UNIS Sustainability Launches Eco-Bricks Project

Eco-bricks is a project that provides students with an opportunity to contribute to sustainability within Vietnam. The project aims to create sustainable bricks to use in construction projects while simultaneously reducing plastic pollution. Eco-bricks reduce the surface area of packed plastic to help prevent it from degrading into toxins and microplastics.

The aim of eco-bricks was to contribute to the construction of a school in the south of Vietnam, a project conducted by Chase Greist. Chase Greist is the founder of the eco-brick project in Vietnam. Eco-brick is a new way of approaching sustainability, with the overall aim of building a school in Saigon for those who lack the infrastructure and environment to receive an adequate education. The HS UNIS Sustainability (UNISUS) service group brought the project over to the UNIS community and has resulted in engagement from not only students but also teachers and parents.

The production of eco-bricks begins with the collection of used plastic. 500 ml plastic bottles are then filled with clean plastic with a help from a wooden stick. More and more plastic is added to the bottle until the bottle is full. To ensure the bottle’s durability, a physical test is conducted by stepping on it. If the bottle caves in, it is not at the standard that is required. Only when the bottle is completely full with plastic will it be collected and sent to the school. The collected bottles will be used as a brick to build a school.

Through promotions during assembly, emails, and through social media, UNISUS sought engagement within the UNIS community. Homebase competitions for creating the most eco-bricks were also conducted to bring Homebase together. The group leaders feared that the project may have been challenging in terms of gaining sufficient engagement from the older grade levels. The majority of the eco-bricks came from the ES and MS, with fewer coming from the HS. Nonetheless, the project overall was a success, nearing the initial goal of 200 bricks by December. 

Thanh Nguyen, one of the lead organizers expressed that he found the creation of the bricks to be relaxing while also beneficial to the environment. “Eco-bricks was a fun and stress-relieving method that also helped me become a more sustainable person,” Nguyen said.