Cost of Soda and How to Handle the Inevitable Waste

Yesterday a neighbor asked if she could come over while work was being done on her house. Of course!  I knew she drank a lot of soda but was shocked when she walked in with a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi and drank straight from the bottle. I learned she drinks a full 2 liter bottle of Pepsi daily.


Soda damages our  health in more ways than was first believed, you may want to read this article if you drink soda. Here are just a few:

  • Makes us susceptible to Diabetes
  • Increase in dental cavities
  • Increases weight gain
  • Contains high fructose corn syrup most-likely from GMO corn. We have no idea what effect GMO foods can have on the body yet
  • Dehydrates the body.
  • Increased risk of developing diseases such as  heart disease and gout.
  • And all carbonated drinks increase our risk of osteoporosis.

That’s just what it does to our body. Then there’s also the impact on the environment from the plastic bottle which uses a lot of water and petroleum to make, to the shipping of all that weight across the country and the inevitable landfill waste of tossing the empty bottles away.

Wait you say, those bottles are recyclable. Yes, they are if there are buyers who want them and only if you remove the caps. Bottles sent to the recycling center with the caps still on them will be diverted to the landfill.  Plus some municipalities don’t have recycling, my town doesn’t so 30 bottles a month end up going straight from my friend’s home to the landfill a month.

Speaking of Pepsi, the company just announced that they will be changing the sweeteners used in their diet soda.  They say it’s because people are concerned about the effects aspartame can have on their health, I say it’s because they are losing money as people move away from diet sodas.  If Pepsi was concerned for their customer’s health they wouldn’t be replacing aspartame with a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

Sucralose, also known as Splenda is is made by replacing two of the molecules from table sugar with chlorine. Splenda has negative side effects which can include headaches and itchy eyes to depression.

Acesulfame Potassium is more worrying to me.  Short term side effects may include vision, auditory and motor functioning long term side effects may affect functioning of the overall central nervous system. Learn more here.

When you know the facts it’s hard to watch someone you care for drink sodas on a regular basis. While you can’t change another person’s behavior you can do something about the environmental impact of tossing out all these bottles.

If you know people who drink soda from 2 liter plastic bottles you may want to consider collecting a few and reusing them. By offering to take your friend’s empty soda bottles you can keep them out of the landfill and prevent more plastic from ending up in our waterways.

Here are just a few of the many ideas for re-purposing plastic soda bottles available on Pinterest.

A simple irrigation method I plan to add to help my trees, especially the thirsty almond tree. You can use this for any and all of your garden plants. By feeding the roots directly, and not the entire garden space, you save water.


soda bottle irrigation



You can also use them as self-watering planters like this.


soda bottle planters


Or dress them up to make hanging planters.


soda bottle hanging planter


Don’t have a garden? Why not make a few bird feeders for your yard or as gifts to give bird lovers.


soda bottle bird feeder


And finally, soda bottles can make great food storage containers for things such as rice and legumes.


soda bottle food storage


Do you have suggestions for reusing soda bottles.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on drinking soda.



  1. Well, first of all… a 2 liter bottle every day!?! My head hurts! I think I can count on one hand the number of sodas I’ve had in the past 10 years. And don’t EVEN get me started on diet soda… why? I just can’t imagine consuming that stuff voluntarily, it tastes foul! The only sweet beverages I drink are some sports drinks on long bike rides because I really need the calories to make it through 4-5 hours on the bike.

    Anyhow, I love all of your ideas for using the bottles… especially the underground root feeder thing. I wonder where I can find some bottles to give it a try.

    The other thing I have used plastic bottles for in the garden is to make a ghetto version of a wall-o-water. You basically fill them up with water and then set them around the baby plants like this to protect them from the wind and from wild temperature swings. Here’s an example I found on the web… real wall-o-water on top, ghetto version on the bottom:

    Then, of course, there’s the mini greenhouse like this:

    And I’ve even seen real greenhouses built from them.

