After Argentina’s economy bottomed out in 2001, Alfredo Santa Cruz began sifting through trash in search of valuable he could sell. But he soon hit upon the idea of using refuse as a way to build eco-friendly homes.

Cruz built a home for his family using 24,000 plastic bottles held together using a unique interlocking system. The bottles are filled with sand or water as a way to reduce the risk of fire.

Today, Cruz makes a living by giving tours of his home and by instructing others how to build similar structures. Watch his amazing story below.

[via BuzzFeed]