Recycling: Island Created from Plastic Bottles

British artist Richart Sowa has created a man-made island from over 100,000 plastic bottles, where he lives with his wife and dog in a three-story house.

Joyxee Island sits 30 yards off the coast of Isla Mujeres, a Mexican island in the Caribbean.

In an extraordinary example of recycling, Sowa began building Joyxee Island in late 2007. He finished it by the end of 2008, and has now opened the 8,000-square-foot island for tours.

The base of the man-made island is made up of nets filled with plastic bottles. The extraordinary home is solar-powered, and even has a washing machine powered by waves, two swimming ponds, a waterfall, and internet connection. His goal is for the island to be entirely self sufficient; he is already growing vegetables and herbs.

Beginning with Spiral Island

Joyxee Island is actually the second bottle island built by Sowa.  The first — Spiral Island —  was located in a lagoon near Puerto Aventuras, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico south of Cancún; Sowa began constructing it in 1998.

He filled nets with empty discarded plastic bottles to support a structure of plywood and bamboo, on which he poured sand and planted numerous plants, including mangroves. The island featured a two-story house, a solar oven, a self-composting toilet, and three beaches. He used some 250,000 bottles for the 66-by-54-foot (20 m × 16 m) structure. The mangroves were planted to help keep the island cool, and some of them rose up to 15 feet (4.6 m) high.

 

Almost all of the sand Sowa used for Spiral Island I was taken from the end of the beach, where it came up against the man-made rock pier on the edge of the canal system where the Island was tied.

The island was destroyed by Hurricane Emily in 2005. The island was washed completely onto the beach in one piece, and a small proportion of the bags of bottles washed up on the beach away from where it landed. The roots of the 7-year old, 7-metre (23 ft) tall mangroves were intertwined through the island’s base and the strong net that was wrapped totally under the whole island helped to keep it together.

Joyxee Island

Sowa started to rebuild his floating environment island in the waters of Isla Mujeres, located near Cancun. Joyxee Island contains about 100,000 PET bottles and measures a size of 82 feet in diameter. Rishi’s new floating green island has also three beaches, a beautiful house, even a solar-powered waterfall and a small river, a wave-powered washing machine and solar panels.   It opened for tours in August, 2008.

Plants like Mangroves actually provide stability to the island. Their growing roots wind through the mesh bags – tying everything together. Sowa continuously adds more bags of plastic bottles – growing and expanding the island.  He grows numerous plants on the island including; palm trees, sea grapes, mangroves, cactus, spinach, tomatoes, melons, lemons, herbs and flowering shrubs. Sowa keeps building day by day, so Joyxee will always be a work of art in progress.

Richart firmly believes we can reverse the adverse effects our modern lifestyle is having on the Earth’s ecological balance. By creating islands, which become self-sustainable as corals – marine life grows on the underside, and mangroves, fruit and vegetables are grown on the topside.

This gives oxygen back to an otherwise ever decreasing atmosphere. And creates a root integrated, flexible and resilient habitable Island – which can grow big enough to be able to eventually survive, and flourish on the ocean.

 


For futher information: 

An in-depth article is available at:
http://greentravelife.com/richart-sowa-a-green-island-made-of-plasti-bottles/

Also see “Plastic Bottle Floating Island – The Richart Sowa Story” that includes a description of a tour to the island.
http://worldwideadventurers.com/plastic-bottle-floating-island-richart-sowa-mexico/

Recyling Project Creates Colorful Sculptures

      

How do we get rid of the masses of plastic and floating islands of debris from our oceans?   One small business in Kenya came up with an  innovative solution.

Most people think of flip-flops as casual, colorful and cute beachwear. But in fact, for over 3 billion people, they are the only pair of “shoes” that they own. In Africa, India, and other hot climates, billions of cheap flip-flops are produced and used daily.   They’re worn for years, and after wearing out, are discarded and eventually find their way into dump sites, and seep into waterways ….  and ultimately the oceans. The huge masses of discarded flip flops block waterways for fresh water and kill everything in their way.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based in Nairobi, it is estimated that an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic and synthetic materials (flip-flops) are floating on every square kilometer of ocean, and that the impacts of this pollution generates a cost of over $8 billion a year – $334 million of that attributed directly to flip-flops.


As an example in Kenya alone, one cheap factory not only burns coal and oil, hires cheap labor and uses plastic to make over 100,000 flip-flops a day — 3.65 million flip-flops annually.

in the late 1990s, in Kiwayu, Kenya, tons of flip-flop pollution was washing up onto the beaches daily, creating an environmental disaster for the marine ecosystem and local communities.

But an innovative company in Nairobi – Ocean Sole – came up with a creative solution to the problem by transforming over 50 tons a year of discarded flip-flops and re-cycling them into art. The social enterprise company understands that  more awareness is essential to the growing flip-flop problem that is cluttering our Earth.

 

Inspired by the toys children were making from flip-flop debris, Julie Church, the founder of Ocean Sole, encouraged mothers to collect, wash, and cut the discarded flip-flops into colorful products.

