Tony Pantalleresco Radio Show Notes – The Remedy W/E 28th December 2013

Welcome to Health Axis. Here are Tony Pantalleresco Radio Show Notes – The Remedy W/E 21st December 2013

Topics Covered in this show :

Plastic Bottle Structures
Another method to make PaperCrete
FIDOBE-FORMULAS – Fidobe and Padobe
Yurts or Yurtz


PLEASE NOTE : for imagies to this article you can see them at Tony Pantalleresco’s website HEREPlastic Bottle Structures

If America really cared about solving the problem of homelessness among it’s citizenry, here’s an idea that would work. Oh- and that opening line references the fact that as far back as 2011 empty houses in America outnumbered homeless families by five times, according to Amnesty International.

Anyway, let’s say the problem with homeless people in America was a result of not enough housing. Then, this idea would work.

Did you know that you can make houses out of plastic bottles? By filling them with sand, and molding them together with mud or cement, the walls created are actually bullet proof, fire proof, and will maintain an comfortable indoor temperature of 64 degrees in the summer time.

And it’s not like there is any shortage on used plastic bottles out there. Here are some statistics from

The United States uses 129.6 Million plastic bottles per day! That’s 47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year. About 80% of those plastic bottles end up in a landfill!

1500 plastic bottles per second
60 seconds per minute X 60 minutes = 3600 seconds per hour
3600 seconds X 24 hours per day = 86400 seconds per day
1500 plastic bottles per second X 86400 seconds per day = 129,600,000 plastic bottles per day
47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year

To build a two bedroom, 1200 square foot home, it takes about 14,000 bottles.

The United States throws away enough plastic bottles to build 9257 of these 2 bedroom houses per day! That’s just over 3.35 million homes, the same number of homeless people in America.

Many people in third world countries have taken up building homes out of plastic bottles, from Africa to Asia. Perhaps the trend will catch on in America and all of those bottles will stop ending up in the landfills. Wouldn’t they be better off housing the homeless? Kinda like all those empty houses scattered all over the country?



The Paper Brick Maker recycles waste paper and cardboard into combustible bricks that can be used in place of firewood in a stove. The paper can be burned alone or it can be mixed with many combustible fuels like wood chips, grass or coal dust. Paper is a very good binder and should be used in combination with any other waste fuel that is available.

Directions for making a paper brick

Mix the paper or cardboard with water in a drum, stirring occasionally. If you add a little bleach (Clorox, Jik, etc.), about 1tablespoon/bucket, it will greatly speed up the process.

When the paper is coming apart into soft pieces, grab a big, soggy, wet double-handful and plunk it into the Paper Brick Maker. Place the lid onto the top and fold the handles over. Pressing down on the handles helps squeeze out most of the water (shown on the right).

Turn over the Paper Brick Maker and press out the brick (shown on the right). It will be soft and you should carry it on the base plate to a shelf for drying. Leave it for a long time and the water will evaporate. The paper, or preferably paper-sawdust-chopped grass mix, will dry into a hard brick that can be used in the place of wood. Reports from the Women for Peace movement in Johannesburg indicate that a coal or wood stove will burn 4 of these per hour. They sell for approximately 2-1/2 cents (US$) each in the eastern townships.

Coal dust

Mixing in coal dust (waste) also improves the burning of waste products, as long as the dust comes from coal with a relatively high volatiles content. If it is semi-anthracitic it will not ignite.

Production time

The bricks can be moulded at a rate of about 1 every 45 seconds. The soaking of the paper takes about 1 hour minimum with lots of agitation, 4 days being optimal. The maximum depends on the volume of the container (i.e. a drum) and whether or not bleach is being used. When properly soaked (retted), less paper is required to give a strong product. Soaking for more than 10 days leads to bacterial problems. Less agitation is needed the longer it is retted.



A typical starting formula for a 200-gallon batch is

160 gallons (727 liters) of water,
60 pounds (27 kilograms) of paper,
1 bag or 94 pounds (43 kilograms) of Portland cement and
15 shovelfuls or 65 pounds (29 kilograms) of sand.
The sand adds thermal mass, reduces flammability and shrinkage, and packs down the slurry for a denser, stronger block.

3 parts Paper (The paper used can be almost anything; newspaper, junk mail, cardboard, etc.)
2 parts clay/dirt and sand
1 part Portland cement
Papercrete, aka fibrous cement, was originally patented in 1926, but it was not considered to be commercially viable. Today it is being rediscovered as a “new” alternative building material. Papercrete has been termed by some as a “modern day adobe.” Papercrete can be made into blocks or poured into forms to make a monolithic wall. The material is homemade and consists of paper (3 parts), clay/dirt and sand (2 parts), and Portland cement (1 part). The paper used can be almost anything; newspaper, junk mail, cardboard, etc. So much of our daily consumables are surrounded with paper and take up millions of tons per year in our waste dumps. All the paper you need is free for the asking. Sand and/or sandy dirt is usually found on site. One way to recycle paper is to build with it. Here’s why………..


