Empty glass bottles being readied for recycling.

These bottles could be on their way to becoming recycled glass tiles or beads, which are great for making mosaics.


The term "green" has come a long way. Once just a secondary color comprised of yellow and blue, it now describes a social movement and way of life. Being green doesn't mean you're envious, but rather that you're making your effort to conserve Earth's natural resources and energy. One of the many ways to lead a green lifestyle is to recycle used materials from around your home.

Glass is an abundant product in our everyday lives. Whether it's an old jam jar, a candy dish or even a window, it has uses even after it's not needed in your home. Instead of throwing it out, you may want consider recycling or reusing the glass. Not only will it provide you with a great art supply, but it will save space in the local landfill.

When glass is recycled, it's broken down into smaller pieces and mixed in with soda ash and sand. This mixture is melted in a furnace. After melting down, manufacturers can mold it into new bottles or containers and use it again [source: WWF]. This process not only saves natural resources, but uses less energy than creating new glass.

Often, glass isn't recycled because the consumer's role isn't as easy as it is when dealing with plastic or cardboard. While glass bottles are often collected roadside or at your local recycling center in the same manner as paper and plastic, large products like windows or oven ware, or glass products with added components such as light bulbs, aren't as easily managed. Because they're hard on manufacturers' furnaces, they can't be collected and mixed in with simple glass bottles [source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection]. But that doesn't mean you can't find ways to re-use these products. Household crafts provide you with a new outlet for these old materials.

Check out the next two pages for information on recycled glass mosaics and window painting projects that you can do in your home or business.