    I think the one in the picture is made from empty bottles, but my fantasy is to figure out how to build one from bottles filled with water because the thermal mass would help to even out the temperature swings. Of course, I couldn’t figure out a safe way to do it… I could just see the headlines: “Woman crushed when make-shift greenhouse collapses.” Anyhow…


    • I could get you all the soda bottles you need from my neighbor. 🙂 I always wondered why they have 3 or more cans of trash set out each week, even without recycling that seemed like a lot of trash for three people.

      I love the ideas you found. I’ve seen the greenhouse but have to say I never thought about a wall crushing a person building it before. 🙂 I would think if you could create a frame of wood with rebar then set the bottles inside the frame you would save yourself serious injuries. I’ll have to give that one more thought.

      Maybe this base would help to stabilize your bottle walls

      bottle wall

      This would be a big project but I know you could do it. 🙂


  2. I’m amazed that bottles aren’t recycled, or not with lids!! 😮 We recycle an extremely high percentage of PET bottles, as well as (now) things like shampoo bottles and other plastic bottles. Obviously, it makes sense to use them if you can (or not buy them in the first place!). We are lucky that we have excellent drinking water (tap water), as our daughter reminds us every time she visits from England..


    • The plastic lid is a different type of plastic from the bottles and therefore the buyers of the bottles don’t want to deal with the lids. There are businesses we can send things like our lids or yogurt containers that upcycle them into some interesting things, but not everyone knows about them and then you have to figure in the cost of shipping as not all these private businesses will cover the shipping costs. It dismays me that we don’t recycle more but I think it goes hand in hand with the fact that we don’t manufacture much here. I’m not a huge recycling fan. Yes, it’s better than sending these items to the landfill but it comes at a cost because the buyers for our recyclables are overseas so once enough has been collected they are put on barges and shipped to China, Indonesia and so on. My first solution is to try to avoid purchasing containers that can’t be reused and reuse what does come into my house. Then I send things off to be recycled. I have more recycling than trash, not sure that’s a good thing and reducing both further is always an ongoing process.

      I can’t stand tap water here. The chemicals in our water leave a taste that I find offensive so I have to filter mine to drink it. They say it’s safe but fluoride, chlorine and then all the prescription medications that can’t be filtered out make me wonder.


  3. sigh..(embarrassed head hang) we do drink soda at times. not regular…but..

    all you say is true about bad effects.
    I see you missed one (or maybe one million) that I have seen many many articles about in the news / articles past couple years.

    apparently it (soda) also less bone strength/thins it. In this case it is not the soda doing the damage, but the carbonation. Cant recall the explanation..

    Ours are all recycled, so good there. Suppose the recycling part depends on location.

    I seriously love all your well chosen suggestions for re use, and may try some myself.

    Right now, we re use some to keep bird seed in for our wild friends. Also have some in a larger recycled jug which used to hold Epsom salts, but the two litre bottles are easier for me to manage.

    Another couple of re uses I have done for the two liter soda bottles.

    When my son was little, to amuse him outside for a bit, I would set some jello in the bottle and give it to him to shake out bit at a time. (he and his friend honestly giggled and seemed to find it fun)

    When we had a dog, (big dog..2 l, small dog smaller bottle), I would put dog treats in the bottle (outside) and the dog would pick it up in his mouth and shake it to get treats. (again, he seemed to find it fun).

    recently I had put treats in the bottles (sunflower seeds/bird seed) and put it out side for the squirrels and birds and magpies to see wht they thought of it.

    == all found the bottles/seed inside. They would fuss with it for a bit, trying to “touch” the seed and then leave it.
    I was surprised, as I thought they (magpies and crows and squirrels) would chew/peck right through it, but they did not.

    those bottles have been out there a couple months now, and do get dragged from place to place. I’ll have to go out soon, to see if any critter has breached it.