INSULATION VALUE – up to R-2.8 per inch, depending on density and ingredients (comparable to fiberglass at R-3.0 per inch). LIGHTWEIGHT – most papercrete weighs 15 to 20 lbs. per cubic foot, depending on density and mix. (Concrete weighs137 lbs. per cubic foot.) Almost anyone can lift and build with papercrete blocks. HAS COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH AND TENSILE STRENGTH – papercrete walls can support roof loads (not yet code approved) and can span across window and door openings with little or no header, if desired. TERMITE PROOF – termites do not touch papercrete! FIRE RESISTANT – papercrete cannot burst into flame. If exposed to intense heat and fire it will smolder slowly until extinguished. After the fire is out, simply dig out the char and patch with papercrete. ABSORBS SOUND AND VIBRATION – may do well in earthquake prone areas. ABSORBS WATER INSTANTLY – not a plus for housing projects. After construction is complete and the walls are dry, the exterior needs to be sealed. A papercrete stucco mix can be applied without the need of chicken wire, and then can be painted.

Another method to make PaperCrete
Things You’ll Need
10 pounds of newspaper
18 pounds of cement
1-1/2 shovel fulls of sand
Place your newspaper, cement, sand and water into your cement mixer. Turn on the mixer at a slow speed. Periodically take some out with your shovel to see how well it is blending. Put the papercrete back in when you’re done inspecting.

Add more materials to suit the needs of your papercrete. Add paper or sand to make the mixture thicker. Put more water in to make your paper thinner and keep it wet. Turn off your mixer when you are pleased with the papercrete consistency.

Take a shovel full of papercrete out of the mixer and place it on your table. Keep your mixer running while you craft. Put on gloves to avoid getting papercrete stuck to your hands.

Grab a large ball of the papercrete and push your thumbs down into the center to create a hole. Widen the hole by pinching with several fingers.

Pinch the papercrete upwards to create the walls of your pot. Make them as high as you want, pinching up more papercrete to keep the walls a continual thickness.

Turn the papercrete in your hands as you pinch to continue making walls. Watch the thickness of your walls and make sure they are the same thickness throughout.

Continue to turn the pot in your hands until your walls are a consistent thickness and are as tall as you want. Pull up more papercrete, if necessary.

Turn over the pot and gently pat the bottom of the pot to create a flat bottom. Avoid patting too hard as this can damage the pot.

Flatten the outside and inside of your walls using your crafting knives. Cut away the uneven or rough areas. Create a ridge on the top if you want, using your craft knife. Place your pot to the side and use the rest of the papercrete to make more pots.

Let your pots sit for at least four hours before using them. Wait longer if they aren’t sufficiently hard yet. Clean them out with water before using them.


FIDOBE-FORMULAS – Fidobe and Padobe

If you are opposed to using Portland cement, you should try some experiments with paper and clay and with other binders (see Other Binders below). There are some interesting websites on the internet, which give some fascinating insights into “paperclay.” What you need for fidobe (any fibrous material and earth with clay) or padobe (paper and earth with clay) is a fibrous material or paper, and earth with high clay content. The clay content of the earth should be at least 30 percent. With regular adobe, if the clay content is too high the adobe may crack when drying, but adding paper fiber to the adobe mix strengthens the drying block and gives it some flexibility, which helps prevent cracking. The earth (with clay) to paper ratio can be varied for different applications. Since earth is different in every location, do some baseline experiments with 4-to-1 ratio – earth to paper, by weight. This is a good place to start in order to find a mix for a strong, lightweight block.

If Portland cement in small amounts is acceptable to you, you might try ratios like 6:3:1 or 7:2:1 paper, earth, cement. Basically, the more clay in the earth, the more paper you can use, but the binder should not fall under ten percent. –In the above ratios, keep in mind that the paper should be pulped with water before the other ingredients are added.

Before mixing the above ingredients, screen the rocks and small stones out of the earth. Again, the earth should have 30 percent clay or better. If you are wondering how you determine the amount of clay in earth, there are two easy ways. First of all, make sure you are testing earth with no organic materials in it. Usually that is found below the roots of plants and grass a foot or two underground. If you want to test a large volume of earth for clay content, make sure you a get a few handfuls from different points in the sample area and mix them together before screening. If there is any clay present, and it is the slightest bit moist, (spray some water on it if necessary) it will stick and cake up on your shovel making the shovel quite heavy. Take a handful of this damp earth and squeeze it. If it stays intact in a lump, it has some clay in it. If it can be rolled out into a “worm” without breaking up, it has more clay in it. If the worm can be draped over the edge of your hand about three inches and stay intact, it has quite a bit of clay in it.


