Recycling is familiar to all of us at this point. You probably grew up separating glass and plastic, breaking down boxes, and hauling that ubiquitous recycling bin out to the curb in the course of your weekly chores. In fact, throwing a glass bottle or a plastic container into the trash probably feels “wrong” to you. Recycling just comes naturally.While recycling is a reflex, it still comes at a cost. It takes energy (mostly in the form of fossil fuels) for someone to take your recycling away. It takes energy and lots of water to sort, clean, crush, melt, and re-mold the glass. So even though recycling is ultimately a good thing to do, the knowledge that it has a price is good to bear in mind.Hence, why recycle comes after reduce and reuse.Brew Dr. Kombucha bottles are utilitarian objects. They are brown to keep out sunlight and prevent oxidation, which keeps the kombucha fresh and delicious. The neck is narrow, which comes in handy if drinking out of wide-mouthed bottles often ends in tragedy for you. The bottle is squat, so it’s harder to knock over. But even though Brew Dr. bottles are functional, they also happen to be beautiful. All the better for upcycling!
BeginnerThis one requires almost no effort. The labels on Brew Dr. kombucha bottles are luxuriously easy to peel off. No solvents or tools required! Then stick a flower in it and you’re done! Those nice narrow necks that make it harder for you to spill kombucha all over yourself? They also make for beautiful bud vases. Once you’ve collected several kombucha bottles you can group them together for a classy table centerpiece or line them up in a window or on a bookshelf.
IntermediateIf you can commit to a craft project that’s slightly more involved but still easy, try turning Brew Dr. Kombucha bottles into simple light fixtures. Fill the bottle with small string lights (copper string lights are especially nice). For hanging lanterns, wrap wire or durable string around the bottle neck and secure a loop of wire or string to that to hang them.
AdvancedThis one is for the birds. Bottles make excellent hummingbird feeders, and they’re surprisingly simple to put together. First, track down some hummingbird feeder tubes, available at some backyard bird shops and online. They are usually little glass tubes with a plastic cork at one end and a red tip at the other to attract hummingbirds. Then find some 12-gauge copper wire, which is available at craft stores. Starting at the neck, wrap the wire around Brew Dr. bottles several times, working your way to the base of the bottle. Form a second, shorter piece of wire into a hanger by securing it to the wire wrapped around the bottle. Then fill the bottle very full with hummingbird food, insert the feeder tube, and hang in your yard. Try to hang them in the shade if possible. The heat of direct sun can cause the contents of the bottle to become very hot.Hanging several feeders around the yard will allow more birds to feed at once, and before you know it, your backyard will be filled with the buzz of tiny wings!
While upcycling isn’t a cure-all for the problem of waste, getting in the habit of reducing and reusing before reflexively reaching for the recycling bin is a step in the right direction. It doesn’t hurt that a small but intentional positive impact can start with a tasty and healthy beverage.