Recycling Masterpieces: Turning Rubbish into a Home

Recycling Masterpieces: Turning Rubbish into a Home

Would you like to recycle more? Perhaps sustainable waste management is on the top of your list when it comes to New Year’s resolutions for 2016? If that’s the case, you may like to take a look at this short selection of recycling masterpieces. They show that you can build pretty much anything out of recycled materials – even your home!

Home is Man-Made

When it comes to recycling in the UK, although we are getting better at it, I think we all know we could do that little bit more when it comes to reusing our household waste. One Brit who has taken this recycling business to the next level is Richart Sowa.

This UK artist spent 7 years creating an artificial island in Mexico made out of air-filled plastic bottles – a whopping 150,000 of them! Now that’s a good way of keeping them out of landfill.

The island is also made up of wooden pallets, sand and soil with mangrove trees planted in order for the roots to firmly hold everything together. It consists of a 3 storey, 2 bedroom house, with a fully functioning kitchen and bathroom (with a dry compost ecological toilet of course) and even has a rooftop sundeck and Jacuzzi.


Connected to the shore by a 100ft cord, the island has water, internet and electricity, although it relies heavily on this being solar generated.

Being only 35 yards from the shore the island can’t be accessed by ferry, which is also made up of plastic bottles and can hold up to 8 people in one trip.

Also able to grow plants, the aim of the island is to become self-sufficient (for a vegetarian diet) which will allow Richart to live as one with nature. Despite being a carefree and eco-friendly lifestyle choice, there is a lot of physical labour involved in creating and maintaining his dream home.

Life’s A Beach!

Another Brit that upped sticks and ventured into creating a recycled haven was Karyn Von Engelbrechten. She and her family have lived in Tonga for 8 years (in Fofa, which takes 3 days to get to!)


Love this new photo of the Beach House – same view, different day – always beautiful!

Posted by The Beach House Tonga on Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Von Engelbrechten’s created Shell Garden, a Tongan beach house, using materials sourced from the island, including slabs of coral from the beach! It cost around £70,000 to build, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and the family run it as a guest house for travellers wanting to escape into eco-paradise.

The house uses solar panels and wind turbines to generate its power and rain water is collected and piped in to allow running water. Being 60% self-sufficient the family relies on 3 hour boat trips every 3 weeks to get their household supplies.

Snow Far Far Way

Not a fan of the warm climate or blazing sunshine for your eco-shack? Richard and Claire Rees from Wales live an alternative eco-dream to our pervious beach-Brits. Living in a wooden cabin in a snow covered forest in the North of Sweden, the couple live completely off the grid, with no mains electricity or gas. In fact, their freezer is a small cupboard built underground.

Dog sledding mushers by day, they spend their evenings in the wilderness and rely on head torches and candle light by night. The couple are totally ‘bill free’ – how lovely is that thought!

 Would you like to recycle more? Well, don’t worry you don’t have to move to the other side of the world and build a home out of rubbish (although you can if you want). GD Environmental is a sustainable waste management specialist that can help collect, transport and recycle your household rubbish and wet waste. Take a look at GD Environmental’s website or call 01633 277 755 to learn more.