Creative Challenge #5: Plastic Bottles

Make something with Plastic Bottles

In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to raise a little awareness toward the enormous amounts of plastic bottles used around the world, coupled with some thoughts on recycling and upcycling those bottles into creative products. My family is hooked on bubbly water, and while the number of bottles we go through each week is staggering, each of these bottles gets recycled…and occasionally upcycled into art (our Recycled Sculpture project can be found here).

Sobering Statistics

The Challenge

Make something with plastic bottles! Have you cut the tops off to use them as funnels, added them to a marble run, used them as sand scoopers, or turned them into something surprising? The project should be executed by children, but adults are welcome to facilitate or collaborate if the mood strikes!

To join in

  • Use plastic bottles, along with any other materials of your choice.
  • Attach a link to your blog post, a YouTube video, or photo of the experiment along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did in the comment section below.
  • There is no deadline for this project.

Inspiration

Instructions for adding an image file

  • Click on the “Choose File” button (below the “Submit” button)
  • Choose a JPEG file from your computer
  • Type in a description of your experiment into the comment text box
  • Click the “Submit Comment” button
  • Grab the Creative Challenge button and add it to your site, or copy this text into your HTML.
  • For more Creative Challengesclick here.

    How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Comments

  1. says

    We have none. None! We all have Camelbak water bottles that we fill daily with the wonderful water from our well. My oldest received a kit for his birthday 1 1/2 years ago to construct a little windmill generator that uses a plastic bottle, and he still hasn’t made it. The last time my husband traveled he came home with a water bottle from the plane, and I told him not to recycle it, but he accidentally did anyway, so the windmill STILL hasn’t been made!

    • rachelle says

      None!!! You’re my hero, Amy! And oh, to have a well. Plastic bottles are sadly a dime a dozen and easily found at any recycling center or public garbage can, so I’m sure your son still has many more chances for windmill building in his future.

  2. says

    Thanks for the mention! Were you thinking of doing this all along? Too funny that I already had a project!
    I’m working on a variation of these bottle flowers! The beaded bottle curtain link is cool, but you may want to check it…nothing is on the page!!! A Great experiment!! It will be neat to see what else your readers can come up with! (I have a few more ideas.)

    • says

      In response to Amy! We don’t buy water bottles either!!! You can find them everywhere….thrown about! I found a bunch on a playground and just threw them in the dishwasher and they were good to go! There really is a problem with too many water bottles—I only buy them if forgot my reusable water container!

      • rachelle says

        I love that this is turning into a conversation about how to FIND plastic water bottles!! I have the most earth-friendly readers!! And I think I fixed the link — thanks for that, Melissa.

  3. says

    We just spent 6 weeks in Russia and our milk came in bottles similar to water bottles so that became our little project…how many things can we make with milk bottles?

    Some of my favorites were a boat, parachute, tunnel, basket, legs of a robot, space ship

    http://myapplesandbananas.blogspot.com/2011/02/milk-bottle-use-11-car-tunnel.html
    http://myapplesandbananas.blogspot.com/2011/02/milk-bottle-use-5-monkey-accessories.html

    Needless to say we had tons of handmade things by the end of the trip. It was a great way to pass the time, be creative and have something new to play with everyday!

  4. says

    If you added a word linky it would be free (and easy to submit to!) I made a simple cause and effect baby play game when Pop was smaller, using a milk container and some blocks. I cut the top off and some circles into the sides that were big enough for her to put her arms into. Then she dropped and posted the toys through and collected them again, and repeated!

    • rachelle says

      Such a good idea! I just made something similar with a yogurt container filled with fabric. It’s not that interesting to my 7 month old, but I think this could be just the thing for our her to enjoy. And thanks for the linky suggestion. I can’t find it in wordpress, and will drop you a line to see if you can guide me :)

    • rachelle says

      Okay, I’m sold!! I need to find a soda maker pronto. And thanks for the link. This experiment is right up my alley. What a lot of fun, and a good lesson too.

    • rachelle says

      Stacy! These are so cool! With the heat gun, they’re almost like shrinky dinks. Thanks for sharing the image with us — it’s inspiring, to say the least. :)

    • rachelle says

      Hi Julia! These are a first for me — I haven’t seen anyone turn plastic bottles into tea candles before. And the bottles actually look, um, pretty! :) Thanks for sharing.

  5. kellie says

    We’re a bubbly water family too! But we’ve recently purhcased, at BJs, a SodaStream. It comes with a couple reusable, BPA free plastic bottles, the “machine” itself and a big CO2 cartridge. You make your own bubbly water from the comfort of your own kitchen counter simply by filling the bottle with cold water. It’s super easy and the bottles are good for a couple years. We too were going through a big number of plastic bottles. Had to just say NO!

  6. Allison says

    We have the same TJ sparkling mineral water bottles. We stripped off the label and put a curled up piece of colored construction paper in each and now have a full set of bowling pins. They are perfect.

  7. says

    I have devoted myself to the idea of creative recycling for waste management and mental health. Turning the trash in our lives is a metaphor for well, turning the trash in our lives into treasure. Same problem solving different problem. This photo is my water bottle chandelier.