Plastic, glass, one, two liters and up to 600 milliliters. All bottles serve the Bolivian Ingrid Vasa Dies to carry out an ecological and social project that began almost seven years ago and today, thanks to social networks, has spread to a number of countries in the Americas.
With bottles and other obsolete materials – which in many places end up in the trash in the absence of an appropriate recycling system – Ingrid builds eco-housing for low-income families.
The project started almost by chance. Ingrid kept bottles in the courtyard of her house for a very humble lady who spent every week to pick them up. One day, the lady became ill and the bottles, scattered everywhere, aroused the anger of her husband.
“‘Boot those bottles,’ he told me, ‘you have enough to make a house.’ And that’s how I came to realize the dream of Claudia, a little girl who had asked me as a Christmas wish a room for her, who lived in a four-by-four room with all her family, “Ingrid told her. BBC World.
To make a home of 170 square meters, about 36,000 containers are needed. “Of the two-liter bottles, I need 81 to make a square meter,” Ingrid explained.
Each bottle is filled with disposable material: paper, plastic bags, batteries, sand and earth. Once filled (each bottle weighs 3.6 kg), they are used to build the walls. It binds them with lime, cement and is fastened with a kind of braid.
The plaster is another example of recycling. “I use a mixture of powdered milk powder, horse feces, linseed oil, cattle blood, sugarcane molasses … well, whatever,” says Ingrid. “To make the floor,” he adds, “I use chopped rims.”
And although the work is hard, the atmosphere is more like a party: all neighbors, even children, participate in the work. Onlookers can shop for homemade food that locals prepare for the occasion and crafts made from plastic bottles and other disposable products that Ingrid taught them to do so that those who lack the resources can earn a little money.
That is why Ingrid emphasizes the two aspects that characterize his work: it is an ecological project because it takes out of circulation materials that would otherwise contaminate the planet and teach to care for the environment, but it is also a social project because it offers decent housing to the poorest and fosters solidarity and ties within the community.