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Parenting for the Future: What is Ecobricking?

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When we buy for convenience it often comes with an excess of plastic. Rather than seeing that plastic as redundant waste, we can view it as a marvellous opportunity to teach our children there is a better way of living.
Parenting for the future sounds normal, we think of it as raising our children right to respect themselves and others. But it’s also about teaching our children to respect the earth they will inherit from us.
When we have children, convenience becomes our anthem. We need to be more mindful of how we demonstrate to our children that it’s better to be conscious about our impact on the world through our actions.
Taking our plastic and turning it into a beautiful and valuable commodity via Ecobricking is a great demonstration to our future generations. We care about their future more than our immediate convenience.

Where Does Ecobricking Come From?

Ecobricks are a concept born out of the practices of an indigenous culture that had many words but not one for waste. Everything had a further purpose, be it scraps from food. Everything had a higher consideration. Yes the food scraps could be turned into compost to fertilize further crops but the better way was to feed the pigs, that produced food for the humans and fertilized for the crops. Making the most out of something that we would consider waste.
So when we take the words waste, trash, garbage, rubbish out of our vocabulary, what do we say? We start to use words like ingenious, innovative and awesome.

What is an Ecobrick?

An Ecobrick is a plastic bottle, full and tightly compact with unrecyclable plastic or non-biodegradable waste. It can be used as a building block or in all manner of projects as a way to reuse materials which can’t be used or recycled otherwise.

Why Create Ecobricks?

 Pushing my unavoidable plastic into a plastic bottle, allows me to reevaluate my views on consumption. Ecobricking isn’t an excuse to keep consuming. It’s a lesson in awareness and our impact on the world. The best ecobrick is the one you don’t have to make! It can be time consuming and overwhelming and for some that is too much when we are already overwhelmed from parenting. But as we progress in our Ecobrick journey, we will consume less, will start to challenge ourselves and will engage the help of our children and families.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t relent and give their children the pots and pans to play with whilst we have a cuppa? So give your child a pile of plastic, a plastic bottle with a wooden spoon and just watch as they perfect their fine motor skills pushing plastic through the neck of the bottle and then push it down with the spoon handle.

How to Make an Ecobrick

  • Save your plastic packaging.
  • Clean it (if necessary) and make sure it is fully dried.
  • Find a bottle with a screw top lid. It’s good to start small whilst you learn the techniques.
  • Cut up your plastic to prevent air gaps forming in your bottle.
  • Stuff your plastic into the bottle, being sure to poke it down so the bottle is completely solid.
  • Weigh your bottle with the screw top lid on.
  • Log the ecobrick on the website (Great Ecobricks weigh between 0.33g/ml and 0.7g/ml)
  • Connect with other Ecobrickers and devise a project. There are many personal projects you can do. Such as build a small stool for your child to sit, stand, or climb on.
  • Consider joining/creating a community project to build something you can all benefit from as a community. Communal gardens or seating are extremely popular in the Ecobricking world.
Find Ecobrick Projects

To connect with other Ecobrickers and to learn the principles of making a great ecobrick please join us at:  or take a look at and 

Josanne McLean – Ecobrick Trainer – Sheffield, UK

Eco Bamboo Toothbrushes

If you are interested in being more plastic free, check out our zero waste eco bamboo toothbrushes here

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