This project has always been thought of as the sphere, but in order to achieve a christmas build with ecobricks we decided to see what we could do with it even though it was not a complete sphere. Of course this makes it a hemisphere, the dictionary definition is as follows
“ A half of the earth, usually as divided into northern and southern halves by the equator, or into western and eastern halves by an imaginary line passing through the poles.”
These words resonated with me so much, as within the Global Ecobrick Alliance we work towards balance and equal partnerships, between female and male, young and old, east and west, breaking down divisions through the sequestration of plastic to bring harmony to our biosphere.
In celebration of the end of 2019 where the east came to the west to share knowledge with us and build with us in the form of Ani Himawati and Russell Maier from Indonesia, who came to train more ecobrick trainers so the mandelic spread of ecobricks would be embedded into the UK.
Plastic bottles are everywhere, millions are made each year, and all the time we continue to purchase them, they will be made. Recycling programmes around the world are failing us, and our consumption of plastic fails even the best of systems. It is time to see plastic differently, to value it so we look after it and not allow it to harm our biosphere. Ecobricks help us to do that, through using our hands to create ecobricks that can be used in project after project, we can build, take apart and build again.
Let me tell you how we have built the hemisphere.
We used over 40 1 ltr schweppes tonic water bottles made into ecobricks, all trapping over 333gms of plastic from our biosphere. Russell Maier had been curious how these odd shaped ecobricks could be used to make modules as they do not have straight sides, he started to join them together, it was soon clear this was going to be a sphere!
Attaching them using silicone so that when we wish to take the module apart can it be removed from the ecobricks without harming them so they can be used in the next project. The used silicone goes in an ecobrick.
As we approached christmas we realised we would not have enough ecobricks to make a full sphere, so for this year we have a hemisphere. We found a scaffold pole at our aquaponics farm and a piece of pipe that would fit over the top of the pole. We used silicone to attach the pipe to the underside, we were concerned about the strength of the structure, so we filled the rest of the underside with some expanding foam we had left from another project.
The scaffold pole was covered with drinks cans cut open and turned shiny side out, we then raided our christmas lights and covered the hemisphere with sparkly lights.
Nothing new has been used within this build apart from the silicone - this will be ecobricked at the end of its use. The expanding foam was left over from another project and will be ecobricked at the end of the modules life.
All the ecobricks will be used in other projects at the end of this modules life.
The scaffold pole will be used again and again. The lights are old and will be used every year.
The aluminum cans will go to our can recycling project. Everything used was assessed for how it will be reused, after we have finished using the module.
Plastic degrades in UV, so this is just for christmas, and then will be taken down, and made into a whole sphere as intended in the first place. It will then be used to help educate people about plastic and our biosphere. When not in use it will be kept covered and out of the elements to make sure it does no harm, and the ecobricks will continue to be useful.
Building this has been interesting and educational, it has been a family effort, working together. I have been touched by how many people have sent ecobricks to be part of this project. I am excited to show the world, and pleased it is at a stage of being on view in time for the winter solstice and christmas.
Wishing you a plastic free christmas, where you enjoy your friends and family for their presence not their presents.
Bright blessings to our wonderful home that supports all of life big and small, let our biosphere be healthy once more, Bright Blessing to you all.
Lucie, David, Robert and James
What to build with odd shaped ecobricks ? Starting to see how they will fit together