We plan to open the world's first Eco-Stores in Guatemala where people can buy essential pantry items and household supplies in exchange for eco-bricks (empty plastic bottles filled with inorganic trash) that they have produced themselves. The eco-bricks will then be used to build rain water harvesting systems in areas with extreme water scarcity! By supporting this project, you will help prevent plastic wastes from ending up in Guatemalan rivers and eventually making their way to the ocean!
Guatemala, like many other places in the developing world, lacks a formalized system of solid waste disposal. This means wastes are often thrown into rivers where they are washed away into the ocean. There even exists a "trash island" between the countries of Guatemala and Honduras. Unfortunately, our town of San Andres Itzapa is a geographic hot spot which contributes to the marine plastic pollution problem. In fact, one of our town's rivers is almost completely flowing with garbage.
We believe the best way to get people to care about and to be conscious of the effects of improper trash disposal in our community is to transform their garbage into something useful and profitable. In the process of making eco-bricks and exchanging them for useful goods, we hope to transform community members' consciousness that rather than view inorganic wastes as a hassle to be dealt with, that they will see these wastes as something they can use to their benefit.
We envision walking down the streets of our community without having to step over garbage or crossing over the bridges of our town's rivers without having to hold our nose from the stench. We believe Eco-Stores are the key to making this vision a reality! In just 1 year, we estimate the first 3 Eco-Stores will remove over 1,000 pounds of inorganic materials from our communities rivers and will provide us with over 3,600 eco-bricks to be used in community development projects.