In the United States alone 1500 plastic water bottles are consumed every second by thirsty consumers. Sadly 80 percent of those empty water bottles will end up in a landfill even though they can be recycled. But is recycling the answer? What about giving an empty plastic water bottle new life and purpose by reusing instead of just recycling it. a lot of energy is expended in the making of plastic water bottles and in recycling them. By turning them into something useful you can extend the life of your plastic bottle and avoid buying another item to use in its place. There are many useful items you can make out of an empty plastic water bottle. Here are twelve of my favorite uses for empty plastic water bottles.
Twelve Ways You Can Reuse A Plastic Water Bottle
1. Beach In A Bottle
An empty plastic water bottle can be turned into a fun summer memento for kids with just a little sand, some small shells and water. To make a beach in a bottle fill each bottle with a small amount of clean sand. Then add some small shells. Finally fill the plastic bottle half way to the top with tap water. Use a hot glue gun to glue the cap into place and you have a beach in a bottle.
2. Herb Garden In A Bottle
Grow fresh organic herbs to use in recipes in plastic water bottles. Simply cut off the top of a water bottle and fill with a small amount of potting soil and some herb seeds. Place in a sunny window and water regularly. In no time you will have plenty of fresh herbs to use.
You can turn an empty bottle into a cute backyard bird feeder to keep your feathered friends fed all year long. To make one you will need an empty plastic water bottle some string, scissors, bird seed and a wooden skewer. Use the scissors to cut a 3 inch hole about 3/4 of the way down on the plastic bottle. Underneath the opening make a small hole and insert a wooden skewer all the way through. This will be the perch where the bird stands. Next fill the bottom of the bottle with a small amount of bird seed. To finish the plastic bottle bird feeder Tie a string around the top of the bottle and hang from a sturdy tree branch.
4. Ocean In A Bottle
Create your own ocean in a bottle by adding blue food coloring, glitter, water and baby oil to an empty plastic water bottle. Use glue to seal the cap on and gently rock the bottle back and forth to create ocean waves. This also makes a great science enrichment to demonstrate the different densities of liquids as the water and oil will separate in the bottle.
5. Tornado In A Bottle
Create your own tornado in a tube using two empty plastic water bottles, colored water and a tornado tube connector that can be purchased for under 5.00 from Amazon www.amazon.com.
Create a mini terrarium by cutting a door shaped slit in one side of a large plastic water bottle. Make sure and leave one side uncut so you can open and close the plastic flap. Lay the plastic bottle on its side and add a layer of small aquarium rocks. On top of this add a small amount of potting soil and some plant seeds or very small plants. Close the lid and place in a sunny area.
Plastic water bottles can be given new life by re-purposing them as math manipulative’s to teach key math concept such fractions. To make fraction manipulative’s out of plastic water bottles you will need 4 bottles and something to fill them with such as cornmeal or rice. Label each water bottle with 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and one whole. Then fill each plastic bottle with sand to match the fraction you have written on it. Tighten the cap and use to teach children the concepts of 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and one whole.
8. Exercise Weights
You can make simple hand weights for doing curls and lifts by filling two empty plastic water bottles with something heavy such as pennies or aquarium gravel. After filling use hot glue to glue the caps on and you have an inexpensive set of hand weights to use.
9. Make Ice Packs
Instead of buying ice to keep your drinks cool when using an ice chest fill plastic bottles with water and freeze the night before. The next morning remove them from the freezer and place in the bottom of your ice chest and then place your drinks on top of the bottles. Not only does this keep your drinks cool you also won’t have an ice chest full of water once the ice melts.
To make drawer organizers out of plastic bottles simply measure the depth of your drawer and then cut the tops off of several water bottles to fit. Place the bottoms of the bottles in your drawer. If you will be using several water bottles in the same drawer and don’t want them sliding around use hot glue to glue the sides of the bottles together. The bottles make great storage containers for small items like push pins, paper clips, safety pins, erasers etc.
11. Baby Discovery Toy
This is a fun toy for infants and toddlers that reuses empty plastic water bottles to help them learn about cause and effect. To make your own eco- friendly baby toy simply fill an empty plastic water with a variety of different items such as curling ribbon, sequins, buttons, glitter and small toys. Next add water leaving about an inch of space at the top of the plastic bottle. Then use hot glue to secure the cap into place. Infants and toddlers will enjoy watching the different items inside sink, float or swim as they shake the bottles around.
12. Funnels And Scoops
Empty plastic water bottles make inexpensive eco-friendly scoops and funnels for playing in a sand or water table. To turn your empty water bottles into sand and water play toys simply cut them in half and cover the sharp edges with clear packaging tape.
These are just twelve ideas of what you can do with an empty plastic water bottle however with just a little imagination I’m sure you can come up with many more of your own ideas on how to reuse plastic water bottles.
Once you are done with whatever you turned your plastic water bottle into remember to recycle!
The US Consumes 1500 Plastic Water Bottles Every Second by Petz Scholtus