April 26, 2011

ECoPaD - Landsteading

The use of tetra-pak materials is one common packaging system that is convenient, light and attractive but quite difficult for the environment.

One blog commented the following:

"The square boxes used for liquids are called "Aseptics"... Aseptic packages are made with three materials. Paper comprises 70 percent of the package, polyethylene 24 percent and aluminum 6 percent.

Hydra-pulping is the only way to recycle Aseptics. It is like a huge blender that separates the paper from the plastic and aluminum, so that the high-quality paper fiber is recovered for recycling into other paper products. Sources say the actual hydra-pulping recycling process, unfortunately, is very expensive and awkward, and is therefore only available in a very few places..."

On the manufacturers' point of view, there's a certain convenience in using this material - especially in the area of ultra-high-temperature processing (UHT).

According to Wikipedia, UHT allows liquid food to be packaged and stored under quite common temperatures. This means highly perishable goods like milk can be distributed over greater distances with less cold storage requirements.

The companies involved with this packaging system have created various targets concerning environmental programs aimed to create zero waste and to provide packaging that uses renewable materials.

But most of these are in the direction of offsets - meaning they will have to undertake activities that may not be related to their packaging disposal but are nevertheless beneficial to the environment.

With this tact, it seem to reflect a certain sense of being resigned to the fact that most of the used packages will go to the landfills.

In this regard, I would like to help their efforts by offering my ideations as relating to my blog post named "Modular Auxiliarity". Relatedly, I'm introducing a a term - ECoPaD or Engineered Confluent Packaging Design.


ECoPaD may be implemented using different shapes and different products.

For example:
- a rectangular box which is a shrink wrapped item (with intended indention)
- and mineral water bottle (the conical top will be cut off and the rest will be filled with cement for locking mechanism).

Even a pair of carpentry nails connected into H-shape piece by wire can be used to interlock the rectangular boxes provided there are conveniently suitable indention. It will really be up to artistic/functional design involved.

To describe shortly, these packaging designs are purposely intended to create ability for interlocking various shapes and sizes for secondary (or more) purposes of the packages.

In consistence with Modular Auxiliarity, it should be modular and easy to repair, remodel, expand etc. In other words, it is good also for modular build-up of sea-stead and even planetary (terra-forming) facilities.

I like to contend that tetra-pak materials can be an asset for Landsteading activities. I have shared some Seasteading technological theories earlier but in this case, we're focusing on these packages to be an asset for home or structural building activities on land.

The thing with the common tetra-pak cartoon is that it can easily be filled with compacted earth or desert sand mixed with little cement to serve as bricks. In addition, interlocking can easily be achieved without indention on the box.

Here is a picture of possible tetra-brick arrangement:

For this endeavor, I suggest that there must be a preponderance of tetra-pak of milk cartoon size and that certain incentive is provided so that other products will adopt the common size.
Aside from that, it may also be helpful to have some predesigned puch hole areas aside from one which is usually intended for drinking straws. It will be like this:

Now here is an oblique view of how they can be stacked up. Used drinking straws can be used as corrosive barrier for metal wires or bars that will keep them snugged strongly.

The earth bricks will be laid out alternately in sets of three.

Coco-log House:

Here is a sample of coco-log house, I tried to draw using my PC:

The illustration is not quite finished, but I think it is already illustrative of what I'm trying to convey.

The coco log facade consist of the discarded coco bark from coco log sawing. The tetra-bricks wall is sandwiched by the coco log facade arranged horizontally outside and vertically inside.

Engineering-wise, I will suggest that the foundation will be the typical system of buried poured cement reinforced by iron bars and the same will be true for support columns. The support columns can also be hidden by coco log facades.
Here's the set-up again:

As you may have noticed, in between the bricks is a tube hole that serve as provision for roping (like I think an authentic log house may look-like). For this purpose, used pearl shake straws or recycled gardening hose can be utilized.

Other types of log bark may be preferable depending on availability or durability requirements.

For roofing, unfolded tetra-paks arranged in scale-like fashion can be used to coat some recycled 1-inch plywood. On top of that, woven plastic bag mats topped with used CDs can be placed.

If you did not read my post "Tangled" or if you don't think that technique I posted is good enough for recycled plastic-bag weaving, here are alternate takes on the matter:

Other applications:

Other applications can easily be envisioned. Consider how rooms, partitions and even embedded furniture can easily be rearranged.

It will be easy enough to stack earth filled tetra-bricks for trade shows, animal containment and other non-critical single level buildings.


As you can see, items which are usually destined for land fills can be quite functional for Eco-homes building when both "Modular Auxiliarity" and "ECoPaD" concepts are implemented coupled with some common ingenuity.

Common folks may be immensely helped by implementing the above design principles so that the utilization of these materials will be fairly obvious.

Most of the playlist videos shown at the top of this post require not so simple machination or technical credentials to implement, not to mention possible prohibitive costs involved. In the system I'm sharing, building an Eco-House will likely be affordable to rural folks, not to mention complementary to the earlier videos shown.

Structures can be built on desolate areas to store these materials (aka "Clutter Buster Centers"). Once people see a sample application, they will come. Maybe, we can transform these desolate areas into a lively communities earning from these systems. Then it will be a successful "Landsteading" exercise!

...ciao and enjoy


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