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Written by Elizabeth Jones   
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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wine Bottle Projects

I love the green, blue, and white glass that wine bottles are made of. And after a bit of research, I found that there are loads of projects I can do to utilize wine bottles long after I’ve taken my last sip of their contents. Let’s start upcycling our wine bottles!

BENEFITS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: When improperly disposed of, glass bottles take up valuable landfill space and can take up to 4,000 years to decompose!1 Recycling—while much better than throwing bottles away—requires energy to run equipment and power transportation to and from recycling centers.

Cost: Low. Wine bottles are free and abundant. Even if you don’t drink wine, you can ask friends and neighbors to save theirs for you, or you can visit local restaurants to see if they have any left over.

Time and effort: Varies,
low to medium, depending on the chosen project.

Easy Home Projects
  1. Candle Holder
    This project requires zero skills. Buy a tapered candle, shove it in the bottle, light it and you’re done.
  2. Flower Vase
    It’s easy to scrape the labels off of wine bottles if you soak them in warm, soapy water. Clean bottles make perfect vases for long-stemmed flowers.
  3. Watering can
    Wine bottles are great for watering your potted plants, especially if you are the forgetful type. Fill the bottle, tip it upside down, and stick it into your potted plants at an angle. The slow drop will keep your plants hydrated.2
  4. Dish Soap Dispenser
    All you need to make a soap dispenser is a pour spout, which you can buy at any kitchen supply store.
  5. Cooking and Dip Oil Bottles
    If you buy enough pour spouts, you can also store oil and salad dressing in your old wine bottles. If you are really feeling inspired, you can paint your bottle to add whimsical flair.3
  6. Lamp Stand
    You can use wine bottles as a base for a lamp. Most hardware stores sell very affordable lamp-making kits.4
Lamp Stand Made from A Wine Bottle 5

More Challenging Home Projects
  1. Wine Bottle Shelving
    If you are experienced enough with drilling holes and building bookshelves, you may want to try making recycled shelving units. They may seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but they are actually very strong.6

    Shelving Unit made with Bottles 7

  2. Wine Bottle Chandelier
    It seems like these things are all the rage now. Unfortunately they are also outrageously expensive! But if you are willing to spend some time, it is possible to make a fairly good replica using a pine topper, drill, rotor clip retaining rings, and mounting chain, of course along with your empty wine bottles! For detailed instructions, read here.

    Chandelier Made From Wine Bottles8

  3. Torches Wine bottles can be used as classy modern torches with the right copper equipment, tiki wick, and torch fuel. 9

    Wine Bottle Torch 10

  4. Cups If you are very careful to avoid getting cut, you can turn wine bottles into drinking glasses using a glass cutting method.11

Yard Projects
  1. Garden Path or Planter
    If you’ve got lots of old wine bottles, you can turn them upside down and bury them in the dirt to make a nice sun-catching garden path or border.

    Wine Bottle Planter13

  2. Wind Chimes
    Wine bottles can be strung together with fishing wire to make wind chimes.

  3. Channel your Creative Side
    If you are the creative type, try creating a bottle tree or other folk-art piece for your yard!

    Bottles On Ends of Tree Branches 14
Reuse the Corks Too!
  1. Wine Cork Trivet
    The Spanish design company Ciclus sells an aluminum tray that you fill with your old wine corks to create a hot plate or trivet. You could also take inspiration from their product and somehow fashion your own trivet design. 15

  2. Wine Cork Bath Mat
    By cutting approximately 175 wine corks in half and hot-gluing them to a mat, you can create this fabulous bath mat.16 All it takes is a lot of corks, and a lot more patience than I have

    Cork Mat Made From Bottle Corks 17
Cork Board. You can also make a real corkboard out of wine corks. To do this, glue cork halves onto a mat similar to the way you would for the bath mat, then frame using a large picture frame and tack up your favorite pictures and quotes.

Mulch. Put slices of cork into the blender. It makes great mulch and helps your garden retain water.

For more sustainability with your wine drinking, try going organic!

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 February 2012 )


Green Facts

  • Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than equivalent stands of trees.

  • Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every 3 months

  • An aluminum can that is thrown away instead of recycled will still be a can 500 years from now!

  • One recycled aluminum can will save enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours.

  • You will save 100 pounds of carbon for each incandescent bulb that you replace with a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), over the life of the bulb.

  • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch.

  • A laptop consumes five times less electricity than a desktop computer.

  • Current sea ice levels are at least 47% lower than they were in 1979.

  • Recycling 1 million laptop computers can save the amount of energy used by 3,657 homes in the U.S. over the course of a year.

  • Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day.

  • Shaving 10 miles off of your weekly driving pattern can eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

  • Nudge your thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter to prevent 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

  • In California homes, about 10% of energy usage is related to TVs, DVRs, cable and satellite boxes, and DVD players.

  • Refrigerators built in 1975 used 4 times more energy than current models.

  • 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from burning fossil fuels.

  • Recycling 100 million cell phones can save enough energy to power 18,500 homes in the U.S. for a year.

  • Americans throw away more than 120 million cell phones each year, which contribute 60,000 tons of waste to landfills annually.

  • Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth can save as much as 10 gallons a day per person.

  • A tree that provides a home with shade from the sun can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner and save an additional 200 to 2,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime.

  • You’ll save two pounds of carbon for every 20 glass bottles that you recycle.

  • 77% of people who commute to work by car drive alone.

  • In the United States, automobiles produce over 20 percent of total carbon emissions. Walk or bike and you'll save one pound of carbon for every mile you travel.

  • For every 38,000 bills consumers pay online instead of by mail, 5,058 pounds of greenhouse gases are avoided and two tons of trees are preserved.

  • Every week about 20 species of plants and animals become extinct.

  • If every U.S. household turned the thermostat down by 10 degrees for seven hours each night during the cold months, and seven hours each weekday, it would prevent nearly gas emissions.

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 2 million people die prematurely worldwide every year due to air pollution.

  • Due to tiger poaching, habitat destruction, and other human-tiger conflicts, tigers now number around 3,200—a decrease in population by about 70% from 100 years ago.

  • It takes 6,000,000 trees to make 1 year's worth of tissues for the world.

  • Washing your clothes in cold or warm instead of hot water saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and drying your clothes on a clothesline six months out of the year would save another 700 pounds.

  • A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution, and mining wastes by about 70%.

  • You will save 300 pounds of carbon dioxide for every 10,000 miles you drive if you always keep your car’s tires fully inflated.

  • States with bottle deposit laws have 35-40% less litter by volume.

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.

  • Recycling for one year at Stanford University saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and the need for 636 tons of iron ore, coal, and limestone.

  • Less than 1% of electricity in the United States is generated from solar power.

  • American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year commuting through rush hour traffic. This adds up to 23 billion gallons of gas wasted in traffic each year.

  • Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute.

  • A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.

  • Glass can be recycled over and over again without ever wearing down.