    • I’m not perfect either. I do drink an occasional soda when I’m out. The few times I go to a restaurant I have three options, tap water, hot tea, and soda or other sugary drink. Since I can’t stand tap water without filtering it first, can’t drink black tea, which is all most places have, due to a kidney problem that leaves me with the sugary drinks. I’d be just as happy to have no beverage with a meal but I have difficulties swallowing so need to keep a beverage close by. I can’t stomach the sodas with caramel coloring so this is only an option if they have something like 7Up or Sprite. I wish I knew when I was going out a head of time I’d toss a tea bag in my bag.

      How much fun you must have watching your birds and squirrels work for the seed from the bottles. Genius 🙂 And the jello, I can see why you son would enjoy that. You must have been the fun mom in the neighborhood. 🙂


      • grin…glad to know you have the odd soda, too…

        re the bottles..
        also glad you thought it sounded fun (for kids and critters)

        I can still recall when friends would be over on a hot summer day, and would give the kids a bottle of this outside, most thought it was seriously weird..

        ah well


      • I’m sure this isn’t an option at many restaurants, but I’ve had good luck asking for “mineral water.” Often they’ll have Perrier or something – and while it still has the carbonation, at least it’s not full of sugar. The other crazy lady thing I’ve done is to just bring my own bottle of water. CatMan always asks for milk… which I can’t drink. Perhaps we’re extreme, but I just think it’s crazy that one should be forced to drink toxic crap at a restaurant!


        • I didn’t know you were allowed to bring your own beverages to a restaurant. I usually have my water bottle with me so I’ll give this a try. Nope I can’t drink milk either. I hated the taste of it from childhood and refused it no matter how hard it was forced on me. My problem with eating out is that I don’t know ahead of time. My meals out are spontaneous and happen when I go places with my son. My son seems to think eating out is a treat and since I don’t go out to eat he takes it upon himself to surprise me by stopping at a restaurant. Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy it and can’t seem to get it through his head that I’d rather not go out. I should just plan for eating out by bringing my own beverage and it we don’t I’ll have lost nothing.


    • The bottles are more useful. 🙂 I wish I could say I never touch the stuff but I do occasionally when I’m out, not often mind you but now and again. The diet stuff never because my body can’t tolerate the artificial sweeteners.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t even drink a sparkling wine.:( You know my body’s reaction to carbonation. Leg cramps like no one’s business. Someone told me this week that mustard helps with leg cramps. Have to give that a try sometime. I just have water when I go out. ;( Hope you are doing ok. I’ll catch up in a day or two. Maybe. 🙂


        • insearchofitall ,
          I have read many many times that mustard helps
          leg cramps
          muscle strength
          try googling mustard muscles/ mustard cramps etc

          I recall reading someone said they got frequent leg cramps at night, so they kept those little packs from the restaurant take out on their night table, and used that, or used it when travelling for convenience.

          be interested to hear if/how it works if you try it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I never, ever ate mustard on anything until 3 years ago. Didn’t even want it in the house. Now, as long as it’s not the bland French’s brand, I load it on everything. Taking magnesium helps too but you need it before the cramps start. I don’t touch soda or carbonated beverages of any kind as it leaches calcium from the bones and causes the cramping. So does different shoes or too much coffee. I’ll let you know if I try the mustard.


          • insearchofitall
            thanks will be interested to know.

            let me know too, if you notice any difference in your muscles..
            do they work better/easier
            do you feel any stronger


        • The only thing I know about mustard curing symptoms is of taking a spoonful to relieve heartburn in pregnant women. For some reason that works better than other remedies. I’ll have to suggest my son give it a try because he gets horrible leg cramps.

          Liked by 1 person

          • One of our quilters used it this week. I can’t vouch for it as I have not personally tried it but may at the next necessary opportunity. They were talking about it for heartburn too.


          • That is good news. I love hearing how people are willing to try foods and natural remedies over medications especially for simple things such as heartburn. I hope this helps you with your cramps.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a lot of soda, but it seems pretty easy for people to get addicted to their caffeine drinks. Luckily, I don’t have that problem. However, I do have the problem drinking enough. Luckily, I like water. I like insearchof’s comment that the bottles are more useful than the soda.


