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What is The EarthBench Movement?

Some of the most effective movements stem from a simple concept.

The EarthBench is no exception.

Using empty plastic bottles and soft, inorganic trash, waste is used as a building material for community gathering spaces.

The EarthBench is part of the “Peace on Earthbench Movement” (POEM), a non-profit organization conceived by Brennan Blazer Bird, an ecological educator from the San Francisco Bay area.

To make an EarthBench, discarded plastic bottles are filled as snug as possible with soft trash, including plastic bags and fast food wrappers, using a stick to compress each layer of trash firmly towards the bottom.

Once the bottle is tightly packed, it is used as a brick to make the foundation for a bench. The bench is then covered with cob, a combination of clay, straw, sand, and water, to conceal the foundation and keep it protected from weather – meanwhile making it more aesthetically appealing.

Once complete, the cob covered bench makes a great canvas that can be decorated to add intrigue to its surroundings. Because its construction is straightforward, and trash is ample in most corners of the earth, any community can adapt the practice of converting their waste into an EarthBench to create a shared space.

It may serve as the local benchmark of environmental awareness. Community bonds can be strengthened as well, with local residents banding together to keep their city clean. It is also a great project for kids to get involved with, as it can teach them the importance of recycling and working as a team.

Although POEM is a fairly young organization, it has already reached to the far recesses of the earth, inspiring people from countries like Ghana, Bolivia, and the Philippines to make an EarthBench of their own.

Benches are a place of rest, but they are also the foundation for livelihood, where you can observe, tell stories, or entertain the time with friends and strangers.

Now, benches can be symbol of communal effort to lesson their waste load.


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