Amanda Froelich, True Activist
These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes. They also maintain a comfortable temperature, produce zero carbon emissions, and are powered by solar and methane gas from recycled waste.
Plastic is everywhere. In fact, the environment is so riddled with it, researchers predict that 99% of all birds on this planet will have plastic in their gut by the year 2050.
It is not enough to persuade people to use less, plastic needs to be repurposed and reused to be kept out of landfills. Despite informative infographics, emotional statistics, and recycling programs, many nations – especially the United States – continue to toss plastics into landfills without much care.
This unfortunate reality has spurred many to get creative with the discarded byproducts of society. Some have used plastic waste to construct marvelous sculptures and raise awareness about the issue, while others are repurposing it entirely to construct eco-friendly homes.
As phys.org reports, the housing crisis has become so bad in Nigeria, nearly 16 million units are required to address the shortage. Because crafting traditional homes would be far too expensive for most, locals adopted the idea put forth by two NGOs and are now building plastic bottle homes.
The solution not only cuts costs for building a house, it is beneficial for the environment.
Founded by Kaduna-based NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), with help from London-based NGO Africa Community Trust, the project is solving two problems at once by addressing the homelessness issue and helping the environment. Not only will there be less plastic in landfills, the house is designed to produce zero carbon emissions.
In addition, it is completely powered by solar panels and methane gas from recycled human and animal waste.
To create a two-bedroom bottle house, workers fill plastic bottles with sand and then hold them together using mud and cement. This forms a solid wall that is stronger than cinder blocks.
That’s not all: These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof and can withstand earthquakes. They can also hold a comfortable temperature year round.
The buildings can be built to three stories, but no higher, due to the weight of the sand-filled bottles. And, of course, the magnificent diversity of recycled bottles give each house a unique and bright look.
A two-bedroom house requires 14,000 bottles to complete. To put this into perspective, Nigeria throws away three million bottles every day. Clearly, there are plenty of bottles which can be repurposed to build every individual in their own abode.
At least Nigeria isn’t as wasteful as the United States, which discards 130 million bottles per day. That’s 47 billion bottles every year – nearly 80% of which end up in the landfill.
If the United States were to save these bottles and repurpose them into houses like folks in Nigeria are doing, 9,257 houses could be builtper day. That is nearly 3.4 million houses a year, reports Off Grid World. With 3.5 million people living on the streets in the U.S., is this the solution needed to remedy the homelessness crisis?
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Image Credit: Andreas Froese/ECOTEC