As preppers we know that plastic bottles have a ton of uses beyond just holding soda. In today’s article we’ll take a look at 8 DIY survival projects that use plastic bottles.
Why are plastic bottles such a big deal? Because they’re everywhere, and they’re cheap, or even free. We use about 50 billion plastic bottles per year only in North America and we recycle about 25% of them, hence re-using them for DIY projects helps with a critical environmental issue. We get cheap, versatile tools while helping the planet. It’s a win all around.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Project 1: How to use plastic bottles for building mosquito traps
Yeah, you read that correctly. Here comes a variation of the mouse trap, this time for mosquitoes. These pests have been around for like 30 million years and it looks like they’re here to stay for another 30 million. They’re also a source of disease in a SHTF situation and need to be controlled.
The good news is that you can use plastic bottles for reducing mosquito populations instead of chemical insecticides which are pretty harmful for your health and the environment, not to mention that in a survival situation, a plastic bottle is much easier to find than an insecticide.
Knowing how to get rid of these pesky insects using only a plastic bottle ranks very high in my survival “how to” list. Building a mosquito trap from plastic bottles is very easy, inexpensive and efficient.
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You’ll require a 2 liter plastic bottle, a pack of yeast, water, sugar, scissors and duct tape. That’s all folks.
Unlike commercial mosquito repellents, this is a natural remedy that has 0 impact on your health or the environment. Just watch the video below and start building your own mosquito traps.
Project 2: How to use plastic bottles for a green house
Here’s another useful project (again, related to gardening) involving a little bit of skill and lots of plastic bottles.
For building a greenhouse you’ll require 2 liter plastic bottles (~1500 or even more for a big greenhouse project), thick wire, scissors, fence posts (or similar lumber) and lots of help from your kids and family.
Though it sounds like a lot, you can make it a project and involve local restaurants or stores to help you save the bottles.
You must cut the plastic bottles’ bottoms and create two tabs by cutting on either side of the bottle near the top using a sharp knife so the top bottle will not slide down.
Then you’ll build a sturdy frame/structure using the wires and the fence posts that will hold the bottles into place.
The temperature inside the plastic bottle greenhouse, if built correctly, will be 10 degrees hotter than outside and that’s pretty cool. Just watch the video below for a detailed instructions guide and get to work.
Project 3: How to use plastic bottles for building a mouse trap
Vermin infestation is a prepper’s nightmare and you can help keep it under control using plastic bottles. You can build a pretty cool mouse trap using a plastic bottle.
All you need is, a plastic bottle, wooden chopsticks, a rubber band, thread, clips, a nipper, an awl (for making holes) and a box cutter. That’s about it.
Just watch the video below to learn how; it’s very detailed and if you have the patience and the skills, you’ll make for a great mouse catcher, believe me.
If you think that’s too complicated, check out this plastic bottle mouse trap, it’s a variation that requires less work but it’s not as effective as the first model. This mouse trap is based on the non-return entrance principle while the first mouse trap is a “classic”.
Project 4: How to use plastic bottles for gardening
Plastic bottles can be used with great success in building your own private garden. This is a fun project in which you can involve your whole family. Involving your kids in your prepping projects while they’re still young is a great idea regardless of the topic.
The best thing about a plastic bottle garden is that it only requires a small amount of space when compared to a regular garden and it’s equally efficient. It’s really the best bang for your buck in terms of gardening. You can build a plastic bottle garden in a balcony or along a wall of a fence, or even in your apartment (indoor gardening).
What do you need? Well, not much at all. 2 liter plastic bottles (the main ingredient), scissors, a hand drill, straws and glue. That’s about it. Just watch the video(s) and you’ll see that a plastic bottle garden, especially a tower garden, is very efficient and sustainable if you want to achieve food security for you and your family. You can build plastic bottle gardens in both rural and urban areas alike with minimum cost and that’s great in our book.
Project 5: How to use plastic bottles for building a wind turbine
Yeah, it sounds high-tech but it’s a pretty simple concept: you’ll use the plastic bottles for building the (propeller) blades of the turbine.
You can also use this trick for building a windmill because basically everything is the same and works on Eolian power.
Here’s a video about how to build a relatively small wind turbine with 27 plastic bottles.
Project 6 : How to use plastic bottles for building a solar tube for your chicken coop
Yet another cool and easy project that requires plastic bottles is building a skylight for a coop or a shed. Basically, you’ll build a solar “lamp” for illuminating windowless or(dark spaces during daytime.
All that’s required is an empty plastic bottle, some aluminum foil and bleached water (to avoid the growth of algae inside) and you’ll be able to avoid the need for electric lighting in places where electricity is not available (or too expensive to justify using it).
Check out the video below for further details.
Project 7: How to use plastic bottles for building a solar water heater
This is an interesting concept that uses plastic bottles and solar energy for providing hot water with zero expenses.
For building a solar water heater you’ll require lots of plastic bottles, milk cartons (painted in black for optimal performance) and some PVC pipes. This kind of device is very popular in third world countries but it works basically everywhere the sun shines.
The plastic bottles are filled with water that heats passively with a little help from the sun and it’s circulated via PVC pipes using the thermosyphon principle (hot water rises naturally and it is replaced by cold water).
Here’s a video about a soda bottle solar water heater from Brazil.
Project 8 : How to use plastic bottles for building an artificial island & a house
Even if it may sound weird, given the fact that plastic bottles are abundant and free, you can actually use them as building blocks for virtually anything, even an island or a house or both.
There’s an artificial (floating) island out there called Spiral Island, made of 100,000 plastic bottles and it features three beaches, a solar powered waterfall, a river, a house (made of plastic bottles obviously), two ponds plus solar panels that are used to power various appliances.
This is the video depicting the island made of plastic bottles, built by Richart Sowa, a British artist.
As you can see, the only limits to the survival uses for plastic bottles are your imagination and the number of plastic bottles you can gather.
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by Chris Black for Survivopedia