Given that Polypropylene bags are still a plastic product and not very biodegradable or earth friendly, if Earthbag construction became widely used how could this method be improved upon even further?

I'm assuming a scenario where every single house in the world is made using Earthbag construction with Polypropylene bags and although it is a lot less wasteful than say cement and wood it is still wasteful.

2 Answers 2


According to wikipedia organic materials like jute or hemp are used as alternatives to solid-weave polypropylene in earthbag construction.

However, the sustainable idea somehow conflicts with the purpose of earthbags. Polypropylene is chosen for its low cost and its resistance to water damage, rot, and insects. The natural alternatives are in this context of lower quality as these are biodegradable.


I guess the fist thought I had was substituting "sod construction" for earthbag construction. With sod construction the earth is held together by the internal structure of the roots of the sod rather than external forces of bags. It has a long and proven history (the Vikings in Greenland and some other places used it for hundreds of years, with only a few problems such as "get that cow off my roof!" and it can provide a thick insulating wall that could at least in theory be coupled with other forms of construction for the interior (beware of wood-earth contact of course).

Sod basically works like earthbags and it should be a drop in substitute with the caveat that there are some limitations on sustainable harvest.

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