trash help to bring education to the poorest on the planet? Yes, it can! Hug It
Forward, a San Diego-based non-profit organization, empowers communities to build
new schools in Guatemala on a shoestring budget by turning plastic soda bottles
and other trash into raw construction materials. Many benefits for the community,
kids and our eco-system included.
Building up houses and schools
is a pretty expensive undertaking in our hemisphere, widely funded by governments
and local authorities. The situation in developing countries isn't that different,
except the fact that comprehensive funds are widely missing. But there is a way
to turn distant dreams of education into reality, by harnessing the power of community
each child in the village is asked to collect at least 20 plastic bottles. The
students and volunteers
stuff the bottles with plastic waste, such as Styrofoam,
snack wrappers and plastic bags for insulation.
The more compacted, the sturdier
the building blocks and the less garbage remaining on the streets.
The bottles were bound between layers of chicken wire which
are attached to a frame (usually made of
reinforced concrete, but made of metal
in this picture). Students stuff waste plastic in between the bottles.
Up to three layers of cement mixed with sand is applied to
the outside of the bottles,
with paint adding the finishing touch.
Isn't that an awesome and simple idea worth spreading?
just about providing the much-needed educational infrastructure for poorer communities
- streets get cleaned of non-biodegradable trash and environmental awareness is
raised about recycling and proper trash management. Fostering community leadership
and teaching new skills that can be used to gain employment or on other community
projects is just another side-product. The ownership of the schools is given directly
to the kids, because they built them up with their own hands and commitment. As
reported on the Hug
It Forward Website, the coming together as one during the project has
a far reaching uniting-effect on the communities.
would never know the main ingredient if they did not leave cutouts...
Bottle School Project, by Hug It Forward, built their first
school in Granados, Guatemala, in October 2009, over 5,000 plastic bottles were
used to build two classrooms, containing 2053lbs of trash and using 9720lbs of
cement. 297 children and youth currently attend the school, which serves a municipality
of 13,860 people throughout 95.75 square miles. Since the completion of the Granados
project, Hug It Forward has built 14
Bottle Schools and has four
more in the works. Learn all about Hug It Forward's Bottle Schools
walls with plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash was pioneered in Guatemala
by the organization Pura
Vida. Instead of the common cinder-block walls used in Central America,
"eco-bricks" are stacked in between chicken wire, and covered in cement.
The bottles are used solely as insulation; the buildings are supported by professionally
built, structurally sound frames. This method of construction is both eco-friendly
and economical, and independent structural analysis has testified to the strength
and safety of the buildings.
It Forward works to support and empower communities in Guatemala
Bottle Schools using discarded plastic bottles and non-biodegradable
Bottle School projects have many benefits, including:
Providing much needed educational infrastructure for poorer communities
Cleaning the streets of non-biodegradable trash
awareness, recycling and proper trash management
Teaching new skills that can be used to gain employment or
on other community projects
Spending capital within the local community
where the school is being built
Giving kids ownership of the school,
because they build it with their own hands
Uniting communities, they
come together as one during the project
you'd like to know more about the Project visit their Website http://HugItForward.org
or spread the word about their project via Facebook
Here or Twitter
Here. Hug It Forward's mission is to unite people
across the world: we are all one people.
HUGE thing you can do: Instead of getting gifts this year, why not ask your friends
to make a donation to Bottle Schools in your honor? Your sacrifice will enable
kids to build their own school and have the chance of an education and a brighter
Your Christmas HERE!
to build a bottle school in your own community? Check out the Bottle
a step-by-step guide on how
to build bottle schools and watch the
'How to Build a Bottle School' Video
FOR THIS ARTICLE:
Heenal Rajani [www.hugitforward.org]