Plastic bottles are one of the leading waste products in the world. To help save the environment, empty plastic bottles should be recycled, it can be made into jewelry stand, craft organization, self-watering indoor garden, bottle vase, the list could go on. But did you know that it can also be used to form a floating island?
Richart Sowa, an architect and environmentalist, used approximately 150,000 recycled plastic bottles in building his own eco-abode.
The British artist built his first floating paradise in 2005 and lived there since 2008. Despite losing Spiral island, the second islet he created, due to unfriendly weather condition, he is again on the process to build his third in a lagoon.
For his 25-meter-long island project, Sowa enlisted the help of a carpenter to construct a durable foundation that could resist a hurricane.
They used bamboo frame filled with wood pellets and sand. Then thousands of bags full of plastic containers were attached to it to give the island enough buoyancy to support the weight of the house and whatever is on it.
Seven years later, a three-story house made from shells now occupies the island, which Sowa named Joyxee. The floating island actually has everything a man needs.
It has two bedrooms, a kitchen, three showers, and a wave-powered washing machine. There’s also water, Internet connection, and electricity powered by solar energy within the island through a 100-ft cable that connects Joyxee to the shore.
Sowa, from Middleborough, Yorkshire, uses rain for running water that flows out from conch shell. He also has two pools; one is for bathing, the other is a hot tub.
Sowa wants to be self sufficient. Most of the time he gets his food from the fruit trees, edible herbs, and vegetables he planted on Joyxee.
My plan is to become self-sufficient. I am a vegetarian and have many plants growing on the Island which I eat, but for more variety, I go by bicycle to the nearby local shop.
“I have a ferry I also made from plastic bottles, which can carry up to eight people to and from the shore,” Sowa added.
Sowa has been married twice, has four children and six grandchildren, but has been living alone for quite some time. And now he wants to have someone to share his life with.
“I always loved my island lifestyle and enjoy each chance to show the beauty of the place with anyone I can.
“However, it’s not the same as having that one special person in my life to share my island sanctuary with,” he told theDaily Mail.
And in 2014, Sowa met Jodi Bowlin through Facebook. He invited the Japanese supermodel to his island to live with him and she said yes. She quickly adjusted to Sowa’s lifestyle, she even encouraged him to make some improvements on the island.
“Living on the island looks like a carefree lifestyle, but there is a lot of physical labor involved in keeping it up, especially in the early years before the mangrove roots weaved through the base to strengthen everything,” Bowlin told the Mirror.
According to Sobify, the man-made island is considered as an “eco-boat” by the Mexican government, so Sowa is expected to follow boating regulations like carrying emergency equipments like fire extinguisher, ring buoys, and emergency kits.
In exchange for voluntary donations, Sowa and Bowlin allow tourists to visit the island. The couple is now living in the island together with their pet dog.