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Recycling greenhouse

Published on December 26th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

19

Build Your Own Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

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December 26th, 2008 by  

greenhouse

Do you have tons of plastic bottles lying around your house and excess backyard space? If so, you might want to look into building a plastic bottle greenhouse. The greenhouse idea was devised and brought to life by Blue Rock Station. For $5 (the electronic version is $4), you can buy instructions to build one yourself.

Make sure you have plenty of tires for the rammed earth foundation, at least 1000 2-liter plastic bottles, straw bale, and two 55 gallon rain barrels. A hefty load of starting materials for sure, but nothing compared to what you would need for a traditional greenhouse. And what better use is there for plastic bottles (besides energy-intensive recycling)?

Blue Rock Station’s greenhouse booklet discusses design creation, site prep and drainage, wind issues, orientation, insulation, and more.

Photo Credit: Blue Rock Station

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • DOUGLAS

    COMO UQE EU FAÇÇSSSOOOO ESSSAAAA PORRRRAAAAAAAAAA

  • http://www.bottlesandmore.com Plastic Bottles

    What a neat and fun idea, thanks for sharing. I think this is a great way to help recycle and enjoy the environment at the same time.

  • http://www.bottlesandmore.com Plastic Bottles

    What a neat and fun idea, thanks for sharing. I think this is a great way to help recycle and enjoy the environment at the same time.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/plasticbottlegreenhouse andrew douse

    I’ve built one to a different design which you can see at http://www.squidoo.com/plasticbottlegreenhouse

  • http://www.squidoo.com/plasticbottlegreenhouse andrew douse

    I’ve built one to a different design which you can see at http://www.squidoo.com/plasticbottlegreenhouse

  • douglas

    I think that those arent bottles, can someone prove they are infact bottles and not ice. It really looks like ice, that and the fact Mr. Freeze is in the image i think its obvious.

    thank you

  • douglas

    I think that those arent bottles, can someone prove they are infact bottles and not ice. It really looks like ice, that and the fact Mr. Freeze is in the image i think its obvious.

    thank you

  • http://paulkassebaum.com paul kassebaum

    Don’t go breathing the air inside that greenhouse. Polyethylene terephthalate (recycling code number 1) desintergrates due to sunlight. The process is called photodegredation. The particles are released in the air and breathing them has been proven to cause cancer. Photodegradation also seeps plastic particles into the liquids these bottles contain. This is why such bottles are called “one-time-use” by the FDA.

  • http://paulkassebaum.com paul kassebaum

    Don’t go breathing the air inside that greenhouse. Polyethylene terephthalate (recycling code number 1) desintergrates due to sunlight. The process is called photodegredation. The particles are released in the air and breathing them has been proven to cause cancer. Photodegradation also seeps plastic particles into the liquids these bottles contain. This is why such bottles are called “one-time-use” by the FDA.

    • Bucko209

      I read about building schools with the bottles encased in cement.
      Would Photodegradation still occur

  • Aaron

    In addition to the first response, long exposure to plastics isn’t good for anything. It could even affect the air inside the greenhouse.

  • Aaron

    In addition to the first response, long exposure to plastics isn’t good for anything. It could even affect the air inside the greenhouse.

  • Luci

    This is a great idea! Finally, something to do with all those plastic bottles!

    I just read an article on picking a site for your greenhouse…..just wanted to pass it onto you.

    http://mymilescity.com/how-to-miscellaneous/prepare_greenhouse_site.html

  • Luci

    This is a great idea! Finally, something to do with all those plastic bottles!

    I just read an article on picking a site for your greenhouse…..just wanted to pass it onto you.

    http://mymilescity.com/how-to-miscellaneous/prepare_greenhouse_site.html

  • http://supak.com Scott Supak

    Really amazing idea, but are there vents you can open in the summer? Looks like it works really well, which means it gets warm when it’s warm out…

  • http://supak.com Scott Supak

    Really amazing idea, but are there vents you can open in the summer? Looks like it works really well, which means it gets warm when it’s warm out…

  • http://supak.com Scott Supak

    Really amazing idea, but are there vents you can open in the summer? Looks like it works really well, which means it gets warm when it’s warm out…

  • Kat

    What is the life of the plastic bottles? Being that they are not light-stable, wouldn’t they start to crack and degrade and need to be replaced every year?

  • Kat

    What is the life of the plastic bottles? Being that they are not light-stable, wouldn’t they start to crack and degrade and need to be replaced every year?

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