Ten teenagers from Limassol are striving to revolutionise the desiccant industry by offering a new environmentally friendly alternative to the harmful silica gel packets used to absorb moisture.
HuskMusk, a student-owned startup from Foley’s School in Limassol, came up with two innovative eco-friendly products that can substitute daily-life products that harm the environment.
The ‘husk packets’ and the room dehumidifying boxes are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and biodegradable. They are made with rice whose coating (husk) has excellent moisture absorbing properties. The team also used musk for the room dehumidifying boxes.
“It has very good inflammatory and antihistaminic properties, as well as being able to provide relief from anxiety and stress,” the students said.
The husk packets are an alternative to silica gel packets that can be used in products from a business or personal use such as shoes, bags, cupboards or drawers. They can be used anywhere to absorb moisture, the team explains.
Since both the “husk packets” and the room dehumidifying boxes are able to fully decompose in plain soil, the team has implemented materials that enrich the soil with beneficial nutrient and minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium.
“This way our products transform into fertilisers, that benefit the environment even after humans are done using them.”
Furthermore, each dehumidifying box contains seeds, that with the help of the fertilising materials, are able to sprout in soil.
“What makes us stand out from the competition is our extreme dedication to being mindful of the natural world,” the team said.
“The rice husk we use is considered to be agricultural waste, therefore by using it we are preventing it from being burned.”
Every year, in China alone, 40million metric tonnes of rice husk are being burned, releasing harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so HuskMusk’s business’ goal is to reduce agriculture waste.
Silica is a desiccant, commonly packaged in plastic-lined sachets which are not biodegradable and are difficult to recycle. Silica gel absorbs water which means it will dry and harden the soil when absorbed, affecting plant growth.
HuskMusk began in November of 2022 under the JA company programme and Erasmus+. “By participating in this competition, we have all learned how to work efficiently as a team! We adapt, we grow, we cooperate. Through the competition we all learned from each-others weakness and strengths.”
The team includes ten students aged 14 to 16 in F4 and F5 which is 1st and 2nd year of high school, namely Georgia Triantafyllidou Chief Executive Officer, Vyacheslav Bakanov Chief Operating Officer, Nikolas Louroutziatis Chief Communications Officer, Shivalika Dagar Sales representative, Marina Roussounis Chief Financial Officer, Francesca Hadjipanayi Finance Assistant, Daniel Harpaz Head of Buying, Stephanie Petrou Chief Marketing Officer, Uma Parani Marketing Manager and Rayne Magistrate Design Manager.
They are business partners with the international tree planting organisation One Tree Planted that strives to “restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, and make a positive social impact around the world”.
Both HuskMusk products can be found at Agno zero waste grocery store and L’ime All Yours, in Limassol.
For more information about HuskMusk visit their official website huskmuskcy.wixsite.com/huskmuskcy and social media @huskmukscy (on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok)