This summer we’ve been set a fabulous challenge by Coca-Cola Great Britain to reuse our empty plastic bottles and show you guys how you can upcycle them, so we decided to do something with our bottles in the garden!
We’re no strangers to upcycling things, it’s something that we do quite often – be it the old cupboard that we didn’t want anymore that we turned into a TV stand or the footstool that my mum had recovered to go at the end of her bed. It’s something that breathes new life into an older item that has served its purpose and it doesn’t have to be hard to do! It’s often difficult I think to find inspiration for upcycling – it’s one thing to upcycle clothes (my mum has been teaching the boys to make soft pots which are made from old tights and bits of ribbon to make them look pretty) but what about the things we don’t really think about? Like plastic bottles. I think the fact that we don’t think of plastic as something we can upcycle 100% contributes to the growing issues with unused and discarded plastics.
I’ve mentioned frequently of late how fed up I am with our garden, it’s a bomb site and it won’t get any better because we have so much work to do with building the annex and extension before we can even consider sprucing up the garden… so in the mean time?
Let’s make it look pretty with some clever upcycling of those plastic bottles!
- Vertical Garden
The vertical garden is beyond easy and it’s actually a really nifty idea if you have limited space. I am a big believer in trying to keep space clear for the kiddos to play, so I love the idea of having a vertical garden. We started off by cutting a pocket like hole in the front of the bottles, then a hole in the end bottle to slot the bottles together in a train fashion. We always pushed a hole into the lid of the bottle to allow water to drip. It’s so simple but it’s perfect for herbs and flowers alike and looks really sweet. Just string it up and watch it grow!
- Light catcher.
This was also a really simple one that adds a touch of colour and fun to our veranda. Cut off the base of each of the plastic bottles and use the glue gun to glue together in a circular shape so you end up with what looks like a massive ball of flowers. Attach a piece of string and away you go!
- Fairy house.
Now this one is super fun and something that we wanted to do because all three kids are obsessed with creating fairy gardens. Cut the top off, leaving the base, then turn the top half upside down to make a house with a chimney. Then coat the plastic in a paper mache mix and allow to dry. Once dry, paint the house however you like… pop the “top” of the house on and you have your fairy house.
Despite having a lot of fun with this, there is a serious reason why we believe in upcycling plastic – we would like to see a World Without Waste, especially when plastic is often the “forgotten” recyclable. Plastic can be a wonderful thing but it needs to be disposed of correctly – be that through recycling, like in my previous post, or by upcycling. However, if you choose to upcycle, be it in the fun ways that I have done with my children to entertain them during the summer holidays or perhaps practical ways like creating a plastic bottle reusable bags for life dispenser or even creating jewellery from them.
If you don’t want to upcycle, why not recycle?
Coca-Cola Great Britain have teamed up with Merlin Entertainments to try and encourage as many people as possible to recycle plastic bottles. When you recycle a 500ml bottle at one of the new reverse vending machines at Alton Towers Resort, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park or Legoland Windsor you gain 50% off your next visit to any of these locations. This isn’t just Coca-Cola bottles either, but any brand, as long as it is 500ml in size. As a family of 5, 4 of which have to pay for entry to more of less everything now, a day out to one of these parks would total well into the hundreds with entry, lunch, ice creams and drinks all stacking up to add to a heavy fee. 50% off allows for more days out and less stressing – all by doing something that benefits the planet.
We visited Alton Towers and had the best day out! At the entrance the big reverse vending machines are right there, so you can head straight over and grab your 50% off vouchers – something you can also do on leaving, ready for your next day out at any of Merlin’s 30 attractions!
Alton Towers has the brilliant Cbeebies Land, which has some wonderful rides for the children (almost all of which Edith can go on) and if you have a little fan then it is 100% a must. Toby and Reuben were all nostalgic over their Postman Pat loving days, they loved Justin’s House attraction where they got to shoot foam balls around a room and Edith really enjoyed the Bing bunny show.
All in all, we had such a good time and knowing that we would have 50% off entry made a huge difference because, as a family of 5, you are limited to where you can go due to cost. Recycling our bottles (we had SO many as well after a long drive and then day out in the park when it was 32C, so we had enough for 4 tickets before and 4 tickets after.
Terms and conditions
50% off entry to top UK attractions, including Alton Towers Resort, THORPE PARK Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort,
The Dungeons, The Coca-Cola London Eye, Madame Tussauds, Warwick Castle…plus many more!
Present your voucher at the attraction ticket office to redeem 50% off an individual entry ticket to your chosen attraction. Voucher valid for one person only, for one attraction. Valid until 19.10.18 at Alton Towers Resort,Thorpe Park Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort and The LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and 31.03.19 at all other attractions.
Restrictions and exclusions apply, for full details, a list of attractions and T&C’s visit www.coca-cola.co.uk/RecycleRewards