Paradisi – Raising awareness on sustainability through ‘organic soap-making’
Project B is a creative student-led project chosen by the university after a series of screening processes. Students have to submit applications and conduct a presentation. Selected projects are given support and merits including funding and public assistance from the university. Projects should take a minimum of 6 months to a year to be completed.
Many students at APU actively advocate for environmental issues and sustainability. It’s been a struggle lately due to COVID-19 halting most student activities and projects. So you might ask, how exactly does one promote sustainability from home?
Paradisi is doing exactly that, and they might have the answers for you.
In-home gardening kit by Paradisi
Paradisi is a Project B at APU that aims to advocate sustainability and promote a healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle. Due to the COVID-19 situation, many of their intended activities have been compromised, but the members of Paradisi did not want to let that hinder their goals, so they took it upon themselves to make the best of the situation and shift to a more online approach.
As of now, they are actively posting content on their Instagram account (@paradisi_apu) that ranges from information regarding sustainability to in-home gardening tips. However, what makes this project unique is their trademark DIY organic soap.
D.I.Y organic soap by Paradisi
This soap is Paradisi’s main product. Using natural materials, members of Paradisi are able to handcraft and design the soap themselves with an aesthetic that surely appeals to university students, and they plan to sell these to APU students.
I was able to sit down for an online interview with one of Paradisi’s founding members, Tazkia from Indonesia, to talk about the project.
What was the inspiration behind Paradisi and how was it formed?
Tazkia: In the beginning, me and my fellow members just wanted to create a project that could give back to the community in Indonesia. It led me to think about how there are people who don’t have access to toilets and clean water near where I live. From there, we concluded that we want to improve the sanitization in Indonesia, but we were still unsure about how we would be able to obtain the funds for that. That was how we came up with the idea of making this ‘eco-friendly’ soap.
The soap, in a way, will be a tool for us to promote our goals, which is to raise awareness of sanitation and sustainability. We want people to know that by purchasing any product made by Paradisi, they are also contributing to our cause. Any profit gained through our sales will go to our toilet-making project in Indonesia.
Considering the vast options of DIY projects you could have chosen, why did you decide to make ‘soap’ as Paradisi’s main product?
Tazkia: We wanted to use something that is eye-catching. A lot of people have started to make DIY items at home in quarantine and we were inspired by that. So we thought, if we were to handcraft, we would want to be able to decorate it ourselves. We also think that soap is a very close and personal item to everyone because we use it every day. We want people to be reminded of the environment when they use our organic soap.
The eye-catching and aesthetic designs of Paradisi’s organic soap
SPA: Since Paradisi is trying to advocate for a healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyle, how do you think your project will appeal to students compared to other projects?
Tazkia: I think our project appeals to APU students because it’s very visible and easy. We have many creative points, and I would say that our aesthetics and approach to advocating for a healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle is very “millennial.” You can contribute by buying our products, like our soap and our butterfly pea drink. And if you’re not a member and you want to participate in our activities, all you have to do is show up. We are very open to volunteers. We just want to create fun activities that don’t really require a lot of work for people who want to learn more about the environment.
What are the future plans for Paradisi taking into account the current situation with COVID-19?
Tazkia: Our initial plan was something we called “Picnic, Clinic, and Epic.” For “Picnic,” we actually have a partnership with Beppu Global garden and we wanted to do gardening activities with people in APU. Due to COVID-19, we had to limit that to our members only. We also make our in-home gardening kit at Beppu Global Garden. For “Clinic,” we wanted to do a soap-making workshop which APU students could participate in. Again, because of COVID-19, we also had to minimize this to only our members, but we made sure to post a lot of content on social media, including an online exhibition about our project.
Lastly there’s “Epic,” which is our fund-raising plan. Our initial plan was to sell our signature butterfly pea tea drink at the Tenku Festival, but we couldn’t do that because of COVID-19. Instead, we mostly sell our products to our friends and promote them on Instagram. We also plan to hold more workshops amongst members and record more content for social media.
As you can see, the pandemic has made us shift to smaller scale activities and focus more on social media content.
Paradisi’s Instagram page (@paradisi_apu)
How has joining Project B and being a part of Paradisi made you grow as a learner and individual? Did you gain anything?
Tazkia: Personally, joining Project B was something very new for me. I was never involved in any kind of project like this, so I learned everything from zero. APU is very helpful in aiding the project. We were given a supervisor with whom we were required to have meetings weekly. I’d say it’s very professional, especially with how structured everything is. That’s the main thing I learned, how to create a “proper” project, from financial plans and critical thinking to structuring our ideas.
Additionally, since I’m a leader and head of human resources, I also learned about a lot of environmental issues and how to tackle them through research. It gave me a lot of insight as an individual.
Online interview with Tazkia, one of Paraidisi’s leaders
Special thanks to Tazkia Nurannisa for the interview.