EcoBricks exchange uplifts Diepsloot community

Posted by Imogen Searra on 13 February 2020

The Wot-If? Trust and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots South Africa have brought an EcoBrick exchange project to Diepsloot. Adults and children of the Northern Johannesburg township can use EcoBricks as a form of currency, to pay for household items, food or school supplies.

According to Good Things Guy, Roots & Shoots and Wot-If? started the project in 2016 as an educational program, teaching children how to make EcoBricks. It then evolved to a ‘boot sale’ where the children could exchange the bricks for household items.

By 2019 a container had been donated to Wot-If? which became the Ecotrading store. This allowed adults to participate in the project, allowing them to afford food and household items too.

There is a point system in place for each EcoBrick, called Ecobucks. Each brick, depending on the weight, earns a person 50 to 60 points. School stationery, clothing, crockery, cutlery, food and other items can all be bought using Ecobucks.

Ecobuck points can also be earned if members of the community engage in other forms of recycling, or compost wet-waste. In 2019, students collected approximately 1.3 tonnes of wet-waste for compost, which was used in the community garden.

The success of these initiatives has allowed many unemployed people to bring food to the table and to provide necessities to their families.

There is also a textbook exchange program. Students can buy textbooks with Ecobucks and exchange them at the end of the year for the ones they will need for the following year.

Wot-If? gets items for the Ecotrading store from public donations, so long as they are in good condition. Items include:

  • School Shoes
  • Unbranded School Uniforms
  • Socks
  • Textbooks
  • Clothing (Specifically more adults sizes needed)
  • Non-perishable Food Items
  • Soft Toys
  • Baby Clothes
  • Any Home Items – All in working condition

If you would like to donate any of these to the project or to get involved, email Rita here for more information.

The EcoBricks that are collected are used for infrastructure development. The Father Louis Blondel Centre is a recipient of the bricks, which are being used to construct a wall. The skill of building with EcoBricks is also being taught.

Read: An easy guide to recycling


Image: Facebook/ Wot If?

You may also like

yoast-primary - 1004431
tcat - Travel news
tcat_slug - travel-news
tcat2 - Travel news
tcat2_slug - travel-news
tcat_final -