Wednesday, March 14, 2012

bottle bricks!

While in Orlando, my favorite Wendy introduced me to the concept of a bottle brick. She has forever changed our recycling abilities in this house.

Even as we do our best to recycle (having to drive 35+ miles to get to a center of any kind), there are always things that are not accepted in our area or that simply aren't recyclable. Boo!

Enter: the bottle brick.

The concepts is simple. Dry out a water bottle. Fill it with stuff that is not recyclable ... chip bags, styrofoam packing peanuts, the plastic covering you peel off the inside of your yogurt container, etc. What about an old pair of shoes? You can totally chop them up and shove them in a water bottle!

Get a stick or a paint brush or a butter knife and pack that crap down in there tight. Work it as you go along. It's terribly therapeutic. When you want to scream at someone, just tamp down a bottle brick. You may be saving the environment AND your marriage.

And you'll be surprised at what can fit into one of these things.

Fill it up. Screw the cap back on. They become as hard as bricks. Really.

At which point, you're all like, "That's cool. But what the heck do I DO with them?"

We are collecting ours with plans to build a cob bench in front of our house. So, you could do the same. You could mail yours to us. You could contact The Bottle Brick site for more options, ideas and information.

We are eeking out at least another eight years from this old double wide. At that point, we'll probably donate it to a deer lease (squeezing even more recycled life out of it). When the time comes, maybe we'll have enough bottle bricks to build a whole cob house. On a platform. Above flood stage. Hmmmm ... not sure how possible that is, but we've got eight years to figure it out!


Mommy's Journeys said...

There's a peace corp volunteer in Guatemala that helped a community build an entire school like this! The whole community got involved so it not only cleaned up the area but it gave them a school as well! Neat!

Beth said...

Thank you for sharing this! I have been using community based recycling since the late 1970's; this will add another dimension to my recycling!

Beki said...

Amazing, o glad you shared, thank you!

Jenny said...

what size bottles? can you use a variety of them? I have bottle small water bottles and 3 lt bottles...keep looking around the house trying to figure out what I can stuff in

Unknown said...

Any size bottle, as they will be covered with cob. As long as they can be patchworked together into a structure, you're good!!

Elizabeth @ My Life, Such as it is... said...

Chip bags and a multitude of other stuff is actually recyclable through programs like Terracycle. Charlie's school participates in the Juice Pouch brigade and earns money to boot. Although the bottle brick is cool.

Unknown said...

Actually, Terracycle does exactly what is done with bottle bricks. They simply make the waste into a new product (purses, park benches, etc.). Upcycling, if you will!

If you can use your own bottle bricks yourself without having to ship anything, you are reducing the environmental impact from mailing your waste somewhere else. Keeping it local - literally! ha!

Upstatemamma said...

As cool of an idea as that seems to me my husband will KILL me if I suggest we put all of our trash into water bottles and KEEP it. We have enough clutter and I am currently working on getting rid of it all. Hmmm.... I do have some very environmentally friendly friends - I wonder if they will take my bottle bricks if I make them. :)