Ecobrick Settee & Coffee Table

After what seems like forever we have at last been able to build and install a project built here in the UK following the principles of plastic sequestration as laid out in the guidelines produced by the Global Ecobrick Alliance. 

I would like to introduce to you the Ecobrick Settee and coffee table Four Acres academy in Bristol. 

Encon construction Ltd have built a new Waste and Recycling centre in Bristol.  As part of the community benefits that run alongside the build they have been working with Four Acres Academy in Bristol. 

They have run lots of educational workshops for the children and one of those was to create an ecobrick project. 

I was asked to run one of the Global Ecobrick Alliances (GEA) starter workshops for the children, and to build a settee and coffee table following the guidelines of the GEA plastic sequestration principles. 

And here it is!

358 ecobricks all logged and authenticated on gobrik.com with a combined weight of 180.09 kgs put to use in the school. It is in the area of the school that the foodbank works from, combining messaging to the children of good healthy food and taking care of the plastic that they have no control of coming into their hands. 

The equivalent amount of AES sequestered plastic was purchased, and a certificate produced via the plastic offsetting system on gobrik.com

Follow the link to see how easy it is for you to offset your plastic usage that you cannot avoid to support ecobrick projects around the world and in the UK who are taking care of the plastic in their communities https://www.gobrik.com/#offset/

The settee and coffee table was designed and built by Robert Green who at 18 is the UK’s master ecobrick module maker having been trained By Russell Maier from the GEA and has now made over 150 modules. If you would like to book him to teach you how to build modules with your ecobricks, or Ecobricks UK to lead workshops – either starter workshops or ecobrick Trainer courses get in touch. UKecobricks@gmail.com

AES plastic offsetting is available from gobrik.com

Sorting Ecobricks

Don’t assume you know how to make them!

It has become time for Ecobricks UK ( at New forest Aquaponics cic ) to sort out the underweight ecobricks we have been sent since 2018. 

It has always been our intention to be able to use these to insulate some of our aquaponic ponds. Sadly we need to reduce the number of them before we can get that far, as we have to find a new site before we can dig any ponds. 

So a dedicated team of passionate ecobrickers came to start the process of sorting and remaking as many as we can so they are usable in modules

We decided to make a video to help you understand why we need you to make really good solid, dense ecobricks that fulfill plastic sequestration principles and earthen ethics, rather than underweight ‘ecobrick’ attempts that can’t be used.

We do understand and appreciate that every underweight ecobrick represents an attempt by someone to express their feelings about plastic, the desire to see change from a plastic dependent society.  It also shows us the dangers of social media, how messages get spread without detail, and how we forget to research for ourselves the information we find on a facebook post. 

Thank you to everyone who cares enough to try, thank you to everyone who has and is reducing the plastic that comes into their lives ……we know it isn’t easy! Regardless of if you make ecobricks or not – just keep working on not consuming the plastic, the earth will thank you for it. 

Here is the transcript for the video. 

It has been put together under the directorship of James who is 10 – and who leads by example and follows the earth’s ethics. 

Ecobricking is a way for anyone anywhere to take personal responsibility for their plastic. Together we can keep it out of the biosphere and out of capital and carbon intensive industrial processing. 

Ecobricking follows the Earth’s example towards cycling and sequestration. Based on indegenous wisdom, extensive evaluation and earthen ethics, ecobricking isn’t just about packing plastic– it’s about petro-capital transition.

This can be quite a lot to take on, but it is so important,

 This short video is about why it is so important to  follow the principles of ecobricking and make really good solid and dense ecobricks. 

Underweight ecobricks cause problems for those who end up looking after them.

Have you ever wondered why?

At ecobricks UK we were caught out when the idea of ecobricks went viral october 2018, we had 1000’s of poorly made ecobricks sent to us. Every underweight ecobrick  is a well meaning  attempt to do something about plastic, but if we do not follow the principles of plastic sequestration we are failing our biosphere. 

We have looked after these ecobricks, but we can’t not use them as they are and still uphold the principles of plastic sequestration. So a team of volunteers came and spent a day with us to start the process of sorting them out. 

We are going to remake as many of the ecobricks  as we can so the plastic is taken care of. This means opening them, and chopping up the plastic.  As we opened the poorly made ecobricks we came across so much that should not be in an ecobrick. 

And some were just too dirty to even think about opening……

We found paper, compostable plastics, metal, full teabags, paper, lots of bits of food and a nappy……..

An underweight ecobrick that contains materials other than plastic can become compromised, we want the ecobricks to last as long as the plastic. Excess air, organic matter and any moisture can cause the ecobrick to become weak which will affect  any structure it might be part of or even burst the top off.

