The Bottle School Manual is Β© Copyright 2013 Hug It Forward.
Hug It Forward is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the USA.

This manual is released β€œopen source” under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

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52 Responses to

  1. A downloadable pdf would be nice.
    Why not ask people to help you translate it? An open translation project should be easy to wiki, and there are people on the internet who’d donate a little time to translate a page, or a paragraph. Also, computer-aided translation: google

    • Good evening, thank you for your comments! If you could provide me your email address I would be happy to send you a .pdf version.
      Thank you- Kara

      • Kara that would be awesome if you could send me one. I just left a message for Adam, so this would help a ton!

      • I find myself utterly amazed as well as extremely inspired by this organization’s heroic work. I humbly request to kindly forward me the manual in pdf format as i would like to fit it in our local poor context.
        Many thanks, best wishes and respects.

  2. Would love to learn more, we are planning to build a school in rural Costa Rica and would love to implement this building technology.

    • Hi Trisha, I just emailed you a pdf version of the manual. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Kara

  3. Hello,

    Can I get a copy of the manual? Also, just like another commentator asked, is the manual being translated by anyone at this point? If so, I’d love to give some of my time to help.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Sharon, I have just emailed you a PDF version of the manual. Please let me know if you do not see it shortly.

  4. Dear Kara. could you please send me a pdf version of the manual. I have a friend from Kenia who has started an organisation to try and help the children in his community (starting from the age of 3) to go to school and get educated. The thing is, they are being educated under trees. Hearing about bottle schools, it may be the answers to their prayers.

    • Hi Litsa, I would be happy to email it to you. I will send it over shortly, please let me know if you have any questions.

      Hugs, Kara

  5. I run a school rural Kenya I would like if possible for me to build classrooms using
    This new technology

  6. Hi Kara, this is a good material. Could you please send me the pdf version? I would like to build school in remote area in Indonesia. Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

  7. I appreciate how carfullI you describe the production of this plastic brick, but I also strongy believe that the concept of using “ecoladrillos” as construction material would never pass an EPA or european legislation.

    Working on the plastic litter issue on beaches, I have learned that there are many chemical stressors in the production and especially there where the collected material is in the way of drifting contaminants in the environment.

    The essence is, that you are building MINI DUMP SITES with the waste of society around people/children and there is no way you can prevent the diffusion of the enclosed contaminants.

    On the long run, every single bottle represents a real risk on watersheds and in the case of extreme weather events or earthquakes the bottles will either break and/or loose their content drifting toward the oceans.

    • Hello Michael, thank you for your comments. Hug It Forward’s bottle schools are an approved Mineduc building method in Guatemala, and our focus is on empowering the communities to build their own schools and to teach them the effects of plastics on their environment through the building process.The entire community has ownership because they build the bottle school with their own hands. To make eco-bricks, kids of all ages collect inorganic trash and stuff it into bottles. The environmental education that accompanies this process teaches children about the long-lasting impacts of trash on the environment. In this way, the effects of bottle schools are felt for generations.If you are interested in learning more about our development practices and philosophy, we would love to have you down on a bottle school trip sometime. Visit for more details about our trips.

  8. Hello! Would you please send me a copy of the manual. Also, has a translation been made yet? best – Mary Grace

    • Hi Mary, I am sorry but the manual has not been translated into Spanish. I have emailed regarding sending you a copy of the manual in English.

  9. Hi there
    Looking forward to returning at the end of the month to build another school! Can you also send me the pdf document of the manual? I thought I had it, but can’t seem to locate it. I’ve been talking to a group in Ghana who would also like to build schools and another group in Haiti. Hug It Forward’s work is spanning the globe! Keep up the great work!

    Kind Regards,

    John Kellen
    Tucson Arizona

  10. We will start construction in May 2016 in Rishikesh, India.
    We are very excited and would like a PDF manual as well.
    Can we built on a rooftop, is this done somewhere?
    Namaste and hugs Truike

  11. Hi, We are working on one in Myanmar in coordination with my travel company and a similar project in Cambodia. Would love a PDF copy of this as it is very slow to load each page here. Could you kindly email to me? Thanks in advance!

  12. This is so exciting. Would you please send me the PDF version. Thank you very much. I am just beginning my research so will be back with many more questions. I will be checking out your “serve the world today” site next. Jean Weaver

  13. Would love to have the manual in PDF form emailed – we would like to make an eco-dry-toilet (ecosan) using this kind of bottle-walls for our learning community in rural India

  14. Miss Kara,
    I am developing a concept for environmental projects of our local community. Surprisingly, our ideas are almost the same as your project particularly the use of (trash) plastic and empty bottles in constructing new classrooms. Your website provided us almost all the information we need to pursue with our bottle school project. Thank you for inspiring us together with our community members. Could you send me PDF version of the bottle school manual? I am planning to translate Filipino version of the manual for the consumption of local community. I am also illustrating BOTTLE SCHOOL COLORING BOOK to inspire our young volunteers and to promote the project. You can view some of the initial drawings in my temporary website I hope I can work with you as volunteer artist in the production of IEC materials of your organization. Again, thank you for the inspiration.

  15. Hello Hug It Forward,

    We are a team of 13 Singaporean youths going to Beong village in Cambodia this December in hope to improve the learning environment in Hope in Light English Language Centre (HIL). HIL is a volunteer-run organisation that hold English classes for the children in the evenings. We have been inspired by your innovations and would like to bring them into the village. Apart from bringing in the technology, we would want to make use of this opportunity to inspire the students to be environmentally friendly. We are intending to build a partition bottle wall between 2 classroom instead of the whole classroom. Would you please send me the PDF file? I would also like to ask if there is restriction on the type of bottles being used.

    Sincere thanks.

  16. Hi! I would also like a copy of the manual for the work I’m doing in Guinea with young entrepreneurs. We are looking to use this technique to build student housing. I will also be translating it into French if you are interested. Thanks!

    • That would be wonderful if you could forward a copy of the manual in French! I have just emailed you some information. Thx!! Kara

  17. Hello, I am a Peace Corps Volunteer working in Fiji on the island of Koro. The school committee here is interested in an environmentally friendly and affordable option for building our kindergarten– a project that has been put off for many years now due to cost, but is desperately needed by our community (the 3 villages it serves). My local counterpart, Vito, and I (the school committee chairman) would like to write a grant proposal for a bottle school, and have a few questions so that we can get started:

    1. Are we able to use bottles of varying sizes? In Fiji we generally have access to: 500mL and 1L soda bottles, and then 750mL (square) oil bottles? Being an island country like Fiji, we don’t have the same access to bottles that big cities do, so it will be easiest to be able to just use what we can find!
    2. Can you provide dimensions/blue print for the 2 class room building? Our plan is to build one large room that would be approximately 25×20 ft.

    We are hoping to get the proper information so that we can begin writing our grant ASAP for materials. Our goal is to have the grant submitted and bottles collected and stuffed by the beginning of the next school term in January.

    Any other information would be greatly appreciated!

    We look forward very much to hearing from you,
    Vinaka Vakalevu,
    Carissa Wills-DeMello & Aminiasi Vito

    • Hello Carissa,
      Thanks for your message. I hope this answers your questions.
      1-Yes! You may use the kind of bottle you have. We use 600mL in Guatemala, so you might need approx. 3,500 bottles (if you use the 500mL ones) because you want to build a room that is about the same size as one of our classrooms. The key is to make sure the bottle DOES NOT exceed the width of the column.
      2. I have emailed you the plans πŸ™‚

      Hugs, Kara

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