Imagine the life of a plastic water bottle. It is created, for minimal cost, and filled with water (oftentimes, simply tap water). The bottle quickly feels quite the ego boost, being sold for thousands of times more than it’s worth. Soon after, the water is consumed and the bottle is thrown into a landfill, perhaps recycled, confined to street corners or tossed within the famous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, contaminating our oceans.
The best solution for eliminating old bottles from our water ecosystems is to eliminate their use altogether. The recycling process itself uses tons of water per year and downgrades the plastic into a less usable form that ends up in landfills anyway. Some, however, have found interesting ways to reuse the dreaded bottle and other waste productively.
Using the utmost amount of creativity, artists and businesses alike are finding new ways to reuse our discarded material. The architecture industry, for example, is booming with young, creative architects with a commitment to reusing old material.
The Boston based architect John Hong, along with engineer Paul Pedini, used 600,000 pounds of recycled materials from the famous Big Dig in Boston to create the Big Dig House located in Lexington, MA. This aesthetically pleasing house is strong enough to hold the weight of a rooftop garden, adding to the appeal.
This new wave of recycled architecture does not end in Boston, however. Starbucks recently opened a new drive thru in Tukwila, Washington made completely out of recycled packaging materials. Not only does the new drive thru comply with LEED green building standards, but also will continue to inspire green building in retail on a broader scale.
Inspired yet? Find ways to reuse your old plastic water bottles!