Thursday, April 17, 2014

Recycling Wine Bottles

Innovation takes place in many forms and shapes, some being complex and others just being so simple. Usually the most surprising are the most simple. A Portuguese company called My Little Garden has managed to do exactly that, surprise us all. Through re-using they have managed to put together an Eco-friendly product which is becoming popular and the new garden/home trend.

It is always fascinating to see how a product which is intended for its primary use is later re-used for something else. At My Little Garden, their team is recycling wine glass bottles transforming them into herb pots. Just as amazing as it sounds, they are equally amazing to look at. Their robust design allows you to plant your seeds without having to water them, as the soil remains damp all the time. As My Little Garden says, just plant, wait and harvest.

Bottle Kit
My Little Garden offers two types of kits:

1. Bottle Kit- This kit includes:The bottle, bag with soil, bag with clay stones, a packet of genuine, non-treated certified seeds, a natural fiber wick, and the respective assembly instructions.

Window Bottle Kit

2. Window Bottle Kit-The kit includes:The bottle, stainless steel frame, sucker, clamp, bag with soil, bag with clay stones, a packet of genuine, non-treated certified seeds, a natural fiber wick, and the respective assembly instructions.

Anthony offers you the option of choosing one herb from 6 types of herbs  when you order your kit, which are: Parsley, Coriander, Basil, Red Basil, Chives and Mint. To those of you who enjoy cooking will know how important these herbs are in making any meal. Apart from that they have a pleasant natural smell. My personal favorite is Mint, especially when you tap the leaves a little, it intensifies the smell.

What I find most appealing about these wine bottles is that they combine an ornament and herb pot into one, allowing you to hang it from walls or place it anywhere you like. Placing the wine bottles outside your porch or even on your veranda walls does give it a fresh and artistic touch. Living in cities or small homes places a restriction on what people can put around or outside their homes. This is what makes the products at My Little Garden so demanding because you can always find somewhere to put them when space is limited.

Apart from developing an effective and attractive Eco-friendly product, the Portuguese company has managed to develop its packaging through recycled cardboard. Their efforts are continuously aimed at being both socially and ecologically responsible.

My Little Garden has also featured other similar products through their website offering people a variety of choices for their homes and solutions for those of you who do not have the luxury of a garden or patio. Some of these include Herb Pack, Life In A Bag and Wet Pot Systems.


The owner Anthony Carter (a helpful and friendly character) was kind enough to answer some of our questions:

1. What inspired you to develop such a product?

 «My Little Garden project started in 2011 Christmas, when I built a few bottle-kits to offer to our family as presents. It’s been a while since we bought Christmas presents, we normally make our own. And at that time, as I said, I made a few in my garage to offer. During this process the idea dawned on me that this could be an interesting product to bring to the market. As the family reaction was great, that gave me the boost to start!»

2. Do you think that the introduction of Eco-friendly products are going through a trend? Or will this become an even bigger part of every homes culture?

«I think that there have always been Eco-friendly products available amongst us. The difference this time, is that people (generally) are starting to have a different kind of consciousness regarding consumption, this is the part of the process of change that I consider a trend. Today Eco-friendly products have a different value, because people know the importance of reusing and recycling. The "thing" is that unfortunately most people don't understand (in terms of production) that it's much more difficult to build by reusing or recycling, than to produce from a brand new mold... (Yet, i hope)»

3. Which products do you believe or hope will start to be recycled more? For example: using plastic bottles for making greenhouses?

«To be honest, i don't have any selected product that i would like to be seen recycled. What i think (and hope) is that we will come to a level that reusing stuff is not a state of mind, but a basic thing among us. And if we reuse more, we will need less production, and as a consequence less need to recycle. On the other hand, we can go back a few years when things were built to last and not thrown away after "a day or two", products will eventually be of a better quality, than today. Anyway, in terms of reusing resources, honestly I think "the sky is the limit". I've had the opportunity to come across so many crazy and interesting stuff, that I can't select one.»

4. If people start drinking less wine will this affect My Little Gardens Business?

«People will not drink less wine!!! :-) At least in countries like Portugal where I come from, because wine isn't just an alcoholic beverage. It's culture! Wine over here is a reason to get together and spend some quality time with whoever you want. There are thousands of wine producers in such a small country like this one. Anyway, in the future My Little Garden will have products made out of other sort of materials, not only wine bottles.»

We look forward to seeing more product developments by Anthony Carter in due course.


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