The Se7eners
Not just a blog, it’s a lifestyle

Build your own island with empty water bottles

Spiral Island Closeup

If you can’t afford to buy your own tropical island paradise, why not build your own? That is exactly what Richie Sowa did back in 1998, from over a quarter-million plastic bottles. His Spiral Island, destroyed years later by a hurricane, sported a two-story house, solar oven, self-composting toilet and multiple beaches. Better yet, he has started building another one! His ultimate goal? To build the island bigger and bigger and finally float out to sea, traveling the world from the comfort of his own private paradise.

Spiral Island Construction and Steering

The original Spiral Island was (as its successor will be) built upon a floating collection used plastic bottles, all netted together to support a bamboo and plywood structure above. Located in Mexico, the original was 66 by 54 feet and was able to support full-sized mangroves to provide shade and privacy, yet also able to be moved from place to place by its creator as need with a simple motorized system.

Spiral Island Early Stages

An environmentalist to the core, Sowa is also an artist and a musician. More than just the universal dream of an island retreat, Spiral Island is also his vision for low-impact sustainable living. The next version of the island will be built to withstand more treacherous weather than the first and will also be located in a more sheltered part of Mexico’s waters.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Above Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not video is a great introduction to the island, which conjures images of Gilligan-done-right. Spiral island is able to exist and move about in Mexico in part because it is classified as a ship, not an island, like an atoll out of WaterWorld (only much much cooler). On September 7, 2007 the new Spiral Islander social network utility was opened to the public to allow visitors, Spiral Islanders and friends of Richie Sowa to connect and communicate about the history of Spiral Island and to learn more and discuss Richie Sowa’s new Spiral Island.


25 Responses to “Build your own island with empty water bottles”

  1. I read your blog for quite a long time and should tell that your articles always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

  2. […] See pictures of Sowa’s island. […]

  3. wow for those whom can´t believe . . .believe now

  4. Nice ! Anyway hard to believe that all is so cute and perfect.
    i thought he would have at least taken away all papers and plastic around bottles, instead of make us believe that pepsi can supports an island.

  5. Got to see it last year and going back down this Mar, plan on seeing it again, this is a great idea, glad to see people that can think outside the box…………

  6. I wonder what effect the first one had on the environment as it was ripped apart by a hurricane.

    Was he ticketed for littering?

  7. Awesome! I like the way you wrote about this topic.Good job.

  8. There is clearly a lot to realize about this. I suppose you made some nice points in features also.Keep functioning ,remarkable job! portable sewing machine tables

  9. Really cool theme mate. Is this wordpress?

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  11. This is the most wonderfully innovative recycling idea I have ever seen. I just cant believe that I never heard of this until now…also why arent we all building these amazing islands and cleaning up the world???

    Elize Harmony

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