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PLASTIC ODYSSEY, great epic of the millennium


Plastic Odyssey already interests the media. A brilliant vision, a technical, human and social challenge, this epic born in 2016 has for main thread "Around the world powered by plastic ". Let’s go for a fast overview of a highly innovative project.   This exciting project arose from the fertile minds of two French realistic young sailors: Simon Bernard and Alexandre Dechelotte, both merchant navy officers and ENSM. To alive Plastic Odyssey, Benjamin de Molliens and Bob Vrignaud, both engineers, joined the team. All have the soul of adventurers, passionate by nature, social progress and new technologies.     Sailing world tour thanks to plastic wastes   During port calls, Simon saw the omnipresence of plastic wastes which ultimately invade the oceans. For some time, expeditions aim at cleaning up seas. For him, it is time, on the contrary, to clean the poor and polluted coastal zones, particularly in South America, Africa and Asia. But what to do with collected waste? With Alexandre, they imagine a floating laboratory which, from port to port, recovers and recycles the plastic waste to transform it in fuel. The major element of Plastic Odyssey project will thus be a 25 m catamaran propelled with non-recycled plastics.     On board, a low-tech recycling unit sized as a standard container will transform the wastes into oil. The technique already exists on a large scale in the United States, it will be necessary to miniaturize it! Here is the founding axis of the project.   Local recycling of plastics to alleviate poverty   Interested by circular economy and social impact, Alexandre also sees in the project a means to reduce poverty. Part of the collected waste is recyclable but the concerned zones do not arrange adequate equipment. Sorting machines will be displayed onboard and the ship will welcome recycling workshop opened to anybody around during the calls. The goal is about building local networks of recycling jobs and thanks to the embarked technologies, making the plastic waste valuable; a first step towards the reduction of coastal pollution. Here is the second aim of Plastic Odyssey.       Three engines to clean up, to engage and sail   How many of grey matter to lead such a project? Head of partnerships, Benjamin enlightens us on the future embarked transformation processes: - A scanner inspired by infrared spectroscopy used in the recycling industry - Extruder, presses and weavers adapted for modelling plastic waste into furniture, building bricks, insulation, etc. - A containerized pyrolysis unit transforming plastic waste into fuel   Head of engineering, Bob coordinates development and manufacturing. Such a responsibility knowing that Plastic Odyssey plans to embark cheap, small-sized machines, simple to use and easy to fix. Mass production is yet planned to equip the small entrepreneurs in recycling of the polluted zones.     Race against the clock for an interactive project   Two years already that these fantastic four work on it full-time. A major stage happened on June 15th. The 6m prototype of the ship built thanks to the investors and by means of Roland Jourdain and Michel Desjoyaux, great French sailors, was presented. Then will come the construction phase of the flagship. And then, three years of shipping from March, 2020 till 2023, marked out by thirty stopovers on 3 continents.                          Prototype 1   Benjamin de Molliens evokes a huge organization: a route drawn according to local urgency, a sea route studied according to technical imperatives (slowness of the ship, winds, risks of piracy, etc.) and three weeks stopovers with a social objective which requires finding local relays. Finally, the constitution of rotating crews of 6 or 7 persons, naturally managed by Simon and Alex. Fortunately, numerous volunteers in diverse skills already bring their help.   To communicate its action, Plastic Odyssey will embark a team of videographers for broadcasting on social media and a documentary movie exposing issues and emerging solutions. In the meantime, Benjamin calls back the crucial needs of the moment "such a project requires a several million budget we have not reached yet. We also quickly need to enrich the technical partnerships, in particular around adaptation of the pyrolysis to the boat".     What’s next?   The ship will go back home but the project will continue to expand. This will be time for manufacturing machines and on-line publishing of open-sources blueprints and tutorials. Finally, Plastic Odyssey is considering setting up an international coalition of protection of the sea centered on the recycling.   The team sees exploration as a way to help in the development of local economies. Benjamin adds that they feel as explorers of the social innovation.   Remember, the synonym for odyssey is adventure! Even if - contrary to Ulysses trip - this one is perfectly chosen, we dare to mention: "Happy who like Simon, Alexandre, Benjamin and Bob are going to make a wonderful journey …"   What an amazing Project...We wish you good luck! To know more about the project, you can visit their website As well as Plastic Odyssey Facebook Page    
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Laurent Baheux, artist photographer and ambassador of the wildlife

