BOTTLE TEMPLE: ONE MAN’S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN’S HOUSE
Anyone who appreciates a good beer now and then knows that it can taste like heaven, but the Buddhist monks of Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew raised the beverage’s status even closer to godliness when they built Wat Lan Kuad.
In 1984 they started collecting beer bottles to use primarily for decoration, but in an effort to eliminate pollution in the surrounding region, encouraged the locals to donate their beer bottles for recycling.
With the construction of Wat Lan Kuad, meaning “Temple of a Million Bottles,” the monks were able to clean up their environment and create a beautiful and functional structure. Wat Lan Kuad is made from 1.5 million Heineken (green) and Chang (brown) beer bottles and has become an eco-friendly tourist destination.
The temple complex, located about 400 miles north of Bangkok, now includes more than 20 buidings, and the monks have even constructed toilets and a crematorium. Bottle caps provide a well-used source for interior murals and decoration. The bottles provide good lighting, effective insulation, and are easy to clean.