6 Ways to Re-Purpose empty bottles while traveling.

Posted on Jan 22, 2018 in EdTerra's Travel Nerds


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It is often seen that humans disrupt the habitat of the forest. Tourists throw garbage like empty bottles in surrounding areas, thus affecting the beauty of the environment. It is important to teach little explorers to recycle items like empty bottles and dispose of their trash in ways that do not have a negative impact on the environment.  

In this blog, our main focus is the reuse of plastic empty bottles and changing of trash into treasure in survival situations. Plastic bottles are the prime source of garbage but are also the most common and most useful pieces of garbage that can be used while trekking.

Here are some alternative uses of plastic empty bottles that can be to rescue us from difficult situations.

Dry Cache

While trekking, we often carry supplies that we must protect from getting wet such as fire starting supplies, medical supplies or even electronic items. Plastic bottles with a cap can act as a safety pouch that is perfect for keeping supplies from getting wet.

Water Filter

We can use plastic bottles as water filters. Firstly, cut-off the bottom of the bottle and layer it with gravel, sand, and charcoal. Add a layer of cloth at some point to remove debris. The charcoal will remove any toxin that will be present in the water. As the water pass through this filter, we will be left with drinkable water.

(Image Source: hechristianidentityforum)

Boiling water

Most people do not realize that we can boil water in a plastic water bottle. Handle it carefully so that the bottle doesn’t melt and releases toxic fumes. It is best to do this with the cap off so that the steam can seep out from the top of the bottle. The water will be purified and ready to use after a few minutes of boiling. The bottle doesn’t self-destruct in this case because of the large amount of heat absorbed by the water.

(Image Source: QuizGriz)


You can actually use water to start a fire!!!

Firstly, we need to fill the bottle with water which helps to create a lens. You can try and focus light with the help of a filled water bottle (like a magnifying glass). This will allow heat tinder to a point that it will flare up after a certain time. Look out for the Sun while you attempt to do this.

(Image source: Off The Grid News)

Foot protection

If you end up ruining your shoes, you can utilize two plastic bottles to make new ones. Make sure that the bottles are the same size (ideal case). First, cut off the bottom and cap portion of the bottle and then flatten the body part. Make straps around toes and remove the other parts on the front side.  Stand on the plastic and secure them in place. You have just created a pair of plastic slippers!

(Image source: Funny)


Sometimes, we need to clean the area we are staying in while trekking in the wild. But, it is not always possible to carry a broom everywhere we go. For times like this, we can use plastic bottles to make a broom. Take largest plastic water bottles (2 liters) and cut off the bottom portion of the bottle. Then use scissors or knife to cut thin strips. Add a wooden stick around neck portion, to make a temporary broom.


(Image source: Olio)


It is important to find solutions when we face problems. When in the wild, problems can become solutions. We should learn and teach others to manage waste sensibly and use them as resources rather than disposing of them and spoiling our environment. If you have enough empty bottles some day, try making your own boat, because you can 😛

(Image Source: Imgur)



EdTerra Edventures conducts various international and domestic programs for the youth. If you go to school and are under 17 years of age, ask your school to contact us to arrange a visit to your school for an introduction to the “Camp 51” program and other journeys under EdTerra’s Wilderness Programs.

For queries call +91-11-48885800 or visit EdTerra Browse Journeys page to know more about the programs we offer to school students.


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