Upcycling is taking waste material or useless stuff and turning it into something useful or better. While some seem to think this is a relatively new concept, back in 1963 the idea was envisioned by beer brewer Alfred Heineken and designed by Dutch architect John Habraken with the Heineken WOBO (world bottle).  Not only were they bottles of beer, they were also building blocks for the drinker to create walls or whatever they’d like and prevent the bottles from just becoming landfill.  Pretty cool idea but sadly it never caught on.  Would you live in a house of bottles like this guy?

Just think of how much you already drink.  Now you could take all those bottles that you hate having to haul out to the recycling bin every week and turn them into a sweet place to drink even more beer.  Start by building a simple room.  Then add a bathroom to dispose of all that lovely brew.  Add a guest room for when your drinking buddies stay over then maybe a patio to enjoy the outdoors.  Just think of all the things you could make with these bad boys.  See who between you and your friends can build the biggest structure in a weekend at the lake.  Now if only someone other than a mass-market brewer like Heineken would pickup on this idea and start offering them we can start building our own villages.

The idea may not have caught on back in the ’60s but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea for cutting down on waste product in our landfills.  If you want to read more about these upcycled beer bottles, a very nice write-up about the Heineken WOBO can be found here with some additional information on Wikipedia here.