We ask you to wash and dry your plastic for good reason, not only will any  dirt in the ecobrick slowly break down leading to bacteria and fungus to grow and this can lead to methane gas  forming inside your ecobrick.

When ecobricks are used to  make home furniture you  want to avoid unsightly ecobricks or bloated bottles. It has been known for dirty wet plastic to cause the lids to pop off. 

Logged ecobricks are the best  reassurance that the ecobricks can be used in many different projects throughout its lifetime.

One of the reasons we advise anyone running a project to only accept ecobricks that have been logged and authenticated on gobrik is to stop underweight ecobricks being given to the project. 

For more information www.ecobricks.org/how

I hope you like James video, and I hope this will help you understand that a good well made solid, dense ecobrick is a building block, a poorly made one is no good to anyone. 

If you would like to book a starter workshop for your community, join our ecobrick trainer network or have any other questions pop me an email watercressqueen1@watercressqueen1

Meet the youth at TANU

See the purses that were sent here

https://thewatercressqueen.wordpress.com/2021/09/13/transformation-advocacy-network-uganda-tanu/

We have been sent 4 purses to raise funds for TANU. When they arrived they were accompanied by lots of letters.

These have been written by the youth who use the skills centre.

They were written for them to introduce themselves, and I would like to share them with you.

Although we might read them as begging, they are not, all they want is help for the skills centre so they can continue to learn – most of them have not been to school, or had to leave when very young.

For me the most powerful aspect I wish to share is that every person on this planet has the right to equal opportunities.

What those opportunities are and how they should be shared out across the globe is something we need to address. Equalling doesn’t have to be ‘upwards’ it can’t be if we are to regenerate our biosphere to redress the damage we have done.

Let’s look at how we achieve equality differently.

Hello Lucie
Greetings to you back this way Am also pushing on fairly and the family is brisefly Am Susan aged 20 years a female from Soroti. Adamasiko A student at  TANU doing weaving and making of local bathing sponges to sell to earn a living I am an orphan I lost my father last month one of HIV/AIDS. Where I am now struggling with life with my mothers and the rest of my siblings being the first bourne of the family. 
I kindly request your assistance supporting my vision of selling my products to other countries. 
I will be very grateful and waiting to hear from you. 

Susan 07
Hello Lucie 
Greeting to you from (TANU) here in Uganda we are faily doing well and we are so great for the wonderful support you sent to us to support the training in the skills centre, we were able to receive camera, pencils, mark pens, colour pencils, Art books, chalks and pairs of scissors, we are so thankful and because these items did a great job to us. 
We look forward to hear from you and we shall be very grateful for more support from you.
Hello Lucie 
Greettings to you in Jesus name Back to me I am also doing fairly. I am salume Anyudd aged 19 years from eastern region Teso, Soroti Dalabela Ojom Adamasiko learning weaving from TANU Skills centre, right now I am pregnant and the country is locked down again due to covid 19 which will give our work of weaving  difficult again. I there feve ask for support so I can continue doing this to earn a living. 

Thank you 
Yours faithfully

 Anyudd Salume
Hello Lucie 
Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jeues Christ. Hope everything is well and on my side things are not pushing on well due to this pandemic. 

Am Sharon female aged 27 years from Teso region in Soroti, Adamasiko, ojorm. Am a student of Tanu doing weaving in order to support me to earn a living.  Am a total orphan without parents and all my siblings died. Struggling to look for ways for support. I kindly request for your support that I can be able to make purses to earn a living. 
Today our country is on lockdown for more two month period whereby I look forward seeing that I continue making purses in order to make a living. 

Thank you 

Yours faithfully

Acorn Sharon
Helo Lucie and friends   I great you in the almight name.  Am called Okello Ames aged 24 years old. A resident a damasilko ojom as well as a student in TANU. Am am half cursed. My dad is Langi and my mum is an Itosot by tribe. We are 10 (ten) in number in our family 4 boys and 4 boys and 2 parents.In Tanu am doing handcraft work by making wallet beads and clothes. But things are not working well due to covid – 19 epedermic is affecting our work as i talk now new lockdown has been set from 2 day for 2 months where by life is going to be hard because markets, transport, schools are closed. As me , I need help from you my friend so that I continue harzoling with life. Thank you

Yours faithfully okello Ands
Hi Friends in the UK ( Lucie & Robbie)
How are you?

I am proud of you and your support and future willingness to come and visit us. 

I am Oliavito John, an orphan and now doing hand / money purses weaving to support living here in the village. 

So, I am seeking for a friend who can support us to move our project of making hand purses. 

I look forward to hear from you. 

