Here on the Sustainable Living Roadshow’s summer/fall tour, we try as hard as we can to produce no waste. But even diehard greenies such as ourselves run into roadblocks along the way.
For example, what to do with items like power bar wrappers, tetra paks that soy milk come in, the foil pouches that tea bags are packed in or random cigarette butts we find in the campsites and fair grounds where we set up our carnival games?
Luckily our good friend Brennan Blazer Bird of the non-profit “Collective Roots” introduced us to the concept of “bottle bricking“!
The basic concept is that you can fill up plastic bottles (which unfortunately won’t decompose for a very, very, very long time) with all these non-recyclables/compostables, jam them in super-tight with a bamboo stick and…voila!
It’s important to jam the brick tight so that it can be used as an actual BRICK – if there are lots of air pockets, it won’t stand up as building material. So take that stick and get shovin’!
Now you have a brick you can use for building benches and walls with cob (a material consisting of clay, sand, straw, water and earth that’s similar to adobe). Cob is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity and inexpensive.
So as we travel down the highway of life with the motherland of sustainability in our headlights we’re saving all of our waste and bottle bricking it so that when we return to Oakland after four months we can build a bench on our farm!
...to, ultimately, this!
Bottle bricks are a super simple way to start reducing your personal waste stream. Not only are you using waste for something productive, but the act of interacting with your waste and actually having to look at all you produce truly has an impact – or at least it has on us. Plus, they’re easy (what do you need? A stick and a bottle! Voila!), and they make a great educational tool.
Have questions? Understandable. Visit the website listed above, or feel free to e-mail us (Derek
) – we’ll gladly answer your inquiries.
Hopefully this inspires you to start bottle bricking any waste you can’t get rid of! If so, be sure to send us pictures or video!