HexBench Ecobrick Breakthrough

IMG_20140608_172254Breakthrough! Our first HexBench– made entirely from ecobricks, this modular bench provides an easy, low-low cost way to transform ‘waste’ into something immediately practical, useful, and COOL.  The technique leverages my experience making glass bottle furniture with silicone a few years back.  Frankly, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

The coolest part is how this bench fits together with others like LEGO. The hexagonal shape and bottle-top bottom allow seamless integration with other modules to form small tables, big tables, benches and seats as needed. They even interlock vertically for storage! Bannague Coteng and I made the discovery and worked with Noel, Randy and Mam Jessica from the Catholic Church in the small mining town of Monkayan in the Northern Philippines to make the first one.  When Noel walked his new bench back through the busy Monkayan market, it created quite the stir– everyone wanted to try it out!

The next day I worked with Tadian School of Arts and Trade and Tadia Central School to make over a dozen modules and take the photos below.  The students and teachers were so excited when they saw the assembled configuration that they immediately returned to siliconing to make more!

Now that there is a super easy output to Ecobricks, this will supercharge community ecobrick and waste transformation.

Best of all– not only is it comfortable but when kids push their friends it skims across the floor super smooth and fast!

DSC07318These bench-modules are made from coke bottles that were tightly packed with plastic ‘trash’ (i.e. Ecobricks)and joined together with simple silicone (100 pesos for a tube). A 12 Ecobrick triangle module fits like LEGO into a 19 Ecobrick hexagonal module– enabling endless combinations to make tables, benches, beds, desks and more! Taken apart they can even be securely stacked 4-6 modules high. That’s me with the students of Tadian High School (TSAT) proudly sitting on our remarkably comfy creations.

This is the first ever showcase of this simple and ultra practical technique that has the potential to empower schools and communities to not only transfrom their plastic waste, but create indefinitely reusable indoor ecobrick applications. The benches are almost indestructible when siliconed properly, yet with a knife can be separated to be used again in its next life (i.e. with cob to build a wall or bench).

Guía Visión EcoLadrillo

El primer lanzamiento publico de nuestra Guía Visión EcoLadrillo en Espanol es oficial!  Un grand gracias a basurera Patricia Acuna para su trabajo de diseño y traducion (si hay algo escrito incorrecto es porque ella no lo viste!).  La guía y este sitio web proveen de recursos a comunidades para fortalecerlas en la búsqueda de una solución de cero costo al problema de los desechos sólidos. Ninguna corporación, gobierno u ONG ha participado en la elaboración de estos recursos.
El primer lanzamiento publico de nuestra Guía Visión EcoLadrillo en Espanol es oficial!

After months of hard work the Ecobrick team is super excited to announce the launch of our Spanish Vision Ecobrick Guide! Patricia Acuna took the lead translating for use in her home of Venuzuela. Jo Stodgel contributed key new illustrations to make clear the pressing issues of how plastic poisons ecosystems. La Guía Visión Eco Ladrillo can now be downloaded on Ecobricks.org

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El primer lanzamiento publico de nuestra Guía Visión EcoLadrillo en Espanol es oficial! Un grand gracias a basurera Patricia Acuna para su trabajo de diseño y traducion. La guía y este sitio web proveen de recursos a comunidades para fortalecerlas en la búsqueda de una solución de cero costo al problema de los desechos sólidos. Ninguna corporación, gobierno u ONG ha participado en la elaboración de estos recursos.


http://www.ecobricks.org/ecoladrillo/

 

The Story

Vision cropped - color

I’ve been working on this mini-story for almost the last year.  After endless word-crafting, I beleive its about time I got over my anxiety and posted it already!  I am eager for you guys to read it and get your thoughts and impressions. 

Observing the spread of Ecobricks and all the judgments people make about the “problem of pollution”– blaming kids, teachers, the government and plastic itself, I realized a broader perspective was needed to put it all into context.  I learned from my good friend Sarah the importance of story telling.  Stories are one of our most powerful tools for understanding our world and ourselves.  My observation is that the more one resists something (i.e. fighting against trash and pollution) the more it persists.  Vision Ecobricks are all about accepting plastic for what it is and lovingly transforming it into something useful and beautiful.

Here is the story… I can’t think of any other title for it other than “The Story”.

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NOT SO LONG AGO, IN THE LAND RIGHT HERE,  the people lived in harmony with the plants and animals around them. These were our ancestors, and their homes, clothes, food and community were like melodies that danced to the song of Nature’s Cycles. They grew food so healthy that they danced century-long and lively lifetimes.  Our Great-geat-great-grandparents had to work hard, but it was rewarding work that saw their family and community blossom like the flowers and fruits in their gardens. Nothing was wasted. Everything they used was returned to the Circles of Life.

As our Great-Grandparents prospered, they became excited at the new things they could make, buy and trade. They sought with love to make the lives of their children easier with inventions, new substances and stuff. But in their passion, our Grandparent’s forgot how these new things would fit back into the world around us. Waste arrived. And it began to pile up. Sickness and disease followed closely behind.

Afraid for the future, our Grandparents locked the animals and plants in great cages, mono-fields, and finally plastic packages. There was more food— but it seemed to make people sick. And there was more waste. Our parent’s were even more concerned for their children— for us. They worked even harder to solve the problems. But try as they might, the trash piled higher.

Almost forgotten, the gentle melodies of our ancestors sung back to us across the generations. And WE could hear it. We realized, we remembered, that we are part of nature’s song, just as the flowers, the fields, the trees… and the ‘trash’. The song included it also— what we had thought was waste was but new notes for our ears. Bottles and plastics and cellophanes weren’t useless— they were marvelous materials to be segregated, saved and sung into new songs never before heard!

Together we began to work with our parents and grandparents to transform our problems into solutions. Together, we began to bend dead-end lines back into circles of use and reuse. It was a lot of work, and it was even more fun. Our grey communities began to return to green, the plants and animals frolicked freely and our children were happier than ever before as they played in the rivers, fields and forests.

Never before had the planet sung so sweetly, for once again, this time with deep intention, our lives were melodies in harmony with the song and cycles of life.