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Building a Tropical Paradise

Many of us, deep down, harbor a fantasy of forsaking everything and moving to a deserted island. It's a fantasy that sounds great, but waterfront property is expensive. So, how about building your own tropical island? In 1998, Richie Sowa did just that, quitting his job as a carpenter and constructing a floating island paradise out of 250,000 old plastic bottles. After months of collecting the discarded bottles, he put them in fishing nets to serve as a floating platform and laid a bamboo and plywood structure on top. After laying down the sand, planting the mangrove trees and building a two-story house complete with a solar oven and self-composting toilet, Sowa was living in style. Sadly, the home was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Emily. Now, Sowa is rebuilding the island, which was once known as Spiral Island, bigger and better than before.


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