Earth Day Amazon Exit

Earth Day Amazon Exit
The Chico River in Kalinga, Northern Philippines where Earthen began...

Happy Earth Week!

And welcome to the new Earthen Newsletter.

We're stoked to announce that yesterday, in celebration of Earth Day, our fully revamped Earthen newsletter and our new site were launched!

Both are the culmination of a long story of principled perseverance to a find planet-and-people-friendly way forward. While this is the same newsletter that you signed up for on our, you'll be forgiven if you barely recognize it...

Yesterday, we ditched our old Amazon powered newsletter (this is much harder to do than it sounds– 40% of web infrastructure is on Amazon web services!) and migrated all our users to an opensource service on our own database server– a leap that we feel is absolutely crucial to being green.

Middle-right: One of the informal Chico River dumpsites that was shutdown in 2011

The unlikely story behind the Earthen newsletter...

A decade ago, seeing dirty bags, discarded diapers, broken sandals and a vast slew of other plastics dumped into their beloved Chico River, the Igorot people of the Northern Philippines rose up, joined together and found a solution.

Guided by their people's ancient ayyew ecological ethos, young and old, rich and poor (and everyone in-between) began packing plastic into bottles. In a remarkable regional collaboration, the river dump sites were shut down. What was to become known as "ecobricks" emerged as a simple and powerful solution. By word of mouth, the method spread from remote Igorot mountainous villages, to towns and to cities– then throughout South East Asia to join parallel movements in Latin America and South Africa.

Over the last decade, tens of millions have been inspired to follow the Igorot's example and take the problem of plastic into their own hands.

Out of the success of this non-capital, collaboration-powered phenomenon the Global Ecobrick Alliance was founded, was established and an email newsletter was setup to keep ecobrickers connected and informed.

Ten years on, the newsletter has evolved into Earthen.

Today, our our 70,000+ subscriber-strong newsletter continues to be guided and inspired by the struggle to solve ecological issues: what in fact should green really mean?

And it's precisely this question that has inspired us to wean off our reliance on the big social media platforms and to ditch using giant corporate IT services.

Why is this important?

We're firm believers that the medium is the message.

In other words, how you say something is just as important as what you say.

Over the last years of working with plastic and wrestling with the question of what green really means, we've come to realize above all what green is not.

One of our central realizations is that enterprises with the priority of profit are categorically and intractably ecologically depleting.

This is one of the arguments of the Tractatus Ayyew: An Earthen ethics– an ecological theory of green inspired by Igorot philosophy that we will delve into deeply moving forward.

Consequently, given our our organization's mission to be green, we're stoked to be able to make our transition off these for-profit platforms to alternative services.

We're overjoyed to be able to put our energy (and your data-energy!) into services that have the priority of serving people and planet instead.

Because its time to do better.

You're going to love our new site!

The authoritative repository of ecobricking best practices, we've now moved off 1&1 and 90% off of wordpress (our oldest content is still being migrated over). Instead, our site is hand-coded from the ground up to be Earth and human friendly! It is optimized to to be fast, data and energy light. All our content is now available in English, Spanish, French and Indonesian. All our code and content is available of Github under a creative commons BY-SA license.

Best of all your ecobricks and projects are now featured on live feeds on our home page. Drop by anytime to get inspired at what folks around the planet are up to– or to share what you've done.

Oh... and be sure to check out the site's new night mode! ☀️🌙🤩

Our server (of which we're in full control!) is provided free as a contribution from Dewaweb hosting (Indonesia/Singapore locations).


We're now fully moved on from for our communications! Specifically, we're using Ubuntu for our server, Nextcloud as a google/dropbox alternative to manage our files, NextCloud Talk as a whatsapp alternative for our team coms and the amazing alternative to substack/medium/mailchimp for managing users and emails.

Carbon emissions tracking is built into our sites and the biodiversity, plastic and carbon impacts of the Global Ecobrick Alliance are yearly publicly disclosed.

We still have a ways to go (our gobrik app is still on our old database)– but we're almost there.

What about your personal data?

Unlike other newsletters and platforms that are fundamentally based on selling ads and data, our revenue model is based on providing ecological service. Whether its helping you sequester carbon or plastic, that's how we generate our revenue, so you don't need to worry about us sneakily using your data! Heck, our sites don't even use cookies.

In fact, its precisely because our sites run on our own independent servers and that we hand-coded them that we can offer a luminously simple privacy statement that can be boiled down to:

  1. We don't track you.
  2. We don't share or sell your data.
  3. We don't do third-party ads.

You can read our full privacy policy here. And if you need to unsubscribe or change your list settings, just hit the link at the bottom of this email. 🙂

What's next?

Keeping ecobrickers update-to-date about the plastic transition movement over the last five years has taken us to the bigger Earthen picture: the fundamental shift from simply reducing our harm to increasing our ecological contributions. But just how green can go?

We're tremendously excited to explore this with you.

We'll feature stellar ecobricks and inspirational projects from the movement. We'll share essays from our founders and scientific and ecological research that relates. We'll dive into

From regenerative innovations to planetary philosophy, from stellar ecobricks to inspirational projects from our community, from essays from our founders to scientific research that relates..... buckle in for the ride! 🤩


We're excited that Earthen's new platform lets us do subscriptions easily. Through subscription payments we'll be able offer new ways to offset your plastic and carbon. And we'll be able to offer you exciting new tools and resources to amplify and accelerate your own green impact.

Stay tuned! A lot more to come.

May your Earth Week be most green.

Russell, Ani, Fran, Aang, Setiadji, Rere, Yuni and Lucie
GEA Center Circle Team

Earth Day ecobricks from the GEA Center Circle team

P.S. To celebrate Earth Week, you can make and post your Earth Day Ecobrick using the Global Ecobrick Alliances twibon frame:

My Earth Day Ecobrick
Plastic Transition for the Planet: make an ecobrick for Earth Day and share it with the world.

To learn more about the Igorot view of the world, see the Earthbook edition of the Tractatus Ayyew by Banayan and Russell.

Tractatus Ayyew - An Earthen Ethics
By Banayan Angway & Russell Maier | Earthbook Edition.

Featured project:

Bedside Table | 7 ecobricks
5 kg of plastic has been sequestered in Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom in a single module project.

Simple is beautiful! A bedside table by Fran on our GEA center circle

Featured ecobrick:

Ecobrick 207799 | 222g of plastic sequestered by Rere Bening in Kota Batu, Jawa Timur, Indonesia.
An authenticated ecobrick that was published and archived on the brikcoin manual blockchain on 2024-02-25 16:49:00

An Earthday ecobrick by Rere on our the GEA center circle

Click through to see a full and live breakdown of our 2021 ecological impacts on the
Click through to see our current enterprise regen report