Be the Change society combines creativity and initiative to spread awareness on microplastics
Are you passionate about helping the environment? Worried about the climate crisis and want to do something to help? Do you use lots of single-use plastics in your home? Then Be the Change society needs you!
Be The Change are currently running an eco-brick project, in which they are aiming to make and collect as many of the plastic-made bricks as possible, to eventually build a sculpture that will be displayed in the forum. They are determined to raise awareness and highlight the problem of plastic pollution that is detrimental to our environment, and have voted on a final wave sculpture, depicting the harm that we are doing to our seas and marine life.
There are currently around 5.25 trillion pieces of macro and microplastics in our oceans
Eco-bricks are essentially clean, used plastic bottles (preferably two litre bottles) that have been filled with non-recyclable plastics, such as crisp packets, the film on fruit or vegetable packs or chocolate wrappers. We have found that the best way to fill them as full as possible is by using the end of a wooden spoon to push the plastic all the way down, you know they are finished when they are completely solid – like a brick. They are so easy to create, and before you know it, you will have made lots. This process has highlighted to us the extent of plastic usage in our lives and has increased our awareness and understanding of how wasteful we all are. There are currently around 5.25 trillion pieces of macro and microplastics in our oceans, and this is only increasing. Shocking as it is, there is a possibility to turn this around and create a force for good from our waste, rather than continuing to destroy our own home.
Beginning in Guatemala, eco-bricks are a recent idea that has been discovered in order to use our wasteful plastics for a good cause. Once finished, they can be donated to companies that will build structures such as greenhouses, toilet buildings and walls of houses out of them. One such charity is Hug It Forward, who have completed 308 classrooms in nine years, simply from this new approach to managing waste. Based in Guatemala themselves, their aim is to bring communities together ‘to build a more environmentally responsible educational space for their future’. Not only are they utilising plastic waste for buildings, but they are focusing on bringing people together in order to provide children with spaces to learn and thrive. Their goal is for ‘a world in which all children have the opportunity to get an education and create a better life for themselves, their families and where people do not mindlessly throw things away’. By turning our plastics into something other than throw-away waste, they are being removed from landfill, preventing increased pollution and saving animals from harm. Plastic bottles are ultimately becoming the building blocks for a new and innovative architectural platform, that anybody can contribute to. Whilst plastic still remains an obtrusive and unavoidable aspect of modern-day life, we can put it to good use, before we hopefully find new, more sustainable and healthy alternatives.
Plastic bottles are ultimately becoming the building blocks for a new and innovative architectural platform
Eco-bricking is a positive and proactive way to turn waste into something useful, so please help by donating us your eco-bricks and come along to see our final sculpture in the forum once we have finished! To stay in the loop about this project, follow us on Instagram @exeterecobricks, or come along to the Be the Change meetings at 12:30 every Wednesday, happy eco-bricking!