A Dutch couple is currently packing their bags for a 16-day road trip through Antarctica to the South Pole. And as if that weren’t adventurous enough, consider their vehicle: a solar-powered truck, which they built themselves using plastic pieces from their garbage.
The duo, Edwin and Liesbeth ter Velde, hatched this plan three years ago, when they made a conscious effort to recycle, reuse or compost all of their garbage. According to Green Matters, they felt compelled to do something of value with the items they couldn’t recycle, most of which were plastics.
One day, Edwin remembered that two polar explorers, Marc Cornelissen and Wilco van Rooijen, had dreamed of traveling to the South Pole in a solar-powered automobile. Sadly, the duo’s last expedition ended tragically when they fell through thinning ice; Cornelissen’s body was later recovered, but both are presumed dead. As a tribute to the activists, and to raise awareness about living a zero-waste lifestyle, Edwin decided to make their dream a reality.
The ter Veldes took their unrecyclable plastic and shredded and them melted them into HexCores, or building blocks, that they connected to build the frame for an all-terrain vehicle composed of a truck cab and two trailers that can hold 47 days’ worth of food. The engine is powered by 10 solar panels.
The couple plans to arrive at their base camp Nov. 26 and reach the South Pole on Dec. 12. You can follow their journey on their blog.