KCC students show sustainability projects

PUHI — A cooling unit made of plastic bottles, an electric bike powered by the sun, and a bench made of albizia were among the things showcased by students at Kauai Community College on Friday.

The projects were centered on the theme of creating a sustainable future.

Joshua Manini built a heavy-duty spava tool out of strawberry guava that he harvested from a family pasture on Kauai’s Westside. He did the metal work at the KCC shop to finish the tool.

“It’s just a prototype and it’s really heavy,” he said.

He chose strawberry guava wood for the handle because the native forests in Kokee are being taken over by the invasive plant, he said.

“Watching the state of Hawaii forestry and wildlife fight the guava every day with chemicals was an eye opener to me to remove this tree and make use of the materials to create a tool,” he said.

Water bottles were the material Kristofer Bush chose for his project, an experiment modeled after something he saw documented in Bangladesh.

The video claimed a person can cool a house by seven or eight degrees using an array of two-liter plastic bottles set up at a window, without the use of an air conditioner.

“I analyzed my data as I went along and I disproved the video,” he said. “It doesn’t make a difference in room temperature overall, but you can feel cooler air coming in through the bottles.”

Sterling Snyder has been busy with a low-flow hydroelectric project that would supply power to a tiny house that’s being built on campus. He’s also been working on paper, created from guinea grass, a solar-powered bike, and a sand-cleaning system for marine debris.

He’s also about to begin work on a 20-foot model of a Laysan albatross he’s building from marine debris found on Kauai’s beaches.

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