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Aψe Svise: Teens create innovative ecological fire starter for Junior Achievement Cyprus

Everyone loves a good BBQ but thinking about the impact this cooking method has on the environment can take some of the enjoyment out of even the tastiest souvlaki. This is where Aψe Svise comes in, a new product created by a group of young people taking part in Junior Achievement Cyprus

The Aψe Svise (Apse Svise) team is one of the 10 groups of talented young people due to present their entrepreneurial ideas live during the upcoming Finale and Awards Ceremony of the Junior Achievement Cyprus Company of the Year Competition 2024.

Their product is an ecological fire starter made out of olive oil wax and 100% cotton that offers a sustainable and healthier alternative for lighting BBQ fires or fireplaces. Given Cyprus’ fondness for souvlakia and increasing environmental awareness, Aψe Svise appears well-placed to make the BBQing experience even more enjoyable.

The Aψe Svise team consists of pupils Alexandros Prodromou (CEO), Ioanna Giovanni (Production Manager/Co-CEO), Anna Lofa (Marketing Manager), Stephanie Maria Charalambous (Video Editor/Co-Designer), Georgia Karamani (Designer), Nikoletta Kakouri (Social Media Manager), Chistodoulos Lazarou (IT Manager), Yiangos Hadjiyiangou (Sales Manager) and Christos Georgiou (CFO). Their responsible teacher is Stelios Andrianos.

Aψe Svise recently participated in the 11th Junior Achievement Cyprus Company Programme Trade Fair, winning the Best Exhibition Stand prize on the first day.

They were then named as one of the ten teams selected for the Finale, with the highly-anticipated event due to take place at the Royal Hall Nicosia on 26 April.

All pupils of the Grammar School in Nicosia, the nine-member Aψe Svise team earlier this week took time out of their preparation for the Finale-- and studying for their school exams-- to talk to CBN about their exciting product, an alternative, and environmentally-friendly, fire-starting technique.

In a statement, the team revealed that their inspiration for the project came from learning that there was a great shortage on ecological fire starters since the majority contain petroleum.

As a result, and by combining their passion for the environment and the love they share for the Cypriot culture, Aψe Svise now offers a more sustainable alternative that aligns with their consciousness of the environment.

The team told CBN that the first step in the process had been to assess the traditional methods of starting a fire and identify the key sources of emissions.

The pupils recognised that conventional fire-starting methods, such as lighter fluid and fire-lighter cubes contain Kerosene, often produce harmful emissions and greenhouse gases when ignited. These emissions not only contribute to air pollution but also pose health risks to both humans and the environment, the team pointed out in their statement to CBN.

With this knowledge in mind, they then set out to explore alternative fire-starting techniques that would allow them to achieve their goals without compromising on eco-friendliness.

This research led the members of Aψe Svise to experiment with natural, sustainable materials such as wood, cotton and oil wax that could serve as clean-burning alternatives to traditional fire-starting agents.

Apse Zvise cropped

Aψe Svise is on sale online and from Superhome Center in Strovolos

After what they described as a lot of testing and refinement, the pupils developed a fire-starting solution that utilises eco-friendly materials to ignite the BBQ fire, fireplace, wooden stove and etc. without releasing harmful emissions. By harnessing the power of renewable resources and clean-burning ingredients, their innovative approach ensures that the process is fire starting is not only enjoyable but also environmentally responsible, Aψe Svise pointed out.

Teamwork played an important role in the effort with the pupils sharing that, through this experience, they learned how to cooperate with each other and understood the meaning of 'working as a team'.

“We all had to make compromises and with our passion and commitment, we have put aside our disagreements and created a team! We created a business and a product! This experience has also taught us that in order to achieve our goals and meet our expectations we had to work together, hard and effective. Teamwork and communication were the fundamental keys of our business and generally of this whole competition. Aψe Svise wouldn’t have been able to achieve going to the finals if it weren’t for our cooperation and out teamwork!” they said in a statement to CBN.

The Aψe Svise team also shared what participating the Junior Achievement programme meant to them, describing it as “an experience like no other.”

“We learned about teamwork, we connected with the environment more than before and most importantly we created an unbreakable bond. We got a taste of what our futures will look like since we’re able to see how businesses in real life work and this is a valuable experience that we will forever remember and cherish,” they concluded.

(Photo by TASPHO)

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