When you really think about it, it’s amazing how much humans have changed the way we interact with nature over the course of history. In the past, many people used to worship the sun and the land, treating them almost as Gods. We would cultivate the land gently and treat our waterways as sacred sources of life, using them to water our crops, dipping our cups into them for water, and our bodies to wash away the dirt. Nowadays, humans are so detached from nature, many of us have lost that sense of respect towards Earth, and our planet is most certainly suffering for it. The use of palm oil for snacks has left forests that were once lush, barren. Our obsession with meat and cheese has poisoned water, and the air with greenhouse gases and is fueling huge changes in our climate. And our plastic habit is causing massive damage to our oceans. In fact, combined with the incessant and rampant overfishing we are seeing of our oceans, scientists estimate that our oceans may actually contain more plastic than fish as early as the year 2050.
Clearly, we need a solution if we are going to come close to remedying this situation. And thankfully, there are several people taking action to try to save our oceans and waterways. Some people choose to use their personal life to make a difference by cutting plastic out of their life as much as possible and leading by example. Some actively try to help others ditch plastic, either by creating powerful art, creating materials that people can use instead of plastic, or literally cleaning it up from the oceans themselves. We can all do our part to mitigate plastic waste. In fact, one man in Panama by the name of Robert Bezeau decided that when life hands you plastic bottles … you make a village out of it.
That’s right, Robert Bezeau is the founder and creator of the Plastic Bottle Village – a community in Panama that reuses plastic bottles to build houses, roads, and more. As The Village’s website relays, the average human consumes 15 or more drinks from plastic bottles in one month, if this person was born after 1978, and lives until 80 years old, they will leave behind a minimum of 14,400 plastic bottles on this planet. Instead of leaving behind such a huge trash trail, Bezeau wants to empower this person to build a house with it. And since a two-story house in this village requires about 14,000 plastic bottles, that means the folks who live in it have the potential to negate or “neutralize” the negative effect of their plastic consumption on the planet. Bezeau has already accrued over one million plastic bottles and construction is in the process. Pretty incredible!
The question now is, do people want to live in a house made from plastic bottles? After all, plastic bottles don’t seem quite as strong and durable as say, bricks. Well, as The Village website shares, the houses built are actually earthquake resistant, very cool in temperature (no need for AC), and is actually part of a community that relies on solar energy (so virtually no utilities to pay). Sounds like a pretty good deal to us. Plus, when the positive impact this Village can have on Earth is taken into account, it seems that these plastic houses are nothing but beneficial for the environment. With 8.8 million tons of plastic trash ending up in the ocean every year, marine animals dying and our oceans pretty much becoming a trash can, so any amount that can be prevented from entering the ocean is great.
The project is now underway, with an end goal of 120 homes, along with an eco-lodge, community gardens, mini-parks, and more. Bezeau also wants to include an education and research center working toward solutions to the massive global plastic pollution problem. We are incredibly excited to see how this project pans out and it’s amazing to see someone tackle the plastic pollution problem not by seeking a solution to move the plastic around from one place to another but to reuse it and figure out a way that we can use the destructive material we created and actually help the planet. To learn more about Plastic Bottle Village, visit their website.
You don’t have to build a house made out of plastic bottles to make a difference for the planet, join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign to learn how.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Image source: Plastic Bottle Village