Animal Kingdom

We know Laurent Baheux for the amazing beauty of its black and white works. Facing the wild animal captured by his objective, we rediscover the natural esthetics of the planet. Beyond the first visual shock, the artist helps us understand, without violence, how much the frantic human activity endanger life on Earth, all the lives on Earth.     At first sports journalist, Laurent chose to dedicate to the photography twenty years ago. Of his debuts in analogue black and white, he learnt to play with lights and contrasts to share the truth of his models. He explains this choice "I feel that the monochrome facilitates the perception of an image which "is not polluted" by the attraction or repulse for certain colors."   After a few years of sport photos and shift to digital, he feels a deep need to turn to other sources of inspiration, to leave the oppressing urban universe. Country bred, he always liked animals and long dreamed about Africa. Aimlessly, he leaves to meet African fauna in 2002. Here, He perceives, instinctively, the Beautiful and the Vital.     More than animal photos, the artist draws up real portraits of animal and wild personalities   His first exhibition touches the public who sees in these looks and these postures the feelings of the animal. From then, Laurent Baheux is not anymore just a talented photographer but an activist, a messenger of the wildlife. Images of a striking beauty could lead us to forget the existing danger? He does not agree.     "I believe that there is no single way to raise awareness … I think that "the beautiful" brings an additional argument to the necessity of protecting. Like if we say "that is what we are going to lose if we go on like that!"   The photographer did not choose a documentary approach. Showing the consequences of deforestation, excessive urbanization or poaching remains necessary but he dedicates his images to preciosity of the wild life that the Man cruelly destroys.     His commitment with organizations and associations - from the WWF to the institute Jane Goodall or One Voice - passes by the donation of images for sensitization. Goodwill ambassador with United Nations for the environment, he is one of the actors of the anti-poaching program Wild and Precious launched in 2013. Besides galleries and festivals, we have lost count distinctions and professional, militant or mainstream media which are interested in his art and his engagement. This interest consolidates him in a lucid vision filled with hope. He compares the human societies with a large buffet in which 8 billion people would have unlimited access; a situation becoming intolerable for the planet. "We have to rethink all the human activity to become sustainable by minimizing our environmental impact. The challenge is huge but not insuperable. The first step is the awareness of the absolute emergency in which we are. " He adds that everywhere where man gains ground, nature gets back.     "Stop thinking that the planet belongs to us, that we are the only ones to be able to have it. It is the territory and the natural housing environment of species which, for the greater part, were there before us"   Laurent Baheux recalls that man himself is an animal and that all the living beings are endowed with feelings and sensibility. Years of attentive observation allow him to underline that the human race legitimizes its arrogance by self-proclaiming most clever animal of earth. "That remains to be proved. Recent studies show the animal intelligence in a new light … It is only the beginning, our misunderstanding of the animal kingdom is still immense."     Convinced that a large awareness will entail strong acts, the activist untiringly pursues his fight by images. If his impressive bibliography gives a large place to Africa, he also highlights the sensational harshness of the Arctic lands and their threatened fauna in Ice is black. Today, he crosses the United States, Iceland and Mongolia for a series dedicated to wild horses.     In a new book called Animality, his monochrome portraits blend with the chiseled texts written by Audrey Jougla, also militant; a magnificent way to help us understanding animal rights and the reasons of their commitment.   In every shooting, his objective testifies of the Butterfly effect evoked by French singer Bénabar: "small causes, big consequences… Though this nice expression, little things, immense damages ". At each page, Laurent Baheux's photos arouse emotion and questioning.     If you want to know more about Laurent Baheux: His Twitter, Instagram, personal Webpage...and if you want to support his project, you can buy his pictures here.    
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Gregoire Mevel, the adventurer in a red van


For several years, this young French adventurer more often spoke English than his mother tongue. Formed to a hotel career, he always placed the hospitality among his priorities. But the professional frame could not satisfy his desires for escape and meetings. His wanderings around the planet lead to an alternative project that fits him so well…     Found of mountaineering and nature, Grégoire chose to bestride his bicycle for a puzzling challenge: going from France to Bangkok via the North Cape. It took eight months but he has rarely slept at the hotel, preferring the hospitality offered by meetings. He imagined to produce the movie of his adventure but never edited the picture. He was not a film-maker … The trip ended but the idea of sharing human initiatives and local insights wasn’t fading. The young man confirms that hospitality and inventiveness do not know borders.     Then, he leaves for Canada and finally moved to Thailand where he learns online business. He chooses video production and already shares his escapades on You Tube. An idea is born; the project will be called Emerging Alternatives. To finance it, Grégoire passes from Asia to Australia where he works such a time in Sydney.   Emerging Alternatives   The world turns. New kinds of traveling are appearing, more instinctive and sustainable. Sharing the experiments lived anywhere also becomes easier. But anyway, you have to initiate meetings and more, to federate a tribe.     Emerging Alternatives - Through a brand new website, videos and a logbook on Facebook – tells about the far-off, give tips and tricks arisen from the experience of the traveler and will soon highlight ideas and unusual projects coming of almost anywhere and relating to different fields (farming, education, environment, etc.).     The project has three goals: to get the interest of the sceptics fearing to get off the beaten tracks, to inform and encourage those who already want to take the leap and most of all, to INSPIRE!   Instinctively nomad, Grégoire is conscious of wealth and limits of this kind of adventure. He designs his journey with respect for nature but assumes the energy cost. He notices that alternative travel does not bring a lot to local economies even if he participates in it as soon as possible.   Pragmatic, Grégoire does not want to take advantage of the generosity and hospitality of people he meets.  So, he created his own "caravan" from a second-hand work vehicle. Scrap materials, ingenuity, solar panels, elbow grease … this all red van becomes the banner of the project. Symbol of his freedom of thought, of movement, the Red Van is most of all, the low-budget house which he built himself.     A bridge for the future   If Emerging Alternatives proposes the adventure as an alternative to the traditional journey, Grégoire first presents it as a footbridge between continents, cultures, individuals, and universes. It has to become a way of sharing new ideas leading to a sustainable future. In connection with the philosophy of the E.A project, Grégoire Mevel, video director, also invites companies to make visual their environmental, social or cultural initiatives.     In his videos and on the website, Grégoire speaks and writes in English; logic when we want to talk with the whole planet … and quite understandable when we know that at the moment, our adventurer does everything, absolutely everything, alone! Whatever is your language of preference, the EA tribe only waits to grow, sharing your alternative ideas and know-how. Thanks Gregoire Emerging Alternatives Grégoire 's Website      
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