As the population of the world grows, we need more buildings. As there are more people, we are producing more waste. We can use waste which is non-biodegradable – which will not break down on its own – to create building materials such as EcoBricks. Doing this reduces the amount we harm the planet as building planet-friendly houses helps to preserve the world’s limited natural resources. This is because instead of finding new resources with which to build, we use existing ones to create building materials.
WHAT ARE ECOBRICKS?
EcoBricks are bricks made from anything that cannot be easily recycled, for example sweet wrappers or plastic bags. The bricks help to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and also raise awareness of the importance of reusing waste materials. They are thermally insulating bricks. This means that they help to keep the heat in and the cold out, and so reduce heating costs.
HOW TO MAKE ECOBRICKS?
EcoBricks are easily made from waste material, you don’t need anything other than waste plastics, a plastic bottle, and a stick. Here’s how to make them:
- Choose your plastic. Find any plastic waste around the house.
- Wash and dry your chosen plastic. The plastic must be clean and dry otherwise tiny organisms can grow on it which will result in the bricks breaking.
- Choose your plastic bottle. It is important to choose a type of bottle that you have lots of in your local community. This means that it is easier to build structures that are stable as they will be the same size and volume.
- Find your packing stick. The size of the stick depends on the type of bottle. The bigger the bottle the bigger the stick. Make sure the stick fits easily inside the bottle.
- Add a bottom colour to the bottle. The first piece of plastic you place in the bottle will give it a bottom colour. Bright colours make colourful bricks.
- Use the stick to push the plastic down around the inside of the bottle. You should mix softer plastics with harder plastics. Soft plastics make a ball in your hand, for example potato chip packets.
- Weigh your EcoBrick. A 600ml bottle should weigh 200g. This ensures that the bricks do their job. Quality EcoBricks ensure good constructions.
- You now have one EcoBrick ready to use! Repeat the process until you have enough to build with.
HOW CAN THEY BE USED?
EcoBricks can be used to build structures for your local community. You can fit them together using organic cement. This is made by mixing clay, sand, and straw. For example, in Guatemala there are 28 EcoBrick schools.
EcoBricks are an affordable building material. They tackle the problems of waste and lack of housing in local communities. They also that more people are employed because people can get involved in building in their local area. Building awareness of EcoBricks is essential for helping minimize waste.