Making trash useful again

A new eco-brick project in the Dominican Republic prevented over 4,000 pounds of plastic and trash from entering the sea.

Once again the Mariposa DR Foundation is at the forefront of environmental awareness and change in our community.

With our eco-brick project, we have, with the help of our community, prevented over 4,000 pounds of plastic and trash entering the sea!

More than nine years ago, we worked together with volunteers on a prototype sustainable construction project with eco-bottle bricks at a local preschool.

We are now taking this project full circle as the Mariposa girls motivate our community members by teaching them about this amazing, local resource. And we’re cleaning up the environment at the same time!

an open building made out of eco bricks Through the help of volunteers and locals, a new music/art space was built out of recycled eco-bricks. (Photo: The Mariposa DR Foundation)

Our environmental activism group led workshops about how to create eco-bricks (stuffing trash into 16-ounce plastic bottles) and how we plan to use them in building at the Mariposa Center for Girls.

To motivate community members to get involved, the Foundation offered 20 pesos per bottle for those that passed quality control tests.

Mariposa employee collects trash in wheelbarrow Mariposa's environmental activism group led workshops about how to create eco-bricks. (Photo: The Mariposa DR Foundation)

Community members from all walks of life with a driving spirit of entrepreneurship came with their eco-bricks. We were overwhelmed with the incredible response and it is safe to say that this has been the most massive single-use plastic cleanup in the neighborhoods of Cabarete ever. (Possibly the entire island!)

We surpassed our original budget and goal of 2,000 bottles and ended up receiving over 4,000 bottles total.

With the completed eco-brick bottles, we first created a bench prototype using about 500 bottles. With the rest of the eco-bricks, we began the construction of a music/art space at the Center.

bags of trash collected More than 4,000 pounds of plastic and trash were collected and kept from entering the sea. (Photo: The Mariposa DR Foundation)

The enthusiasm has been incredible! Not only did this project offer community members a source of income, but it got our community motivated to clean up trash and be conscious of alternative building materials!

We encourage all local foundations, schools, and communities to continue the momentum of this project by building with eco-bottle bricks.

This article originally appeared on the Mariposa DR Foundation's website on March 18, 2019.

The Mariposa DR Foundation

Empowering and educating girls to create community-based solutions to end poverty. / Empoderando y educando niñas adolescentes para crear una comunidad basada en soluciones para erradicar la pobreza.

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