An Update on Mother's Environmental Research Center

Learn how MOTHER's environmental research center is doing and how researchers are testing "miracle building plastics."


| May/June 1977



Clay

MOTHER EARTH NEWS researchers have led the way in environmental experiments, and are now testing "miracle building plastics."


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/LUNAMARINA

It doesn't look like much ... just a chocolate-brown lump of a waxy, nondescript "something" that isn't exactly a fiberboard, or a plastic, or adobe, or concrete.

But it is "dirt cheap" to manufacture with very low-technology equipment and — in some respects — it's a near-dream to work with: It can be molded into almost any shape ... it's easily sawed, drilled, and nailed ... and it's fireproof, and waterproof, and has rather exceptional insulating qualities.

What it is is just one of almost 100 formulations that MOTHER's researchers have so far tested in their effort to find out — once and for all — whether or not there's anything to the "miracle building plastics" so widely advertised in the mechanics magazines from the late 20's into the mid-50's.

Our tests so far have been encouraging. It really may be possible to combine "worthless" clay, "waste" paper, and a few other ingredients into a homemade building material that's easy to work, and exceptionally inexpensive, and which will stand for 200 years.

Notice, however, that we say "may." Our experiments have just begun, they're still in the preliminary stage, and we have a great deal of work ahead of us before we'll really know just how good (or bad) our do-it-yourself "miracle" construction materials actually are. Stand by. Be patient. We're proceeding as rapidly as we can with the resources we have to work with. Research like this takes time ... and energy ... and equipment ... and talent ... and money ... and, above all, time.

And that reminds us of a letter we received from someone the other day ... a letter mildly taking us to task and asking what had happened to the Research Center we used to talk about in MOTHER's pages.





dairy goat

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