Leave Nothing to Waste: SOIL’s Wisner Jean Louis on Regeneration

Photo Credit: Lush Spring Prize

Last May, we were deeply honored to have received Lush’s 2018 Spring Prize in recognition of SOIL’s economic, social and environmental regeneration work in Haiti. As one of the representatives of SOIL to attend the award ceremony, SOIL’s Human Resources Director Wisner Jean Louis had the opportunity to sit down with Lush and talk all things regeneration, which is now available to watch below.

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What is your dream for another world?

“I think to live better in the world we need to reconnect, with one another and with nature… When you have a problem, I am always ready to help you. When another person has a problem, we need to be ready to help them without looking at what benefit they can bring. Without thinking, ‘do they have money? Are they from an important family? Is that person rich? Are they poor?’ No! You don’t need to evaluate this, because a person is a person [and] we live in the world together.

We can live with one another without assessing whether a person can pay me for helping them. It’s the same thing as if a tree were to say to me, ‘Wisner, if I’m going to give you oxygen, you’d better have money or do something in return for me.’ I wouldn’t be able to live! I need to do the same thing for the trees that they do for me. We need to know what the trees need to live and what they need to continue to exist. If the trees weren’t there, I would live poorly. It’s the same for water. For the mountains. For the land. We need to protect nature. We need to support one another the same as nature protects us so that we can all live better.

If people don’t put their hands together to help one another and to protect nature, we will never be able to live well. So that’s what I think we need to do to live better: we need to reconnect with one another.”

What role does regeneration play in your work?

“I think that for the world to work well, for us to live well, we really need to put into practice the concept of regeneration. We can’t leave anything to be lost. If I’m not using this, what will I do with it? It might no longer be needed, but we don’t need to leave it to become trash. Even if I no longer need it for its original purpose, I can use it for something else, or I can transform it into something else.

We have experience with this in what SOIL does in Haiti. For 11 years, we’ve been regenerating and transforming waste into something useful. Human waste is one of the most ignored and despised things in the world, but [SOIL] takes it and transforms it into a product that’s useful, into something that everybody needs. And nature is happy with what we are making with the waste that could have otherwise been harmful. Now it’s helping people.

Everyone dislikes human waste. Nobody wants to see it. When we transform it into compost, lots of people are willing to come and take it in their hands because it helps us grow food! Good food! Food that hasn’t been grown with chemical products. We call this organic agriculture! We’re revalorizing waste and transforming it into something that helps people live better lives. We’re not hurting the environment by leaving waste behind…

We make nature happy and nature gives us more food, it becomes more beautiful. That’s life working better! When nature feels like we love it, it will love us too.”

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