Bettering the Environment Through Engineering

Homes built out of recycled plastic bottles in Nigeria made the internet go into a frenzy. “This is a classic case of an innovative way to better the environment through engineering,” says Uzoma Okoro, an engineering professional. “And impressively designed. They are bulletproof, earthquake proof, and even fireproof.”

It’s well known worldwide that plastic bottles are harmful to the environment, taking up to 450 years to decompose. This new trend seems to be an amazing new way to utilize recycled bottles. Nigeria is the first one one to catch on, cutting back the waste of over 3 million bottles thrown away each day.

The homes are built by thousands of plastic bottles filled with sand. Mud and cement are used to hold the bottles tightly together. This creates a solid wall and barrier for the home.

Approximately 15,000 bottles filled with sand are needed to build a standard home that fits 3-4 people. Making these homes the first entirely eco-friendly homes in the world.

Another benefit of the structure of the home is that the sand keeps the home temperatures low. In places like Nigeria, with one of the hottest year-round temperatures, thousands have found it much easier to bear the intense summer heat.

As if it weren’t sustainable enough, the homes are powered by methane gas from human and animal wastes. Many homes also feature solar panels that power their homes.

Okoro, an engineering professional from the United States, is passionate about the idea, and hopes the surrounding communities and countries catch on.

“You know places like the United States would never adapt to this sustainability. We’re too comfortable in our luxury homes with all of the modern amenities,” Okoro stated. “But i’d love to see surrounding countries use this – places like Niger, Ghana, Cameroon and Chad – where temperatures reach up to 120. And not just to keep cool. But to make a significant impact on waste.”

He also went on to say that these are the greatest impacts that engineering can incur. It should inspire engineers across the world to look for creative ways to improve their communities, the environment, and the world.

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