The Temple of a Million Bottles
It’s one thing to incorporate used materials into your living space, it’s another to completely make it out of them. The Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple in Thailand is an amazing example of just how you really can turn waste into wonder.
Located about 400 miles northeast of Bangkok, in the Si Saket province, the temple is made out of recycled bottles. The monks of the temple used green and brown bottles, helping to clean up their community, and create a stunning structure. Everything on the temple site, from the crematorium to the toilets, incorporates the bottles, making a space that’s both functional and beautiful.
The temple first started reusing bottles in 1984 as a way of decorating monks’ shelters. Gradually, as more and more bottles were donated, they expanded their endeavors to other buildings such as a pagoda, ceremony hall and toilets. Today, about 1.5 million bottles – green from Heineken, and brown from local beer Chang – have been used in the temple, giving the nickname “Temple of a Million Bottles”.
The recycling doesn’t stop at bottles. Bottle caps have been used to decorate murals, and to create mosaics of Buddha, adding a recycled touch to even the most well-known of deities.
The great thing about recycled bottles as decoration is that the colors don’t fade, giving a timeless color show when the sun shines through. A perfect stop on your next eco trip to Southeast Asia.