This Man Lives On An Island Paradise... Floating On Trash!
Richard Sowa, an environmentalist and an architecture who has lived a self sustaining lifestyle along with his wife on an island in the Caribbean which he created by himself. Sowa doesn’t live on a sandy beach with palm trees swaying in the background; this eco-friendly genius actually built his own island entirely out of water bottles and shells. Sowa has successfully created a stable three-story home complete with three showers, two pools, a Jacuzzi and a wave-powered washing machine.
Most people would never dream of painstakingly collecting 150,000 water bottles and thousands upon thousands of shells to create their very own island mansion, yet Sowa has done this not once, but two separate times. Using trash and natural materials for the base, he built a 20-by-16-meter island held afloat by a net containing 250,000 water bottles. Plywood and bamboo were used for the groundwork, which was then covered by dozens of buckets of sand and planted with mangrove trees for climate control. The trees cool the island down, and the sand provides soft ground for walking on.
His first island was unfortunately heavily damaged by Hurricane Emily in 2005, but the tree roots managed to keep a sizable portion of the structure together. Still, it was unsalvageable. In 2008, Sowa built another island, this one being named Joyxee Island, and started an entrepreneurial touring business. This new island measures 20-by-25-meters and, aside from the aforementioned features, also includes a solar-powered waterfall and a river. The island continues to grow as Sowa adds more onto it using a layering system of recycled trash and sand, along with strengthening the base with mangrove trees like the ones used on the previous island. A compost toilet is used in the bathroom, and when the toilet becomes full, the contents are used as fertilizer in the garden. Each and every piece of scrap or garbage can be used to add to the island, which Sowa wants to move out into Isla Mujeres Bay.