08 November 2011

Home Sweet Plastic Bottle

One thing you have to admire about humans is our ingenuity. Put us in just about any environment and we will find a way to make use of whatever's around us. Of course, this also leads to less admirable results, such as environmental degradation and resource depletion. But I can't help but feel a little lift of optimism when I hear about projects like this--where something that is harming the environment can be put to good use.

Nigeria is a country with many problems, among them a dearth of housing and an excess of plastic water bottles. Enter a few ingenious people who figured out how to make houses out of empty bottles. Not only houses but houses that are bulletproof, fireproof, earthquake resistant, retain a constant (and comfortable) interior temperature, have a zero carbon footprint, and are relatively cheap to make. As the project expands so will local job opportunities, applications (this method can be used for other buildings like schools) and could become a model throughout Africa. At a time when it doesn't seem like humanity is doing so well we can all be enjoy a moment of optimism seeing that someone is getting it right.

Read more here.