When we think about the matra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, the “reuse” part is often overlooked. But an enterprising family in Argentina has reused a huge number of plastic bottles, Tetra Packs and CD cases to make a unique and educational house. Alfredo Santa Cruz and his family built the house (and accompanying play house) themselves using items that would normally end up in the waste stream. Their admirable goal: to remind others that small contributions from everyone can help achieve the common goal of caring for the Earth.
This project started out not as an artistic vision, but as a desire to share a passion for environmental stewardship. The Santa Cruz family believes that each individual should be held responsible for their own impact on the planet, and do whatever they can to reduce that impact. To do their part, the family decided to use waste from their own household and from their friends and neighbors to construct a very visual reminder of how many useful things we simply discard.
The house is located in Puerto Iguazu, near the Iguazu Falls. It’s composed of 1200 PET plastic bottles (walls), 1300 milk and wine Tetra Pack boxes (roof), 140 CD cases (doors and windows), and an additional 320 PET plastic bottles in the furniture. Other recycled materials were used to make the decorations and accessories around the house and playhouse.
(images via: Treehugger)
The family developed their own method for joining the bottles, which they now happily teach to anyone who wishes to learn. They ask for no payment in return, only that hosts help them pay for travel and lodging. The Ecological Bottle House has become a tourist attraction for the Iguazu Falls area, and the family supports the project through donations and selling their artisan items to visitors.
Aside from being a charming and whimsical place to visit, the Ecological Bottle House proves that one doesn’t have to be an architect or have a huge budget to make an impact on the waste stream. This family used nothing more than trash, hard work and their dedication to the environment to complete a project that is inspiring and influencing people from all over South America and the world. For more information on La Casa De Botellas – and information on visiting the structure – take a look at the project’s website.