How to Turn Your Plastic Bottle Into a Mini Greenhouse

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"New plants and giving a second life to single-use items? Count me in!"

A common part of a low-waste lifestyle is finding creative ways to reuse single-use products. The next time you have a single-use plastic water bottle and egg carton on hand, don’t recycle them. Not yet, anyway. Instead, use them to create a dreamy miniature greenhouse.

Laura Young, the sustainability blogger behind Less Waste Laura, shared a video showing how to create a terrarium from the items you’d typically see as waste. The egg carton is perfect for holding your soil and seeds, and the bottle keeps the humidity level high, giving your seedlings the greenhouse experience.

If you’re an eco-minded consumer looking to add yet another plant to your collection (can’t stop, won’t stop), this terrarium in a bottle project is a must-try. Continue reading below for Young’s step-by-step instructions.

How to Make a Terrarium in a Bottle

terrarium in a bottle
Photo: Laura Young/@lesswastelaura

Ready to make your terrarium in a bottle? Young says to start by taking an old half-dozen egg carton and filling it with soil. (Or, cut a full dozen egg carton in half.) Next, place your seeds in the egg carton and cover lightly with the soil. 

To create the walls of the terrarium, take an old water bottle (the larger the better, as it should be the same width as the egg carton) and cut it about 1 to 2 inches from the bottom. You should be left with something that looks like a plastic saucer. Next, place the egg carton with the seeds into the saucer-like dish.

Then, place the remaining part of the water bottle back on top so it once again resembles a complete water bottle. Now all you need to do is wait for your seeds to sprout.

How to Care for Your Terrarium in a Bottle

Taking care of your terrarium in a bottle is easy. Keep it in an area with indirect sunlight and water occasionally—typically only 1 to 2 times per month, depending on what you’re growing and whether the lid is on or off. Having the lid on will create more humidity in the terrarium (and requires less watering), while no lid will create a drier space (and requires more watering). You can decide which option works best for you based on your living environment.

Curious about a zero waste lifestyle? Want to know what the “circular economy” really means? Subscribe to Brightly’s top-rated podcast, Good Together. Every 30-minute episode features daily, actionable tips to help you live your life more sustainably.

New plants and giving a second life to single-use items? Count me in!

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