Clean and Green 101 – What to Do with Plastic Bottles?

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Are plastic bottles claiming too much space in your cupboard or basement? Maybe it’s time that you do something about it. Now before you grab a large plastic bag and dump them into your local recycling plant, think of the many ways that you can do with these plastic bottles. You can transform these useless garbage into coffee table decorations, pest control tools, and even use these bottles to construct houses! You have to understand that ever since the invention of plastic, garbage output have gone to ridiculous levels for every country. Plastic objects do not disintegrate into the earth when thrown away, therefore adding more garbage problems. Burning plastic bottles and objects is a definite no-no, since it’s been proven that burnt plastic does give off harmful chemicals that causes cancer when inhaled.

It is because of these reasons that clean and green groups are encouraging people to do something productive with their old plastic bottles and to not just send them off to the recycling plants. Here are some of the most unique and environment-friendly ways of reusing your plastic bottles.

Coffee table decorations

Plastic bottles, whether big or small, can be used to create unique coffee table decorations. In the past, whenever I have a lot of small empty plastic bottles in my garage or basement. Using a pair of scissors, a glue gun and a small piece of rock, I’d cut a lay out of the empty plastic bottle using a tree design. In order to make the plastic tree that I’ve cut off stand, I’d get a round flat stone and use the glue gun to stick the base of the plastic tree on the stone. I’d let my nephews and nieces color the stone with paint until the coffee table decoration is finished. You can also use the decor as some sort of paper weight.

One liter sources of light

I was reading an article about how people from the Philippines have started the Liter of Light project. Basically, they are using one liter Coke plastic bottles as sources of natural light inside shanty, crowded houses in the Philippines. These plastic bottles would be filled with bleached water and then inserted and fitted on the roof of the house. The sunlight would provide light equivalent to a 55 watt light bulb for the entire household. I believe that this is a very good alternate source of light for overcrowded shanty houses and can save energy too. Apart from that, a good number of plastic bottles will be used for the project, which is a good thing since plastic bottles are no longer placed aside as trash and is being recycled as a usable object.

The technology though is not exactly new as it was developed in Brazil in 2002 by Alfredo Moser.

Hydrophonics

Apparently, one liter plastic bottles can also be used in hydrophonics. A good friend of mine introduced me to hydrophonics a few years ago. For those who have no idea what it is, hydrophonics is the process of growing your own fruits and vegetables with nothing but water. There’s no need for you to plant the seeds in the soil; you just take a few plastic bottles, cut out one end of its side, place water on the cut-out plastic bottle and placed the seedlings in it. It’s a really good idea, especially to people who wants to eat organic fruits and vegetables and, at the same time, use their empty plastic bottles littering inside the house or basement.

Article by Jessica Greenberg, an avid green blogger from San Diego, California. When she’s not researching about natural gas and it’s advantages for home use, she’s helping the community in a nearby community center.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. The environmental value of recycling is not “saving something from the landfill”, because at best you are just postponing the journey to the landfill. The real value from recycling is in not-using new materials. The coffee table project is something you would not do if you would not have all these bottles standing around. So there is no environmental gain in making the, most likely very hideous, art project. Instead you use extra resources for the glue and the paint.

    So bring your bottles to the recycling plant where they can be made into new bottles, fleece sweaters, or burned to create electricity. In all these cases it saves new materials being used and there will be a nett gain to the environment compared to landfill or art-projects.

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