The George Municipality Environmental Services department joined Holy Cross Primary learners in the building of an ecobrick bench in the school back yard as part of the municipality’s ongoing schools environmental education programme.
George Municipality Environmental Services manager, Janine Fernold, said the school was a champion in teaching their learners environmentally aware principles. “The school initiated the ecobricks project some time ago and have been collecting 2-litre plastic bottles, and stuffing them with used plastics and food wrappers. The municipality has been visiting the school regularly over the past few years to reinforce the message of responsible living and we are so proud of them for having collected sufficient bottles to build this bench,” said Ms Fernold.
On bench building day, the school visit not only included the municipal Environmental Services officials but also representatives from the Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the Greyton Transition Town NGO.
The learned were taught how to use the bricks by Marshall Rinquest, Director of Greyton Transition Town who said their NGO had been involved in building an outdoor classroom in the community of Greyton as well as benches, tables and chairs for schools in Zambia.
The total ecobricks used by the learners of Holy Cross to build the bench weighed approximately 15 kg, which meant – according to Brian del Carme, lecturer in the Department of Environmental Studies at CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) – that 15kg of plastics that may have landed in the ocean or our drinking water, found a way to a sustainable project instead. “Ecobrick alleviate pressure from landfills and teaches residents that the trash littering their streets actually hold value,” said Del Carme.
Ecobricks are 2l bottles tightly stuffed to the brim, using a stick or the back of wooden spoon to compress the content. Suitable ecobrick material includes laminated paper, photos and transparencies, polystyrene trays, plastic fruit punnets, silvery packets from chips and chocolates, wax paper, dogfood bags and more.
The bottle is screwed closed and then used as a building brick. The ecobrick is used like a clay brick with cement to build. Visit www.facebook.com/ecobrickexchange or www.twitter.com/ecobrickxhange for more information.
Caption: Marshall Rinquest from Greyton Transition Town shows learners and officials how to build with ecobricks. (Pictures by Debra Sauer)