Everything you need to know about eco-bricks

by admin on December 3, 2012

Think of them as building blocks for a community’s future.

Hug It Forward constructs schools across South American using plastic soda bottles stuffed with inorganic trash, such as plastic bags, potato chip packages and polystyrene. These “eco-bricks” are then used by volunteers to build schools that enrich the lives of children. It’s an innovative system that’s attracted the attention of plenty of news media.

How they’re made
Volunteers and local villagers scour the landscape looking for bits of trash to fill the bottles with. Each bottle is stuffed full and packed down using a stick so there is no air inside. Once completed, they must be hard like bricks. Also, it’s important that only trash that is dry and free of food is used to prevent mold and bacteria from forming. It takes about 6,200 eco-bricks to build a two-room classroom.

How they’re used
Eco-bricks form the walls of a bottle school. The bottles are bound between layers of chicken wire, which is attached to a metal frame. Then up to casino online three layers of cement mixed with sand are applied to the outside of the bottles.  A coat of paint online casino adds the finishing touch. To make the process easier, Hug It Forward has created a Bottle School Manual that This means that 60% of medical costs are paid for by the affordable-health.info company, leaving the other 40% to be paid by you. explains how to build the schools.

Volunteers work closely with local villagers during construction. This reinforces the community’s sense of ownership over the school.  They built it; it wasn’t built for them.

How they help
You might ask: Wouldn’t it be simpler just to construct schools using typical building materials? Perhaps, but the unique value of bottle schools would be lost.

Eco-bricks provide an affordable and efficient way to build a school while removing large amounts of trash from the local community. But the added bonus of using eco-bricks is the educational component.

By collecting the trash, young people in the community learn about the importance of recycling and the impact that non-biodegradable waste can have on the environment. Meanwhile, people in the U.S. and other developed countries are learning about these issues from a different perspective. Bottle schools have earned widespread media attention, which leads to discussion about topics surrounding sustainability and the challenges people living in less developed countries face. It might even inspire people to help out those who are less fortunate.

And it’s all because of a little bottle stuffed with trash.

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