Richart Sowa is building something amazing in a lagoon in the bay of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. You can call it an ecological floating paradise, a trashy island or an eco boat. Whatever name you choose there’s one thing that’s true about it: it is going to give new meaning to the term “self sustainable.”
Richart named his project Joysxee Island. The concept behind the island actually began in 1998 when he began collecting plastic bottles, bamboo and plywood that he found lying around the Mexican shore. He recycled the trash into a two-story house and three islands that was protected by a wall of sand. His kitchen was equipped with a solar oven and his bathroom even had a composting toilet.
Sadly, in July 2005 Hurricane Emily completely destroyed Richart’s green island. The damage was so bad that the Mexican government bulldozed what was left of it. Richart was heartbroken, but he was determined to build an even bigger and better sustainable island. And that’s where Joysxee was born!
How did Richart do it? He collected over 125,000 plastic bottles that he found in the trash and put them into recycled fruit sacks. Palettes are then put on top of the fruit sacks to create a floating platform. Then plywood and carpeting go over the palettes, and finally sand, dirt and rocks go over that. What’s cool about the base of the island is that in a few months coral and barnacles will begin to attach to the bottom of it, making the structure even stronger.
Above the mass of floating bottles is Richart’s house. Some of its green features include:
- Solar panels throughout the house
- Composting toilet
- Rain catcher
- Conch shell intercom system
Richart has also planted mangroves, cactus, palm trees, tomatoes, lemons, herbs, melons and more to shade his home and provide food.
As of today Joysxee is made from 70% recycled material, but Richart wants to expand the project until it’s 100% self-sustainable. He wants to prove that we can build these kinds of island and live happily on them without all of our modern “stuff.” These islands allow the ocean and its surrounding environment to flourish.
To reach his goal Richart is asking people to donate money to his Kickstarter account. Kickstarter is a website that helps people raise funds for their creative projects. He still needs tons of material to make his island larger, and he hopes to build a space for a boat that will dock to the island and push it out into the ocean with a wave-powered propulsion system.
Here’s a video that tells you more about the project:
Ultimately, Richart wants Joysxee to be a “teaching island” that will float around the world and teach people about the important of recycling and sustainability.
If you would like to pledge some money to Richart’s project you can visit his Kickstarter page here.