Photo by Eljay CC-by-SA

It is possible to build viable greenhouses with only the following construction materials:

  • Plastic bottles
  • Structural material (timber, brick, etc)
  • Wire, or resilient cord
  • Fasteners (nails/screws)

Development needs[edit | edit source]

Growing unseasonal fruits and vegetables - or providing an environment in which seasonal produce may survive an unusually cold season - can reduce the need to import these items, while supporting a balanced and varied diet. Conventionally, this required glasshouses, which are expensive and fragile, or polytunnels, which require transparent or translucent plastic sheeting that may not be readily available. Using plastic bottles provides an alternative.

Construction instructions[edit | edit source]

"A standard construction of 2m x 3m will need around 1400 bottles to be collected and rinsed. The bottoms are cut off by the children with their safety scissors, two tabs are cut on either side near the top by an adult with a craft knife to stop the top bottle sliding down it.
"Now it is ready to be placed in the wall. A sturdy frame is built with wires spaced at 30cm intervals up the frame and roof: the wires hold the bottle in place and it is the cross tie wire that binds it into a solid wall, closing most of the gaps. On a sunny day it can easily be 10 degrees hotter inside the plastic bottle greenhouse than outside."[1]

To see a completed example built in Ohio visit here or see their expert talk about it on YouTube.

The bottles can also be 'strung' along a bamboo cane as in this example in Bariloche (video).

There are a number of Images of Bottle Greenhouses here

References[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Keywords greenhouses, agriculture, solar, construction, sustainable farm energy alternatives, gardening
SDG SDG02 Zero hunger, SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Authors Sam Pablo Kuper
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Translations Chinese, Spanish
Related 2 subpages, 5 pages link here
Impact 788 page views
Created April 2, 2009 by Sam Pablo Kuper
Modified October 23, 2023 by Maintenance script
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