Did you know that you can make houses out of plastic bottles? By filling them with sand, and molding them together with mud or cement, the walls created are actually bullet proof, fire proof, and will maintain an comfortable indoor temperature of 64 degrees in the summer time.
And it’s not like there is any shortage on used plastic bottles out there. Here are some statistics from treehugger.com:
“The United States uses 129.6 Million plastic bottles per day which is 47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year. About 80% of those plastic bottles end up in a landfill!”
To build a two bedroom, 1200 square foot home, it takes about 14,000 bottles.
The United States throws away enough plastic bottles to build 9257 of these 2 bedroom houses per day! That’s just over 3.35 million homes, the same number of homeless people in America.
Many people in third world countries have taken up building homes out of plastic bottles, from Africa to Asia. Perhaps the trend will catch on in America and all of those bottles will stop ending up in the landfills. Wouldn’t they be better off housing the homeless? Kinda like all those empty houses scattered all over the country?
Guess what? They’re doing it. Students at over 145 colleges(!) across the U.S. are petitioning, debating, writing letter campaigns, and giving speeches and presentations to force their colleges to dump oil stocks. The point is to make owning oil stocks the moral equivalent of investing in tobacco or other harmful products.
Thus, the clever idea is to hit oil companies where it hurts - their wallets. It’s called “divestment.” “Divestment” is the opposite of investment. It’s when an organization liquidates its stock and other investments in certain industries, in this case big oil.
In recent weeks, college students on dozens of campuses have demanded that university endowment funds rid themselves of coal, oil and gas stocks. The students see it as a tactic that could force climate change, barely discussed in the presidential campaign, back onto the national political agenda.
“We’ve reached this point of intense urgency that we need to act on climate change now, but the situation is bleaker than it’s ever been from a political perspective,” said William Lawrence, a Swarthmore senior from East Lansing, Mich.
Divestment has worked before:
Students who have signed on see it as a conscious imitation of the successful effort in the 1980s to pressure colleges and other institutions to divest themselves of the stocks of companies doing business in South Africa under apartheid.
A small institution in Maine, Unity College, has already voted to get out of fossil fuels. Another, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, has adopted a broad investment policy that is ridding its portfolio of fossil fuel stocks.
A new chapter in activism is born. The full story makes for an exciting read, To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios.
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