The recycling bin is overflowing with the remnants of holiday cheer. After each shindig this holiday season came the requisite trip to our basement recycling bin with an armful of bottles, then off to the recycling center.
What happens to all that glass? Much of it goes into making more glass bottles. At the recycling center, the glass gets broken up into smaller pieces called cullet. The broken pieces are crushed and sorted and used to make more glass. The cost savings of recycling is mainly in the use of energy. When glass is made from scratch, high temperatures are required to melt and combine all the ingredients. Since cullet melts at a lower temperature, the more of it you add to a batch of raw materials, the less energy you will need to melt it.
The Green Inc. estimates, “the average recycled content in glass containers in the United States is about 25 percent (but 60 percent for Europe, which is better at recycling).”
The wine industry has taken a stab at lessening their carbon footprint by offering packaging wine in boxes. Boxes require less energy for shipping, but is box wine green enough to be taken seriously? The paper, plastic and Mylar used in the manufacturing of the boxes might make box wine convenient, but not so eco. It’s the New Year and time to trim the trip to the recycling center by reusing those wine bottles. Below are some not so tipsy ideas for repurposing wine bottles:
Candlestick made from wine bottles with overflowing candle drippings are functional art. These candlesticks provide a colorful and appealing look reminiscent of a simple retro design.
How to make a Wine Bottle Candlestick:
1. Use a long thin taper candle.
2. Trim the candle to fit by softening the bottom of the candle with a lighted match or cut to size.
3. Make sure the candle is straight so the wax will drip evenly.
4. When the candle is burned out, replace it with another colored candle for a multi-colored effect.
Want more inspiration? These two projects require a glass cutter kit. This candleholder and vase are via Design Sponge. This project would not be recommended for use by children. The kits are relatively inexpensive at $35. It’s an investment that would easily payoff when making a bunch of these for gifts.
Emptying those wine bottles can be lots of fun during the holiday season. Any other ideas on how to keeping bottles out of the recycling bin?
Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.