Monday, 15 July 2013

Recycling – The highest level

Have you ever wondered what happens to your beer bottles once you've finished drinking the beer and threw away or recycled the bottle? There are some extraordinary buildings that may give you an answer why recycling is such a great and useful thing!

Buddhist temple built from beer bottles

When you’re free-associating about Buddhist monks, beer probably isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind. Drinking is forbidden in Buddhism indeed, but they certainly don’t have any issues with building temples from beer bottles.

In the north-east of Thailand, there is a temple built from more than 1.5 million recycled beer bottles, called Wat Lan Kuad, the Temple of a Million Bottles.

Using Heineken bottles (green) and Chang Beer bottles (brown) monks were able to clean up the local pollution and create a useful structure. The bottles do not lose their colour, provide good lighting and are easy to clean.

The monks have created a complex of around 20 buildings, comprising the main temple over a lake, crematorium, prayer rooms, a hall, water tower, tourist bathrooms and several small bungalows raised off the ground which serve as monks quarters.

They also created decorative mosaics with the leftover bottle caps. The only part they didn’t use is the actual beer.

The beer can house

In 1968, John Milkovisch was just another retired employee of Southern Pacific railroad. He lived in an undistinguished house in an undistinguished suburban neighborhood of Houston. Then John got antsy: he turned his 6-pack a day habit (he believed it was the cure to whatever ailed him) into an 18-year home renovation project. John decorated his Houston, Texas house with aluminum siding made from flattened cans, streamers of beer can pull-tabs, and an odd assortment of beer can sculptures.

Milkovisch started his project in 1968 inlaying thousands of marbles, rocks, brass figures and metal pieces in concrete blocks and redwood, all of which were used to make patios, fences, flower boxes, and an array of other items. The result was a yard with no grass, as the entire front and back yards were covered with cement. When asked why he did it, John simply answered, “I got sick of mowing the grass.”

John considered his work an enjoyable hobby rather than a work of art, but he did enjoy people's reaction to his creations. He once said, "It tickles me to watch people screech to a halt. They get embarrassed. Sometimes they drive around the block a couple of times. Later they come back with a car-load of friends..."

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