Wishing you all the best 

John
Uganda Africa
Warm greetings to you lucie , I congratulate you for your daily roles as mama and in your workplace. Am Sarah Acango aged 25 years. Am a single mother with 3 children.I was forced into early marriage due to some circumstances when i was still young (16 yrs) but i divorced my husband when he failed to fulfil family needs and end up beating me and that made me to divorce him. But as per now am doing small business weaving work and in the evening I make porridge at the centre where by learn living and for taking care of my children. But I need some help so that i continue running up my small business

Thank you 

Yours faithfully 

Acango Sarah
Hello Lucie 
Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Hope everything is well and on my side 
Things are not pushing on well due to this pandemic
Am Gabriel Obol aged of 24 years from Teso region in Soroti Adamasiko ojom Am mechanics instructor at Tanu learning teaching in order to support that I can be able to do teaching to earn a living
Today our country is on lockdown
For more two month period whorbs I look forward seeing that I continue doing teaching in order earn a living teacher

Thank you 
Yours faithfull

Gabriel Obol

Transformation Advocacy Network Uganda – TANU

I met Joel Odongo online via ecobricks. He could see how much plastic there is in Uganda and would love to be able to do something about it. But as with everything in life sometimes we have to do lots of groundwork before we can look at achieving our goals. And that has been very true of Joel. You can read the first post I did about him and the TANU youth centre here

One of the goals we have with working with them is to find a way of creating an income for TANU so they can support more young people to learn the skills to earn a living, support themselves and their families.

Now they have built there skills centre, they can start the real work they wish to achieve. Building the skills centre took all of there money, (thank you to those of you who helped with the last bit of cement) , so they are going to be baking cookies to sell locally. They have found this helps to get the centre known within the local village and is teaching skills – cooking, selling, money management and working together. All very import things to learn.

And this is where I need to ask for your help. To test the post between Uganda and the UK, back in the spring they posted a small packet of four purses they had made.

They are made using plastic beads, in traditional patterns, using traditional weaving techniques. They made linings with zip pockets, on the one treadle sewing machine they have – we hope to get more of them for them in due course.

The next purses they make will be with natural plant fibre weaving – which they have been learning to make.

But to kick start the whole process they need to be able to purchase the ingredients to make the cookies. For every £3.50 of ingredients they can make a profit of around £1.50 which will go to buy the supplies to make the purses.

If you would like to buy one of these purses they would be super grateful. I think £20 each would be a perfect amount ( plus £3.50 postage) You can order one using this link a https://donorbox.org/purses-from-tanu

Please let me know which one you would like – but please understand their is only the four in the picture.

The four purses
Inside

And if you would like to know more about the people who made the purses check out their letters

Determination

9th July 2021

********************************************************************************

This was first published on The Watercress Queen page – we managed to get £60 to Joel And they managed to get the cement on time.

They have now finished the youth centre but do need on going support if you would like to donate we will pass the money on to them.

********************************************************************************

What do you need if you want to provide a youth centre for young people, to equip them with skills for life, a trade they could use to earn a living, and a place to make friends?Here in the UK you need DETERMINATION. You would need to find a building to use, funding to pay for the bills and the running costs. Including wages for adults to work with you, and for any equipment you may need. What if you want to build that youth centre in Uganda?You still need that DETERMANTION. But how different would it be?Firstly save until you can buy your plot of land £3000 ish. Then start working together to make by hand the bricks that you need to build the centre. Not a quick process, as you need to make about 20,000 bricks, then fire them. Then you have to save up for the cement, the stones for the floor and tin for the roof. You have to have enough to pay the instructor who can help you build. You know this will take time, but you have determination. You have rented a couple of rooms so you can start working with the youth, some of whom are young pregnant girls, some of whom are orphans. All of whom are keen to learn and are determined to help themselves. Then covid hits your community again, and this time your landlady has said she needs the rooms back at the end of lockdown. What do you do?You build your youth centre!!! How amazing are these guys? Led by Joel (my friend), they got the bricks they had made to the right place, an instructor to guide them through the build. You dig the 20 ft deep hole for the toilet – 5 years worth apparently! And you start building. In contrast I have just packed my 18 year old off for a weekend camping trip with a group of teens. As they went with all the tech they can’t live without, fairy lights and one of the mums to put the tent up……The Ugandians are amazing and so so determined! But they have run out of cement – can we help? A bag of cement costs about £6, or UGX 29425.65. They need about 10 more bags. I have set up a donation link for them, if you are able to help them even with just one bag, they would be really grateful, there is no big funding pot they can apply to. The long term goal is for them to be self-sustaining and earn their own money. We have started on that plan, the build has had to be brought forward so caught us all on the hop.

https://www.facebook.com/4TANU

https://donorbox.org/cement-for-tanu-uganda

Where will we work?

