Bottle Schools by Hug It Forward

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Hug It Forward, a non-profit organization in Guatemala, has turned trash into treasure with its Bottle Schools. The organization works to raise awareness of global issues, and uniting communities to work towards powerful change. Bottle Schools, schools built for $10-15,000 from wasted trash bottles, act as the tangible vessels of these social goals. Recycling bottles into building products harkens back to the before-its-time Heineken WOBO (World Bottle) beer bottle that doubled as a brick.

WOBO was invented by beer brewer Alfred Heineken and designed by Dutch architect John Habraken and touted as the “brick that holds beer.” The idea came to Heineken after a trip to the Caribbean where bottle-littered beaches were accompanied by a lack of affordable building materials. While WOBO never took off, it seems Hug It Forward is taking a page from Heineken's inventive book.

In Guatemala, plastic bottles are filled with trash and act as insulation for these two-classroom, community-built schools. Children are taught about recycling and the environment while they are also tapped to help gather bottles -- up to 5,000 of them per school. Hug It Forward has already completed 12 schools in Guatemala with four more in process.