    • I too have a problem to remember to drink enough and based on how quickly a glass of water quenches my thirst seeing one down 2 liters a day seems like an awful lot of liquid to drink. Then I remember that soda dehydrates the body and it makes more sense why they drink more than they would if they drank plain water. I also know food manufacturers uses additives that make us crave their foods and assume along with the sugar and caffeine there’s probably a few other addictive ingredients in the sodas.

      Yes, Marlene is one wise person. 🙂


  5. Chondroitin Stacks Up Against Celecoxib for Relieving Knee Pain

    Soap For Leg Cramps
    (I have read this idea a number of times, putting a bar of soap under the sheet. No idea why it would work, but likely couldn’t hurt to try….)

    Coconut Cookies and Peppermint Oil Ease Irritable Bowel
    (have been running across this a lot lately. – The idea that coconut, coconut cookies, coconut bars, will stop things as quick as Imodium. Again, no idea if it is so, but cant hurt much to try)

    Aloe Vera Gel Lowered Fasting Blood Sugar

    Milk of Magnesia on the Soles of the Feet Can Stop Leg Cramps

    Do Raisins Really Control Nighttime Urination – Nocturia

    Yellow Mustard for Frightening Glue-Gun Burn

    Could Cayenne Lower Your High Blood Pressure

    sorry if this shows up twice,
    I did it once and the site blinked and I don’t see it.


  6. My dad worked for Canada Dry Ginger Ale his whole life. He was a bottling floor manager. We NEVER drank soda at home. And I never drink it now. Just never developed the taste for it. But one of my favorite stories was one Easter when you would normal color and decorate eggs at home, my dad brought home some soda dyes from work – thinking to save money. After all, he thought they were “safe” because they are in the soda you drink. We colored the eggs. What a mistake. The soda dye colored the entire egg – including the yoke! Mom threw all those eggs away.


    • What a story. Your mother was probably very smart to throw out those eggs. I’m sure the dyes are diluted for the soda (or at least I hope they are) no telling if the eggs were dyed in a higher than safe amount of the dye. Your dad tried though. 🙂

      Can I ask why your family never drink soda? Was it because of what your father saw working in the plant?


  7. I know you recently wrote in one of your posts about the expense of some folks grocery shopping and eating “out”.

    I meant to put this there, but couldn’t recall where it was..

    however, I thought you would get a kick (or disgust) out of something which has been in our news lately
    many many times in the news..sheesh

    it has been reported that apparently Millennials (what age is that?)
    do not eat Boxed Cereal much anymore, and the cereal companies are losing money on boxed cereal.

    well at first I thought, oh good, they are eating healthier

    oh no

    the report goes on to say, the reason they are not eating Boxed Cereal much
    (can you believe someone researched this? what a waste of money)
    is because
    (are you ready for this stupidity?)
    apparently Millennials believe that eating Boxed Cereal is
    Too Much Work
    they have to open the box/they have to put it in a bowl, put in milk,
    and by golly
    they have to wash a bowl and spoon after
    Apparently they “prefer” to eat something which is less work
    (hey how about an apple or banana?? NO, apparently not)
    they prefer a fast food drive through for breakfast…



    • You know this doesn’t surprise me one bit, sadly. Look at the disposable plates that are sold in bulk. I know families who refuse to use anything but paper plates because they won’t wash dishes. My son,when he was in elementary school, thought egg mcmuffins were good there was no way I was going to pay for these on a regular basis nor did I want him to have that many calories and sodium in one meal so I made them at home. We bought bought the ingredients and then he helped to prepare the “McMuffins” for everyone. He announced ours tasted better. We can take ideas from restaurants and make the food tastier, healthier and cheaper at home. What are people going to do when the day comes that those businesses don’t exist or the average person can’t afford to grab breakfast out every day? Will they learn to cook at home?


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