Our oceans are dying and our planet is in crisis. Every second breath we take comes from our oceans. Without a healthy ocean, life on earth cannot sustain itself. Plastic waste is littering our oceans and threatening the lives of millions of marine animals. Seals, turtles, whales, dolphins, seabirds, fish, crabs, and many other sea animals are dying and becoming sick because of this deadly environmental concern. Plastic contributes to global warming and the warming of our oceans and from this 50% of coral reefs have died.
Larger plastics are broken down and degraded over time, to form microplastics which enter the food chain for most of sea life.
Sea animals often eat microplastics because of their small size. Toxic chemicals attach themselves to microplastics, which can increase the chance of disease and affect reproduction. After ingesting microplastics, many animals, may suffer for months or years before they die.
The Ocean Revives
Oceano Reddentes is a registered non-profit charity and brainchild of Jade Bothma who started the organization when she was 12 years old.
Oceano Reddentes expresses its mission as “Saving the sea one piece of plastic at a time”
With a strong vision to save the ocean and build homes for those in need.
In her own words:
It all started when I was watching a documentary called Chasing Coral.
This documentary made me want to help the coral reefs that were being bleached however, there are not many coral reefs where I live in South Africa.
I wondered how someone as young as me could make a difference. The ocean is my passion and I have always wanted to help people.
I wondered what happens to the plastic collected at beach clean-ups, where does it end up? Plastic collected at beach clean-ups were being sent to landfills in Cape Town, one is right by the beach. A large amount of the plastic sent there is eaten by sea birds or ends up blowing back into the sea.
Therefore, we send as much of the plastic collected at the beach clean-ups to the recycler. What cannot be recycled is then placed in eco-bricks.
I came up with an idea to make eco-bricks for five minutes every time I go to the beach and encouraging surf programs and people visiting the beach and at home to do the same.
When we have enough bricks we will build a house and community building for someone in need out of eco-bricks. Hopefully many houses and community structures in the future.
I feel the need to educate my generation to help protect the ocean from plastic pollution and save the planet from the climate change crisis it is facing.
I encourage you to recycle as much as possible, to refuse single-use plastic where possible, and to make eco-bricks. Come join us at our beach cleanups to learn how to recycle and learn about science and the ocean. — Jade Bothma
We are very excited, humbled and grateful to be able to team up with Candice from Waste-Ed and Jared from Stasher. Working together they are helping to make Jade’s vision of “saving a fish’s home by building a home for someone,” possible.
Waste-ED implements waste to resource systems that explores the journey to zero waste, developing and applying environment based waste management solutions and education. They offer interactive zero waste setups, consulting, research, workshops and presentations. They create much needed, well-insulated structures teaching the skill of natural clay building.
Stasher South Africa are creating a plastic-free planet by helping the world give up its plastic habit. Their bags are self-sealing, air-tight, plastic-free and made from pure platinum food-grade silicone. They’ve embraced the plastic-free ethos and joined forces with local NPO’s doing inspiring work in eliminating plastic pollution from our environment. Together with their partners, they coordinate and participate in regular environmental clean-ups. Stasher is a patented, award-winning design that is eco-friendly and environmentally safe. Take the plastic-free pledge with Stasher SA www.stasherbag.co.za
WHO AND WHAT ARE WE BUILDING FOR:
Our first build is for the Bhongolethu Foundation. Bhongolethu Foundation is a non-profit that provides children with a safe and nurturing education full of rich learning opportunities. We will be building a house for the caretaker, his wife (who cooks for all the learners) and their daughter.
Along with this wonderful learning environment, Bhongolethu Foundation runs a sewing room school for Adults from Masiphumelele to learn the skill and become self-employed. Once they have finished their sewing course they have the opportunity to get involved in one of the extended projects. One of these projects is the ReLIfe project.
Re-Life focuses on upskilling women in the Bhongolethu Foundation sewing group by teaching them valuable sewing, design and business skills.
The women have conceptualized and made shopping bags, laptop bags, conference pouches, laundry bags, aprons, cell phone pouches, car seat covers and many other valuable items using pet food bags, with a touch of shweshwe.
The offcuts from the bags, which cannot be used, are made into/added into EcoBricks.
A larger sewing room for the upskills and Re-Life project is needed and We are eager to get going to build this much-needed sewing room.
We are currently fire testing eco-bricks and natural building materials with Stellenbosch University. This is the first time in the world for this testing to be done. With these results, we will be able to apply for planning permission for the first legally approved eco brick natural build house in South Africa. Due to Covid 19 the fire testing which was halfway through testing has been put on hold. Hopefully due to resume towards the end of 2020 beginning of 2021.
Watch our blog space, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for further building details coming throughout this year.
Eco-bricks are made by compressing dry non-recyclable plastic very tightly into a plastic bottle. Making eco-bricks is a journey and eye-opener into your household waste management. You will be surprised how much plastic gets compressed into a 2l bottle! It is also a great way to identify unnecessary packaging that you are using. Identifying where alternatives can be found and how this packaging can be phased out of your monthly household waste.