Here’s a great way to make a greenhouse cheaply from waste materials.
We’ve all seen houses made from bottles before: wine bottles, beer bottles, coloured bottles, clear bottles, long-necked bottles… The Scottish Sustainable Development Charity REAP is promoting, designing and building inexpensive greenhouses from reclaimed soda bottles.
There are so many pluses for using old soda bottles: they’re plentiful; they’re cheap; they magnify heat; it keeps “waste” material out of the landfill; easy to build, maintain, and run; and, when finished, leave you with a “fun” greenhouse.
REAP recently told The Guardian that recycled bottle greenhouses are the perfect project for schools. They’re a great building/learning experience for the children; and, the children will probably be able to supply some of the plastic soda bottles needed.
Richard Bennett of REAP explained how easy the process is to Jane Perrone of The Guardian's excellent gardening blog:
With lots of children to help gather the bottles and wash them, it's a great re-use educational structure that really works. A standard construction of 2m x 3m will need around 1400 bottles to be collected and rinsed. The bottoms are cut off by the children with their safety scissors, two tabs are cut on either side near the top by an adult with a craft knife to stop the top bottle sliding down it.
Now it is ready to be placed in the wall. A sturdy frame is built with wires spaced at 30cm intervals up the frame and roof: the wires hold the bottle in place and it is the cross tie wire that binds it into a solid wall, closing most of the gaps. On a sunny day it can easily be 10 degrees hotter inside the plastic bottle greenhouse than outside.
A PDF instruction guide on how to build your own greenhouse is available at the REAP site.