There is not much more disheartening than to see the natural world littered with trash such as glass bottles. The upside to this is that there are many uses for such bottles that we are so easily able to find laying around, which is a bright side of sorts. The many uses of glass bottles in particular bodes well for us as these seem to be rather plentiful out in the world. Repurposing someone's discarded glass bottle could be just what it takes to make your life and survival easier.
Photo: Rocket Pop Media
One such example of a use for trash is to create an early warning system around your camp. Collect a bunch of glass bottles and string them together with paracord tied around their necks. Deploy this around your camp and should a person or animal try to approach under cover of darkness, the rattle of glass bottles will alert you to their presence.
Glass bottles can be used to boil water over a campfire. They key to doing this successfully involves avoiding quick changes from one extreme temperature for another. For example, don't take a glass bottle full of cold water and thrust it into the flames as breakage could occur. Instead, place a bottle of room temperature water into the ash at the base of the fire and leave it there until it has boiled for about ten minutes. You can then remove it, but allow it to cool gradually rather than abruptly exposing it to cold or else breakage could occur then as well.
Transporting water in a glass bottle is also possible, such as if there is a great distance between a water source and your camp or if you are going on a hike. You will want to sterilize that bottle and your drinking water, however, so boiling as mentioned above may need to be incorporated in your plan. In addition to transporting water, bottles can be used to carry dry goods. If you need a place for something such as beans, seeds, sugar, or salt, a glass bottle can do the job. Be sure it is clean and dry inside, then fashion a cap or plug and you're good to go.
Depending on what other items to which you have access, it may be possible to make glass bottles into drinking glasses. This will require string, lighter fluid, a lighter, water, and some sandpaper but the end result is a functional drinking glass. If you're interested in trying this, a tutorial is available here.
A knife is high on most every list of survival necessities, but if you do not have one, a shard of glass can have the same affect. The only drawback to using glass shards as a cutting tool is that you can easily cut yourself in the process, so use caution at all times when handling broken glass. It is also possible to use other hard objects to chip at glass to shape it or make it even sharper, but be sure to protect your hands in the process should your grip slip.
Photo: Img Arcade
Next time you stumble across the remnants of a drunken bonfire with beer bottles carelessly disregarded, take a moment to remember the dual purposes those items can serve. Ideally, trash would not be present in nature, but the fact of the matter is that you cannot make people care or do the right thing. At that point the best case scenario becomes being able to take advantage of the carelessness of others for your own self-preservation. After all, one man's trash is another man's treasure.
Photo: Tree Hugger