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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 Read more

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This project's funding goal was not reached on May 29, 2011.

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

About this project

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.

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 earths ecological balance,  by creating Islands which become self-sustainable as corals and marine life grow on the underside and mangroves and fruit and vegatable garden are grown on the topside. This gives back oxygen to an otherwise ever decreacing atmosphere and creates a root integrated, flexible and resilient habitable Island which can grow big enough to be able to eventually survive 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 reused wood framing and contains a composting toilet, rain catcher, conch shell intercom system, and so much more. 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 bottles are sealed and remain in darkness under the island which prevents them from deteriorating in the sun's UV rays.  The result is a floating island, created with approximately 70% recycled material which undulates with 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.  Plus this campaign ends on Rishi's birthday, so Kickstarter community, let's give him an incredible birthday gift - and one that is truly a gift for us all!!!!!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    $1 reward

    4 backers

    You shall recieve 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.

  • You selected
    $5 reward

    8 backers

    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!

  • You selected
    $10 reward

    5 backers

    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)

  • You selected
    $20 reward

    7 backers

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

  • You selected
    $30 reward

    4 backers

    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”

  • You selected
    $50 reward

    7 backers

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

  • You selected
    $100 reward

    15 backers

    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.

  • You selected
    $250 reward

    1 backer

    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.

  • You selected
    $500 reward

    2 backers

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

  • You selected
    $1,000 reward

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    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.

  • You selected
    $3,000 reward

    0 backers

    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.

  • You selected
    $5,000 reward

    0 backers

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

  • You selected
    $7,000 reward

    0 backers

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

  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers

    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.

Funding period

- (37 days)