In 2000, the company began to sell their first products commercially in Nairobi, Kenya. At the same time, they received their first commercial order from WWF Switzerland for 15,000 turtles. Early in 2000 Ocean Sole partnered with UNEP to raise awareness.

By 2005, the company, was established to promote “trade not aid” and began selling colourful and fun art and functional products to raise awareness of flip-flop pollution and improve local poverty. Since that time, Ocean Sole has cleaned up over 1,000 tons of flip-flops from the ocean and waterways in Kenya, provided income to over 150 low-income Kenyans and has contributed over 10% of its revenue to marine conservation programs.

In 2007 they hosted the largest  International Coast Clean-up (ICC) in Kenya. The growth of Ocean Sole has been phenomenal and the products and misson have become internationally recognized, sold and displayed in Rome, London, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore and Australia. The company grew from three employees to over fifty; and in 2013 it launched a foundation to help the conservation movement.

Ocean Sole moved to an art and cultural village, working with UNEP, UNESCO, UNDP and UNIC on a three year journey to focus on conservation entrepreneurship, supporting local Kenyans with recycling programs, establish new global distribution partners and create a new visual identity about flip-flops pollution destruction to both humans and marine life.

 

Some of the artworks that have been created:

Originally made for the London Zoo, the design for this Panda is carved by Raphael Kangutu. Trained in Gikomba, Kenya’s largest market, he was once a wood artist who came to Ocean Sole and was trained to make new sculptures from up-cycled flip-flops Also carved by Kangutu, Simba the lion (see below the article) has become the premium of their Safari Collection, available in all sizes and colors.

 

The Manta Ray is anr endangered species – this one is carved by Jonathan Lenato. He has carved many works for Ocean Sole, and he is working on a life-size Rhino that is going to a corporate headquarters in Amsterdam.

David Kaloki has carved the beautiful African elephant which in life-size is put into office lobbies.

The Rhino is another popular carving and the African rhino is another species at risk. To bring awareness of their plight, the carvings come in all sizes and color as well as life-size. This one has been carved by Munyao Mwnangangi

 

Ocean Sole will also design installation art, lobby sculptures, garden pieces and any type of art. The motto of the company is

Art is our speciality and creating masterpieces is our favorite activity.”

Additional information about Ocean Sole is on their website at:

www.oceansole.co.ke

Karen Village, Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya

+254 727 531 301

 

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Dutch trains now running on 100% Wind Power

All of the electric passenger trains running in the Netherlands are now powered entirely by wind. One year ahead of schedule, Dutch railway company NS announced its entire electric train fleet is running on 100-percent wind power as of January 1, 2017, ushering in a new era of green transportation.

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In late 2015, the Netherlands announced its plan to have all of its trains operating entirely with wind power by 2018 – but it has achieved that goal one year ahead of schedule. As of the first of January, all public transport trains are powered by wind turbines!

The electricity used to power the Dutch trains comes from wind farms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Finland, many of which were just recently built. And because some of those farms opened ahead of schedule, it was possible to move up the time-line. When the country achieved 75 % wind power for the trains by 2016, the initiative made a final push and reached 100 percent by January 1, 2017.

One of the Netherlands’ largest railway companies, known as NS, partnered with the Eneco energy company in 2015 to funnel renewable energy into its fleet of electric trains, which carry 600,000 people a day.

According to DutchNews.nl, there’s currently a total of 2,200 wind turbines across the country. These windmills generate enough power to sustain the equivalent of 2.4 million homes. The trains alone consume about 1.2 billion kWh of electricity a year, which is roughly the total power consumption of every home in the country’s largest city, Amsterdam. Changing to a renewable source for the transportation will make a huge dent in the nation’s carbon footprint, which has already been shrinking over the years as a result of investments in renewable energy projects.

Eneco is using specially built wind farms for the project to avoid putting existing plants under unnecessary pressure and to keep prices down. The railway operators, meanwhile, are making energy efficiency savings in other areas (through train design and driving techniques) in order to keep demand as low as possible – this in turn ensures that the extra price of wind power isn’t passed on to customers.

According to Eneco account manager Michel Kerkhof, “This partnership ensures that new investments can be made in even newer wind farms, which will increase the share of renewable energy. In this way, the Dutch railways aim to reduce the greatest negative environmental impact caused by CO2 in such a way that its demand actually contributes to the sustainable power generation in the Netherlands and Europe.”

Wind energy is rapidly taking over in the Netherlands, while other nations also work toward increasing their renewable energy production. Scotland’s plans are to be 100 percent zero-carbon by 2020. They are also investing in tidal power generation to help achieve that goal.

The use of wind power is growing around the world. The Netherlands has been the latest country to set the pace for adopting alternative energy sources. China is now producing more energy from wind than the US is from nuclear, while Denmark now has enough wind farms to exceed the country’s total energy needs at certain points. As more plants come online, the risk of outages due to calm, still days becomes much lower.

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