Noel McDonald, Diamond Challenge 2018 Finalist
Website: Paradise Care
We caught up with Diamond Challenge 2018 finalist, Noel McDonald, to hear about his latest goals, current successes, and how the Diamond Challenge has prepared him for the future.
Tell us about your venture?
My company Paradise Care is developing a solar powered portable lamp/power bank to help persons with limited access to electricity. The USaveR is built almost entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Over 600 million PET bottles are used annually in Jamaica. When Montego Bay experienced massive flooding, a cleanup analysis showed 47% of the garbage that clogged the drains and gullies were plastic bottles.
Paradise Care is encouraging and educating persons, including students, to recycle and reduce waste. Plastic pollution affects Jamaica and the Caribbean and, by extension, the world. Paradise Care intends to recycle these materials, mainly plastic bottles, and use them to make renewable products like the USaveR lamp and power bank. The innovation is a solar powered, portable and rechargeable lamp and power bank made from recycled materials (built almost entirely from recycled plastic bottles) to help persons with limited access to electricity.
Our solution helps to reduce the level of plastic bottle pollution both on land and in the ocean. It’s a charger for electronic devices and a high quality lamp with long lasting illumination in case of a power outage. It last for 24 hours when using the lamp function alone and 12 hours if it is used to supply charging and lighting.
What about your venture would you like to share and see shared with the world?
My team, Paradise Care from Jamaica, competed in the social innovation competition of the Diamond Challenge Competition were we won second place. Our prototype has several benefits. It will work perfectly for families who can’t afford to pay electricity bills monthly or afford solar energy. It is rechargeable and can be used in those communities/counties that do not have electricity. The USaveR can be used to study at nights for students and for adults going back to school. It will also help to provide farmers in urban areas with light so they can water their plants.
Specifically, how did your Diamond Challenge experience impact your trajectory/future plans?
The Diamond Challenge helped me to gain confidence in presentation, and I have improved greatly on marketing our product. It also helped me to network and meet a lot of other teams from all over the world. My team learned what we needed to improve on. Overall, I think it was a really unique and valuable experience — being able to meet and compete with teams of students from all around the world. Due to all the knowledge I gained from the Diamond Challenge competition, I was able to successfully launch the USaveR and it is now on the market.
What is next for you?
My future goals and plans are to be able to contribute to sustainable energy, to improve on our prototype and partner with sustainability initiatives so we can help all over the world and provide the USaveR lamps to persons all over the world who don’t have the luxury/pleasure of having light. There are also new ideas that will soon be developed and added to the Paradise Care movement such as products to replace the use of plastic, straws, cups, plates and foam boxes that are damaging the ozone layer, killing the plants and polluting the environment.
No matter where our Diamond Challenge alumni go, we are constantly amazed by how they continue to make an impact on the world for the better.
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