Inexpensive Greenhouses from Waste Materials
We've seen bottles recycled into buildings before, but it seems only logical that their ideal reuse would be in greenhouses. Scottish sustainable development charity REAP is designing and building inexpensive greenhouses from used soda bottles. As they told The Guardian, recycled bottle greenhouses are the perfect project for schools, where helping hands are not in short supply and, perhaps sadly, plastic soda bottles seem to be profligate too. Richard Bennett of REAP explained how easy the process is to Jane Perrone of The Guardian's excellent gardening blog:
With lots of children to help gather the bottles and wash them, it's a great re-use educational structure that really works. A standard construction of 2m x 3m will need around 1400 bottles to be collected and rinsed. The bottoms are cut off by the children with their safety scissors, two tabs are cut on either side near the top by an adult with a craft knife to stop the top bottle sliding down it.
Now it is ready to be placed in the wall. A sturdy frame is built with wires spaced at 30cm intervals up the frame and roof: the wires hold the bottle in place and it is the cross tie wire that binds it into a solid wall, closing most of the gaps. On a sunny day it can easily be 10 degrees hotter inside the plastic bottle greenhouse than outside.
A PDF instruction guide on how to build your own greenhouse is available at the REAP site, along with a whole host of important sustainability resources, including information on social enterprise, energy efficiency and food and nutrition.
For more green-fingered info, check out our guide on how to green your gardening over at Planet Green.