There are alternatives to Portland cement, which can be used as binders, either alone or in combination with Portland cement. They include fly ash, bottom ash, rice hull ash, Plaster of Paris and lime. There may be others. Fly ash is ash left over from burning coal, which in the past was allowed to fly out of the smokestacks of power plants into the atmosphere. It is now caught in giant air filters, bagged and sold. I examined several structures built with papercrete block using fly ash and Portland cement in a 35 percent to 65 percent ratio as a binder. They were five years old and in excellent condition. Using fly ash as 35 percent of the binder cuts the Portland cement cost nearly in half and helps recycle fly ash. Bottom ash is heavier than fly ash so it sinks to the bottom of the furnace. I have heard of bottom ash being used, but have not seen papercrete made with it. Rice hull ash is burned in power plants in areas of the country where rice is grown. We currently have 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of rice hull ash on standby for tests. Test results with rice hull ash will be posted in Tests soon. Plaster of Paris is a variety of calcined gypsum. You probably have seen it in the form of drywall sheets. In powder form, it is really quite expensive, but in situations where it is necessary to join papercrete and wood, it is very effective. A small sample made with it was placed on a 2 x 6 piece of wood and was very difficult to pry off with a trowel. The papercrete seemed literally glued to the wood. -Hundreds, if not thousands of years before Portland cement was discovered, lime was used as a binder, mortar and plaster. The Romans used it in their stone construction. It can be purchased in most home improvement stores. -More tests need to be done on all of these binders.


Yurts or Yurtz—

What Are Yurts?
Nomadic people used yurts as portable housing.

Yurts are circular structures first used by people in Central Asia as portable homes. The word “yurt” has Turkish roots but came into English by way of the Russian word “yurta.” Yurts are inexpensive to build when compared with traditional houses. Though yurts are commonly one-room dwellings, their designs can expand to include additional rooms such as modern kitchens and bathrooms. Have a question? Get an answer from a Handyman now!

o Traditional yurts consist of a collapsible wooden frame with felt walls and a hole in the center of the roof for light and ventilation. The frame is self-supporting and ideally suited for withstanding high winds and earthquakes. Modern yurts consist of a wider variety of materials, including more advanced insulation and durable canvas for walls. The entrance to a yurt consists of a wooden frame with wooden doors or some type of felt or cloth covering for the doorway.

Assembly of the Yurt: The Frame

The supporting frame of a yurt is made of wood.

The crown is bound together with the two support columns and deposited in the center of the construction site. Any larger pieces of furniture may also be placed within the circle now, so they don’t need to be squeezed through the small door once the yurt is finished.

The lattices of the wall segments are expanded and arranged in a circle. The door comes at the front looking south. It is important to place the segments in the right sequence. Usually they are nubered in counter clockwise direction, starting next to the door. The upper third of the wall poles are slightly bent inwards, which results in the typical silhouette of the yurt. At first, the wall segments are only connected losely. The binding strings are only tightened after the hight of the wall has been set correctly on all sides.

Two straps to stabilize the walls are now pulled around the circumference, and fixed at the sides of the door. The straps are thread through the inside where the lattices are connected, to keep them at the right height. The ends also go to the inside before they reach the door. Short pieces of rope are already fixed at the inside of the door frame, and the straps are knoted to their ends.

Now the support columns with the crown get erected in the center. This phase is easier to manage with more than two helpers, until the crown is stabilized by enough of the roof poles.

Now the roof poles are installed between walls and crown. They get placed in a sequence so that there is always an even distribution of poles around the circle, so that the crown gets equal support from all sides. The thin ends of the poles fit into the holes in the ring of the crown. The other ends rest on the forks of the wall lattices. In addition, there’s a loop of string attached to the end of each pole, which latches over the inner end of the fork to secure the pole in place.

Over the door, the thick end of the roof poles finds rest in grooves in the frame. Those six or eight poles carry numbers matching the respective groove, because each one has a different length. The total number of roof poles is determined by the holes in the crown. The walls need to provide the same number of forks, including the grooves in the door frame. He who hasn’t counted carefully enough may have to move some of the poles in the end.

If the roof poles slip out all the time, then the upper strap needs to be tightened a bit more. If the poles seem to be too long, then the strap must be loosened. In the end, the strap gets a little additional tension, to fix all the poles in their position. The door should stand upright.

As an additional safety measure, a thin rope is spanned from the crown in each cardinal direction. To the front it gets fixed in a ring on the top of the door frame, in the other directions it is bound around a crossing point of the lattice.

Assembly of the Yurt: The Cover

The white roof lining Gets fixed to the frame first. After that, the felt cover is applied to the walls first and then to the roof. Historically, the then completely unwashed felt also served as rain protection. Today an impregnated canvas is normally placed over it. To protect better against the rainy european climate, we replace this by a synthetically coated cloth in our imported yurts. For good looks, a white cotton cover is placed on top of everything, which may have blue patterns along the edges. All those layers are bound to the wooden frame at strategic points.

Two or three straps are pulled over the cover around the circle of the walls, starting at the sides of the door. They are meant to keep the wind from blowing under the cloth. In addition, they support the stabilizing function of the inner straps.

Finally, the suqare cover gets spanned over the crown. The ropes from three corners are fixed with the straps, and may also be weighted if the wind requires it. The fourth end serves as an opening mechanism. It is pulled to the rear end of the yurt to open the crown, and forward to the door to close it.

After installing the curtains along the inside of the walls and moving all pieces of furniture to their final position the yurt is ready for its occupants.