fuel canisters, ropes, and more.

Namgyal, a seven time Everest summitteer himself, says that the plan is for the team to stay on the South Col for up to a week at a time, making multiple trips into the Death Zone and bringing down as much garbage as they can carry. They expect to collect as much as 6500 pounds of trash in this manner before proceeding down to Base Camp, where they’ll rest up in preparation for another climb. All told, they plan to make three such week-long clean-up missions before the monsoon arrives in early June, marking an end to the climbing season.

While conducting their clean-up duties, the Sherpas intend to bring down several bodies of dead climbers, including those of two rather high profile mountaineers. Namgyal says that they will be removing the body of American mountain guide Scott Fischer, who died on the mountain back in 1996. He also suspects that they’ll find the body of Rob Hall, a Kiwi guide who perished that same year. Fisher and Hall’s stories were made famous with the general public thanks to the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which told the tale of that tragic day on Everest during which eight people lost their lives. The removal of Fisher and Hall’s bodies will close out a long and painful chapter in Everest history.

In recent years, the Nepali government has enforced strict rules on the climbers requiring them to carry all of their trash off of the mountain when they depart for home. Moving forward, that bodes well for the future of Everest, and thanks to the efforts of these dedicated Sherpa, a lot of old trash is being removed to clean up the mountain for future climbers as well.

Beijing tackles trash stench with 100 deodorant guns

Fed up with the smell from their largest trash dump, municipal authorities in Beijing are installing 100 deodorant guns aimed to reduce the stench.

The guns can spray about ten gallons of deodorizing liquid up to 175 feet away, but there is no information on what scents will be used. The Beijing landfills are overflowing beyond capacity due to public opposition of 6 incinerator facilities that had been scheduled to open as early as 2007.

Recycling programs are still very rare in the city, and even projects that do sort their trash end up combining the sorted sources once they reach the dumps.

Part of the growing trash problem is being blamed on the “Western lifestyle” adopted by many Chinese, and the move to a more “throwaway culture”.

Now, can someone please develop a deodorizing gun that I can use when I’m sitting next to someone on an airplane who has no sense of smell (or hygiene)?