Shelter Island Made Of Plastic Bottles

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Richie Sowa made a paradise out of garbage. He has built not just a houseboat– but real islands, floating in the water, that support a whole house and other structures on a foundation of plastic bottles tied together by nets.

He quit his job and split for the sunny beaches of Cancun, Mexico. He was collecting bottles for cash when he got the idea to create an island for himself out of these endless bottles.

He used some 250,000 bottles, netted together under a base structure of plywood and bamboo. He had a composting toilet and solar oven. Animals and plants thrived on the island as well! He collected rainwater and grew his own food including coconuts, bananas, spinach and almonds on the artificial island.

This paradise was washed ashore, all in one piece by hurricane Emily in 2005, but he built another one called Joyxee Island. This time he used 100,000 bottles. The new island has three beaches, a three story house, two ponds, a solar-powered waterfall and river, a wave-powered washing machine and solar panels.

This must be one of the most creative uses for recyclables ever! Who says you can’t create your own paradise?

–Bibi Farber