Tuesday, April 20, 2010

1O Ways To Reuse It: Plastic Bottles

We sometimes have an over abundance of plastic bottles. The kids will go through spurts where they spend spare money on soda pop, they'll get sports treats with water bottles in them, or we have parties where we have leftover 2 liter bottles. They are big and bulky and a landfill nuisance. So here are some ways to get more use from your plastic bottles.

  1. Make a funnel. We cut off the top spout of the bottle, invert it and use it to add oil to the lawnmower, car and weed wacker. You can use one in the kitchen too.

  2. Flush Cheaper. If you fill a one or two litter bottle with water and put it in your toilet tank, you'll use less water when flushing. The filled bottle in heavy enough to stay on the bottom instead of floating up and the space it takes up keeps your tank from filling all the way but still give you a good flush.

  3. Store Pantry Items. Make sure they are washed and dried well and then store bulk small grains in them. It's so easy to pour out just as much rice as you need from the narrow opening of the bottle. Great for cornmeal, lentils or other small beans, sugar, and barley.

  4. Make a bird feeder station. This is a simple and fun activity for the kids. Instructions are here.

  5. Homemade Juicer. Some bottles have a piece in the bottom that sticks up just like a hand juicer. Cut the base off and use the same way. The sides catch the juice. Here's a picture.

  6. Medicine Doser. Did you use the little measuring cup that comes with your child's Tylenol? Use the bottle lid to replace it. Just make sure you measure and mark it well.

  7. Make your own year round herb garden. Do you have a sunny windowsill in your kitchen. Cut the tops off the bottles and fill with dirt. Plant some low growing herbs in there and grow them year round in your sunny window. Nothing beats fresh herbs when cooking and this doesn't take much space. You can decorate or spray paint the containers to match your kitchen colors.

  8. Make A Rain Gauge. We live where it rains alot. It's fun to measure how much rain we have and turn it into a science project. Here's some directions to make your own.

  9. Frugal Coffee Maker. This would be great for camping. Cut the bottle into two pieces. Turn the top upside down so it is a funnel. Hold the funnel in place, and then place a coffee filter inside. Put ground coffee on the filter and pour hot water over it.

  10. Make a Raft. Seriously. THIS is just one of many out there on the net. Kinda looks like some good summer fun. Can you say Huckleberry Finn for the modern child?
For more WFMW tips go HERE.


Jennifer said...

Good ideas. Here is another more ambitious use of plastic bottles. http://www.bluerockstation.com/plastic_bottle_greenhouse.html

Ann said...

Thanks for the great ideas!

Heather said...

Those are some great ideas. I've never heard of some of these tips.

Candi said...

Great ideas! I've used a plastic milk jug to make a windsock with my daughter; and you can use 2 liter soda bottles for a water bottle for the garden tomatoes.

Anne-Marie said...

I love the frugal coffee maker suggestion!

We just recently started trying not to spend so much on bottled water, so we use our sturdier bottles (gatorade, sobe, etc.) as our new water bottles for travel, around the house, etc. Desert Southwest, hydration is important, but it's nice to keep the water flowing while re-using!

Naomi said...

@ Anne-Marie:
I don't know how much truth there is in it, but I've heard that it's dangerous to reuse bottles, that are designed to be disposable, for drinking water. I've been told that the type of plastic they are made from becomes hazardous to health if they are refilled more than a couple of times or of they are left lying around and get heated up by the sun. You may want to investigate the reliability of these claims.

Naomi said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the howstuffworks website that you linked to for the bird feeder. I've just spent hours browsing it and gleaning ideas for a science curriculum I'm working on for my school.

Jelli Bean said...

I just cleaned my 2 bottles I've stashed in the toilet tank today. I fill mine with gravel, which seems to keep them sunk down better. What a great list of new ideas. Juicer..who'd have thunk it?

3verything 3mily said...

Great ideas! I should have added some of these to my "10 free things" Post yesterday!

Sharon said...

Here is another idea. You'd have to have LOTS of 2 liter bottles.

plastic bottle greenhouse

Not sure if I did that link right.

Penniless Parenting said...

Ohhh I love your ideas, especially the one about an orange juicer. I just bought a new juicer. Darn it.

Penniless Parenting said...

Oh, and one other idea for plastic bottles-
When we used to go camping, my mother would take an old laundry soap bottle, one with a press dispenser on its side, and wash it out REALLY REALLY well, and use it to store water. It was perfect, and cheaper than buying those large water tanks that many people use while camping.

Gayle said...

That greenhouse is about the coolest thing I've ever seen. I want one!

Milena said...

I love these posts on reusing items!

gina said...

I found another great use for bottles here: http://oneacrehomestead.blogspot.com/2010/04/recycled-ollas.html

I think I'm going to do this. I thought you might like to see as well.