Upcycling is the art of reusing unwanted items by converting them into something better. It’s fun, practically free, and it’s easier than you might think! By reimagining your current belongings you can help give products a second (and perhaps third/fourth) life.

We have done some research and have come across several reasons 2-liter beverage containers are more awesome than we first realized. So if you’re looking for a little creative motivation in the self-sufficiency department, or perhaps you are just looking to find a way to make the most of your ever-growing bottle collection, here are some clever ideas to get your brain working overtime on a weekend.

First: Clean The Bottles Out

You enjoy your bubbly, but the appreciation doesn’t have to end once the bottle is empty! These hardy containers are great for storing water, beans and rice. To clean them out, just fill each bottle halfway with water and a couple drops of unscented bleach. Swish them around, empty, and let them air-dry. Remove the wrapper to get more a of a streamlined look.

Store Water in Them…

To store water, just refill each bottle with clean tap water. Using an eyedropper from the pharmacy (you can usually get a couple for free; just ask), let four drops of bleach fall into each 2-liter container. Twist the cap on tight, then dry the bottle off with a towel. Once sufficiently dry, label the bottle with the current month/year, using a black permanent marker. You’re set! Store the bottles in a cool, dry area, like the basement or crawlspace, under the bed, or even in the back of the coat closet.

…For Your 72 Hour Kit

Having some extra water stored up is a good idea for many reasons. For one, if a natural disaster were to occur and prevent the pipes from functioning properly, or the water were to become contaminated, you would have some extra (purified) water on hand, at the ready. Most emergency professionals recommend storing at least 3 days worth of water per person in the household, at a gallon per day for cooking, drinking, and hygiene purposes.

…For Your Camping Trip

Secondly, with summer well on its way, you may find yourself trying to decide on a good camping for your family, your group of work buddies, or just you and your significant other. More and more often, people are discovering that certain campsites are restricting water usage or are unable to offer it at all. This means that you’ll have to haul in your own water supply.

Going to the store to purchase water is not only cumbersome but it can be costly. And where are you going to put all those small empty water bottles once they’ve been emptied, 2 hours away from civilization? If you have already stored water in 2 liter bottles, you are free to concentrate on more important things. Just throw a bunch of the bottled water in the back of the truck, and you’re good to go (for free!).

Or, Store Beans and/or Rice

Once you have sterilized the containers with bleach and water, the scent from the former occupant (root beer, ginger ale) should be gone. You are then free to store whatever dry goods you have on hand. This is a great option for those who stumbled across a great ‘bulk foods’ sale at the local market, seeing as you don’t need to store that many pounds of rice or beans in your immediate pantry.

Just use a funnel to carefully pour the dry goods in; if you want to go the extra mile, throw in an oxygen absorber to ensure lasting freshness. Label the bottle with the current month and year, and you will find yourself more than pleased with your provisions.