Everyone has no doubt heard about the latest everyday product that is supposedly doing more harm than good: that seemingly innocuous, colorful plastic water container we have all come to know as a Nalgene bottle. While maintaining that their bottles are safe for use, Nalgene still ended up “phasing out” products containing BPA (any of their bottles with a 7 on the bottom) and the consumer public has begun their quest for a suitable replacement. Feeling good about choosing a reusable container for my water instead of the “evil” plastic water bottles went straight down the gutter, but at least now I have something upon which to blame those extra few pounds!
A quick search of terms like “what to do with your Nalgene bottle” reveals that many people have the same question as me, but as far as I can surmise, nobody has come up with a suitable answer. Recycling doesn’t seem to be an option, not being able to use the bottles with food items limits things a bit, and they’re not exactly beautiful enough to display on the mantel (as is, anyway). One group suggested sending the used bottles to the companies who manufacture these products, to “teach them a lesson” that they need to figure out what to do with them. Great idea! Think of all those big, energy-guzzling airplanes hauling your stuff halfway across the country just so you can exact your maniacal revenge on a company that has neither the time nor the money to deal with the problem.
I’ve personally accumulated 3 of these now-deadly bottles and I’m stuck with them. The media hype about BPA won’t allow me to just toss them into the garbage can and move on with my life, plus to be honest, I like the idea of “repurposing” things into something else. Since I don’t want this post to end up as just another question with no answer piece, here are my suggestions:
- Use them as a rain gauge. Who doesn’t want to be the guy with the answer when someone wonders aloud, “I wonder how much rain we got last night…” They already have the convenient liquid measurements on the side.
- Use them as a container for beads, coins, pens, or anything else small enough to fit inside (except edible items, as noted previously). Wow, this is easier than I thought.
- Turn them into lanterns using the LightCap 200, manufactured by SolLight. Too expensive for me at $19.95 each, but these could make… er, campy deck lights if you were so inclined.
- Drill a hole into the cap, put some scraps of food and dirt inside, and turn them into the coolest ant condo anyone has ever seen.
- Gather up a whole bunch (ask your friends, family, and neighbors for help), then weld them into some life-sized avant garde sculpture for your living room, back yard, porch, or anywhere with enough space to fit the sculpture really. Ugh, unfortunately, I’m pretty sure someone will do this, and will not see the humor in it.
So, those are about it really. My actual solution? For now, put them on a shelf in the garage and hope they disintegrate on their own. In the meantime, I’m thinking about buying one of the fancy Sigg bottles. Comments?