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From trash to treasure! Richart's Eco island, floating on 125,000 used plastic bottles is moving from a lagoon to a protected ocean bay
From trash to treasure! Richart's Eco island, floating on 125,000 used plastic bottles is moving from a lagoon to a protected ocean bay
120 backers pledged $9,559 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Grand Launch of Recycled Plastic Bottle Eco Art Island project video thumbnail
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$9,559

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Quick UPDATE Aug 19th

JUST A FEW MORE HOURS TO GO!!!

WE DID IT - ACTUALLY YOU ALL DID IT - THANK YOU ALL AND DON"T STOP BELIEVING (AND GIVING)

Joysxee Island will be featured on MTV's Extreme Cribs on Tuesday, August 23rd at 4:30pm

Now back to the show....

Richard Branson and Leonardo Dicaprio had to buy their islands but Richart Sowa built his.

I hope you enjoyed the above video and please explore all the links we provide below.  All money raised will be used to grow Joysxee Island and make it more robust for the launch into the bay of Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

I know what you are thinking - "What happens to the bottles and why are you putting plastic into the ocean? - These are the most common questions so let me answer them first.

All the bottles stay together in the fruit sacks and eventually corals and the roots of mangroves interlock them further so that no bottles escape and pollute the ocean. They do not degrade in the UV light of the sun because they are in cool water and darkness underneath the island. When the last island was destroyed by hurricane Emily, all of the bottles stayed firmly together and the entire island was washed ashore and nothing was washed out to sea. Rishi is a true environmentalist and would never create anything that would further pollute our planet.

So this is a true pioneer ecological project with a global mission of showing what we can do with garbage. Richart believes we can reverse the adverse effects that our modern lifestyle is doing to our earth's ecological balance, by creating islands which become self-sustainable as corals and marine life grow on the underside and mangroves and fruit and vegetable garden are grown on the topside. This gives back oxygen to an otherwise ever decreasing atmosphere and creates a root integrated, flexible and resilient habitable Island which can grow big enough to be able to eventually survive and flourish on the ocean.

A little more about Richart: The construction of Joysxee is fascinating; Richart (who also goes by the nickname Rishi) collects plastic bottles from all around Isla Mujeres and he puts them into recycled fruit sacks to create a floating platform.  Palettes are put on top of the full fruit sacks, then plywood and carpeting on top of that, and then a covering of sand, dirt, and rocks.  On top of all this sits his house which is made from wood framing covered with fabrics and contains a composting toilet, rain catcher, conch shell intercom system, and so much more. Because the P.E.T plastic bottles are away from the U.V. rays of the sun, they are preserved perfectly. The baby mangroves which he plants on the edges of the island serve as an additional locking system as the roots take hold of the bottles below.  In a few months time the new bags of bottles will host barnacles and even corals and lock into place underneath to provide more support to the entire island. The result is a flexible floating island, created from approximately 70% recycled materials which undulates on the waves. Rishi is continuously adding more bags of plastic bottles to the island so it can continue to grow and expand.  He has numerous plants which grow on the island including; palm trees, sea grapes, mangroves, cactus, spinach, tomatoes, melons, lemons, herbs and flowering shrubs. 

Now it is time to super-size the island so it can handle the larger waves of the bay. 

Some of the materials needed to expand the island include; palettes, thick rope, lumber, fruit bags, anchor posts, sand, stones, shells, plants, plywood, new batteries for the solar panels and off-grid system, and a satellite dish for internet and to broadcast the educational videos we will shoot during construction. We will also need to drive wood posts into the sea bed to serve as an anchoring system for the new location in the bay.  Part of the expansion of the island will include a space for a boat that will dock to Joysxee and push it out of the lagoon and into the bay.  Another building project is a wave-powered propulsion system, where the movement of the ocean will power flippers that will propel the island.  Rishi will also be building a wave-powered washing machine and a wave-powered air-conditioning system.  All of this construction will be documented and shared on our YouTube channel. 

The government of Mexico recognized Joysxee Island as an "eco boat" and therefore it needs to comply with all boating regulations so we will need to purchase life vests, life ring buoys, red and green boat lights, a fire extinguisher, and first aid kit before it can leave the lagoon. 

We are happy to answer all questions about this project as Joysxee is a teaching island and a prototype which can be reproduced around the globe.  The materials used to build Joysxee are available worldwide and we would love to see thousands of "trash to treasure" islands built to help re-green the planet. If you are ever in Isla Mujeres, please come and visit and please help spread the word about this project through your email contacts and social networking connections.

FAQ

  • . This actualy does NOT happen!!! The mangrove roots and marine life hold it all in place and the plastic Does NOT in any way deteriorate because it is away from uv rays* The first Island was stopped by authorities and all the bottles were put where all the other trash was and the the second was washed as with everything does when there is a big storm, high and dry on a beach by hurracane Emily. It was even beginning to grow into the sand and was ordered to be bulldozed by a hotel project into the landfill with the rest of the trash. Nothing was washed out to sea!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You shall receive a Hi-Res download of Richart's "Two Worlds" Pavement Picture. The original was drawn over a period of two years using pastels on a 4x2 meter piece of recycled paper which was taped to the City streets as he traveled for two years throughout Europe.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The above plus a message in a bottle. We will put your name and your positive message/quote/poem/prayer/saying/wish in a plastic bottle to be placed under the island. And we will take a picture of it and add it to our flickr account. Your pledge will physically and financially support the island!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You shall receive the above plus a download of the first two chapters of Richart's soon to be published book "Spiralogical Conversations". This inspiring story about the famous trash to treasure floating island is written by Tanya Samed in collaboration with Richart and is told in conversations as they met over a period of three years. (includes pictures)

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    All the above plus plus a download of Richart's album of original songs which was recorded live on Spiral Island.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    All the above plus a download of a 45 minute documentary produced by Barbara Sostaric. Filmed over a period of two years, the documentary shows how the famous "Spiral Island" through trials and tribulations evolved into the current floating plastic bottle Island of “Joysxee”

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above plus a download of Richart's entire book "Spiralogical Conversations"

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above plus we will plant a mangrove tree on Joysxee in your honor with your name on it. Over time its roots will grow through the sand and wrap around the bottles to further strengthen the island.

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    14 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All the above plus we will invite you and a friend to enjoy one night in the guest room on "Joysxee". Listen to Rishi give you an unplugged concert as you enjoy a vegetarian meal, sip wine and taste solar baked cake. Then have a wonderful nights sleep on a gently undulating floating Island, arise to a sunrise breakfast and receive a signed lithographic print of Rishi's two worlds pastel pavement picture.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All the above plus you will receive 10 of Richart's original drawings

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the above plus a VIP table for two with wine and a vegetarian buffet on the day we birth Joysxee into the Bay of Isla Mujeres. There shall be much celebration as we are pushed by a 200 hp boat from the lagoon through the channel and into the clear turquoise water of the bay.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    All the great rewards above and your name as a benefactor shall be engraved in the spiral pathway which leads out from the central heart-shaped wave-generator.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All of the above plus Richart will write and record for you a song on the subject of your choice.

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    Everything above plus Richart will create for you a painting on the subject of your choice.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    YOUR OWN ISLAND!!!! At this pledge amount you get all the above rewards plus Richart will build you a 10 meter diameter floating plastic bottle island covered with sand with mangroves planted on it.

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Funding period

- (60 days)