It’s a love hate relationship

Would you like a guilt-free solution to buying and drinking Coke and Sprite?

Well, here it is… the reason is to make an EcoBrick. All you need is a long stick, your bottle, some arm muscle and waste! Although, you don’t have to buy the drink – just ask friends, family neighbours, your office etc. The less we give in to purchasing these plastics the better! So sourcing one is best!

An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle that is jam, and I mean jam-packed with non-biodegradable waste. Every kind of non-food, clean waste that is able to fit through the neck of a bottle, and take its shape is perfect for the ecobrick.

The awesome thing about these bricks are they become free building materials to build with. Houses, walls, benches, tables, even wall art. The really cool thing is that because they are filled with waste – that’s soooo much less waste that’s going to landfills or the ocean!

Picture this. You have a party at home. You buy flowers, they come wrapped in lots of cellophane. Guests bring some food – It’s muffin trays with that wrapping around them, sweet packets, chip packets, sausage rolls in glad wrap, some hot food on a tray covered in foil, a few packets of rolls, some viennas and cheese with the shrink wrapping they come in. You make pastry snacks – and that comes in a wrapper. Someone brings some cut fruit in a plastic container that has that plastic around them. You open some serviettes. Throw that wrapper away. The plastic spoons and forks you bought come in a wrapper, throw that away. You buy some sachet’s of juice because it nice and they don’t cost a lot and avoides people each bringing their own plastic bottles of cold drink – throw those away too.

I had just about that for a baby shower at my house and majority of it all went into the bottle the rest recycling – I thought my already half filled bottle would surely be full. It still took me another 2 weeks to fill the bottle!

If you wanted to fill a bottle – can you guess how many full black bags of loose waste you would need? Go on, have a guess…
From my experience, based on my first bricks, it’s about 6 full black bags. Don’t believe me? Prove me wrong – and I hope you do, in a good way, in that it actually takes more! Imagine that all going to the landfill?

Soft recyclables like some sweet packets, chocolate wrappers etc with the recycle sign are good for the Ecobrick too. You can even cut up Styrofoam too – its one of the worst forms of plastic, especially of you aren’t recycling! The less waste going into landfills, dumped into the ocean, or strewn on our pavements, the better.

Here are some steps to getting started

Now are you still wondering why it’s a love hate relationship?

EcoBricks are not the solution to plastic waste, especially the non-recyclable waste, but they do provide a temporary fix to the landfills getting overloaded.

“Making EcoBricks is not about encouraging the production of plastic, but rather a temporary means of protecting the environment while us humans figure out a way to cut plastic out of our lives altogether.” – TWO Oceans Aquarium

Unless you have a good habit of refusing plastic when possible, it doesn’t help one get into that habit because it’s easy to say: “oh, but I can just EcoBrick it!”

What is the problem with that you ask? The more we consume and give in to these plastics, the more the demand there will be and there then becomes no reason for manufacturers to stop making it! They sell it, we buy it and bam – We are helping the degrading of our planet for our kids and future generations. Will there still be ocean life for them to explore? All kinds of fish and sea mammals are swallowing these plastics, even the broken down ones and dying because of this. Animals are getting caught and wrapped up that fins can’t move, and their bodies can’t grow.

Since the 6 October 2017, I have been filling 2 bottles simultaneously. I filled them with: cereal packets, sweet wrappers, glad wrap, milk packets (when we didn’t have a chance to refill at the dairy), ribbons, stickers, Sequins and beads etc, new clothing tags, a razor, plastic toothbrush, chip packets, ziplock bags, foil, cellophane, more and more FutureLife foil bags, Stickees, material cuttings, and anything else small that needed to go in the bin. If it’s clean and small enough – I’ve put it in! It weighs 491g. If 1 plastic packet weighs 10g that’s 49 plastic packets. This bottle has 1 checkers packet – colour coded bottoms are cool for making patterns if the bottoms are exposed. So you can fit about 48 more of them! Isn’t that amazing! There’s no reason not to make! It has every good thing going for it, and not much extra effort.

 

ecobrickI’m excited to have finished them, to have 2 bricks that can be used by Door of Hope Village so that they don’t have buy any. Yet, it is still sad that they are needed, that there is no way around buying some items, and that they aren’t recyclable or compostable. It’s a win for me and the NGO, but a loss for our society/for our future in terms of these plastics being produced and us needing to buy them. It’s a win because it’s better than all 2 months of waste going to landfills (the only thing I’ve been sending is nappies!) It’s a loose because it’s a long tough road to change the way companies think and provide. It’s a loose because we are susceptible to consumerism and making life easier, instead of productive, toxic instead of healthy.

With the holiday season on us, I’m sure you will be able to get your hands on a few bottles. Please give it a try and make a difference to our country, our land, our world, our future.

Before the 1960’s we were able to live without plastic. Do you think we can get back there?

Please let me know you thoughts, and sign up to get more of mine, just my thoughts on how I want to live my life.