Reusing Plastic Drink Bottles

Yesterday I blogged about finding those reusable shopping bags at Kroger, and since today is Earth Day I thought I’d share a little tip I have been using for a while.  I reuse those plastic 20 ounce drink bottles.

The main thing I reuse them for is water.  I personally have never understood the concept of buying bottled water when it comes out the same from the tap. In fact, John Stossel’s 2005 survey only confirmed what I had suspected all along about bottled water: it really isn’t any different from tap water.  So here is what I have been doing:

  • On occasion, I get a 20 oz bottle of Diet Pepsi from the pop machine on campus (only $1 cold)
  • After I am done drinking the pop (soda) I rinse the bottle out then wash it and the cap with dishes
  • once it’s fully dry, I put about 3 ounces of water in it, then pop it into the freezer
  • after it’s frozen solid, I can put in water or tea for a cold iced beverage!

A quick note about the tea: having grown up in the Midwest I drink UNsweet tea which is virtually impossible to find in bottled form here in the South, so this practice originally started because I don’t like “tea-flavored syrup” as I call it.  Trying to find mint-flavored unsweet tea (my favorite) is exponentially harder, much less the “honey lemon ginseng” green tea I have liked since it came out.

We actually did this in Iraq with the 1.5 liter bottles the Army had, except we froze the entire bottle just to keep it cooler longer in the 120F summer.  We also made up Gatorade and tea when we got tired of regular water.

For my teenage son, I have honestly tried to convince him this is better than buying the individual bottles from the machine at his school.  I once bought him a 6 pack of the bottled tea when it was on sale and told him to save up the bottles so he could reuse and freeze ice into them before adding his green tea.  The bottles ended up in the trash.

This week at the grocery store, the Teenager bought an 8 pack of Gatorade bottles, at a price he could have gotten the large can of powder for.  I started to point it out to him, when he interrupted me to say that was his plan: buy the bottles this week and the powder next week.  He mostly just wanted the bottles (with the labels) to take to school with him.

So that’s what I do with the 20 ounce drink bottles.  To find ideas for reusing plastic milk jugs, look at Frugal Dad’s post for today.  I know I found some good ideas!