To create a regenerative aquaponics farm in the way we would like, one that will serve all of the other parts of the plan, one that is there for the community and helps real depth of change, we need security.

We need to know that our work will survive far beyond us, will be there for the peoples that come after us, that the community will be there for the peoples to come.

 The last page is about being able to buy some land to put into trust to keep safe. So the trees we plant will provide oxygen, shade, food, and grow to reach their full potential. 

The aim is to do this as a community benefit society, offering a democratic share offer – one member, one vote.  There will be a management committee, to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. And as we aim to provide space for children, we will also run a children’s management committee so the children can be heard. 

We would welcome ideas and conversations about land / farms that are available. We would love to stay in the Forest, our friends are here, and there isn’t anything else similar for a long way. But land is very expensive here,  if we have to move we are open to it, but then the locals here would miss out again.

I really hope you are inspired to join us, if you haven’t already please fill in our survey, if you want to hear more, especially when we launch the share offer do fill in your email. 

 We need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the last two  pages of our working ethos, where?  – you can read the rest on our website ( open source development of the website brings community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Who do we serve?

Who are the people?

Well you if you want!

What do you need from us? What do you want from us? What can you share with us?

Could you be part of our community? 

Although we have target groups we would like to invite to work with us, to create a community we need all sorts of people, from all backgrounds, of all ages and abilities. 

You will be welcome to be part of the journey if that’s what you want or need.

The world and all in it needs healing more than ever right now, we can’t heal everyone or everything, but we can create a place where healing can start. 

Of course the biosphere has to be the starting point, as without it we don’t have a home, but the work to heal our home will heal us as well. Getting your hands dirty in the soil, harvesting food you have grown, learning a new skill, and most importantly making friends, all helps heal. 

And what if you  don’t need help? Then you are also very, very welcome, come and bring your self, your skills and your time and help others and the biosphere. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the eleventh  page of our working ethos, who?  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Life Skills

One of the things I hear so often is – that ‘it’ should be taught in schools, doesn’t matter what the ‘it’  is, that’s the line that everyone comes out with. 

But sadly that’s not what happens, when I was at school, we did learn some of the skills I have needed in my adult life, but not in depth enough, and I can assure you I have forgotten a lot of it since then!

I have gone out and re learnt to help me remember, and taken it upon myself to gain many more skills. Not everyone is able to do that, there are many barriers to access hands on skills, not all of them are obvious as barriers. 

We want to listen to people, find out what they would like to learn to help them, and find out what skills they can bring to share with the community. What’s your skill?

The list we have made as part of our working ethos is only a fraction of what we could do. And who knows what the long term benefits will be as our society changes, and we head towards a more regenerative way of living in our modern world. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the tenth page of our working ethos, life skills  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Plastic Transition

Plastic transition, what exactly is that? 

We are living in the plastic age, this stuff that has brought so many advances, our health care, for example, wouldn’t be the same today without plastic. But as we all know it has also brought so much harm to our world. Plastic transition is about finding ways to reduce our dependence  on plastic, to relearn how to use natural materials, and to look after the plastic that comes into our hands so it does not do any more harm. 

Not an easy job, but being part of the Global Ecobrick Alliance, connecting us to communities who are also on the transitioning path, we can learn, teach and share, and most importantly work towards finding answers. 

The next stage of this work here in the UK is to build upon the earth and ecobrick builds that have started to happen. Having somewhere to create earth buildings that sequester plastic/COand are useful to us is an important part of our work, and will allow people to learn how to make plastic they can’t avoid to be useful within their homes and communities. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the ninth page of our working ethos, plastic transition  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Compost

Composting – nature’s way of keeping the planet healthy. 

Just imagine if nothing ever broke down? We would be in a real mess…….

Our biosphere works in such amazing ways with processes to keep itself and us healthy and clean.  It does this by breaking down all natural materials, and reusing them in an endless cycle. 

When us humans get involved it becomes composting – and although it is super simple, if it is organic it will break down to feed the earth – we like to make it complicated!

Composting gets forgotten as something we should do ourselves. We chop down the growth in our gardens, pay for it to be taken away, and then spend more money buying compost wrapped in plastic…….

Although it is very simple to create your own composting, because of the way we live, we need to look at all the different techniques, so we use the best for our homes or communities. And composting can help rebuild our soils and space for other species to live, however small. 

As part of our regenerative work we will be running community composting, teaching how to compost, how to use different methods depending on the situation, combining methods, and using the compost to grow good food (we use decoupled aquaponics as well) and build soil health. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This pictures is page that explains our working ethos around compost  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6