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Cook, the daughter of a farmer, knows first hand how much work goes into producing food, but also that up to half of it never gets eaten.
She says social enterprises need to make sure they are addressing a real problem to be effective.
Or Recycle Points, a rewards system to encourage low-income families to recycle waste in Nigeria.
The company employs young so-called "wastebusters" to go door to door on electric tricycles collecting recyclable waste such as plastic bottles, aluminium cans, newspapers and cartons.
Together, they created the City Tree as part of the answer towards a complex problem: how to clean the air in the world’s increasingly overpopulated urban areas.
City dwellers suffer from asthma, heart disease and lung cancer because of the poor quality of the air where they live.
“We’re building a climate infrastructure,” he says.
In July 2017, it is in with a chance of winning its biggest competition yet as a finalist in the Chivas Venture.
These items are then processed by unemployed women within the community, and sold on to recycling plants to use as raw materials for new products.
The UK is represented by Tessa Cook, co-founder of Olio, an app that connects people in a community with shops to help them share surplus food, rather than it going to landfill.
They attach the moss to air vents to speed up the cleansing process and collect data about types and levels of pollution where the City Trees are installed.
Green City Solutions was able to develop the City Tree thanks to significant support from the German government and a private bank loan.
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He’s about to leave for Paris, where he will oversee the installation of two new City Trees, a plant-based air filter as powerful as 275 normal trees, in 99 per cent less space.