Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fourth-graders use 2,150 water bottles to build greenhouse for Earth Day

Sarah Tinsley, left, and Eleni Lambrianos, both 10, built this greenhouse out of recycled water bottles, PVC pipes and construction netting, much of it collected in Tarpon Springs, where they live. It was a class project for Earth Week.

Terri Bryce Reeves | Special to the Times

Sarah Tinsley, left, and Eleni Lambrianos, both 10, built this greenhouse out of recycled water bottles, PVC pipes and construction netting, much of it collected in Tarpon Springs, where they live. It was a class project for Earth Week.

TARPON SPRINGS — Leave it to a pair of 10-year-olds to build a better mousetrap — make that a greener greenhouse.

When their teacher, Melissa Hill, asked all of her gifted students at Sunset Hills Elementary School to create a project to display for Earth Week, Sarah Tinsley and Eleni Lambrianos, both 10, were inspired by the story of Reishee Sowa, a man who built an island from 250,000 plastic bottles.

Lounging on their own tropical isle sounded intriguing to the fourth-graders, but a bit impractical at this point in their lives, so they decided to scale it down a bit.

About 150 hours later, the pint-sized hothouse emerged: a 41/2-foot wide, 5-foot deep, 61/2-foot tall structure created from 2,150 water bottles, held up with PVC pipes and orange construction netting.

Clothes hangers were fashioned into plant hangers and leftover bottles containing soil and water now serve as terrariums for future plants.

"We collected most of the materials from the community," said Sarah, a resident of Tarpon Springs. "We couldn't possibly drink that much water ourselves."

Nothing went to waste.

Even the bottle labels and bottle caps were donated to individuals collecting them for charitable causes.

Their greenhouse is functional and saves money on water and power bills they say.

"A regular greenhouse needs fans to keep it cool and this naturally has holes for air flow so it stays cooler," said Eleni, a long-time friend of Sarah's who also lives in Tarpon Springs. "It also lets some rain in but protects the plants from heavy rains. And it filters sunlight."

They've grown strawberries in the greenhouse, but on Wednesday, only green leaves remained in the hanging pot.

"We ate them already," Sarah said.

Since the structure was built with 100 percent recycled materials, the only expense was that of gas used to collect bottles from participating businesses, churches and families.

"It's the cheapest school project she's ever had," said Charlotte Tinsley, Sarah's mom.

The girls are thinking of donating their science project to MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry, in Tampa.

"Or we may put it up for auction and donate the proceeds to a charity," Eleni said. "If they don't use it for a greenhouse, they might want it for a dog house."

All we can say is Run, Fido, Run!

Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com.

Two 10-year-olds, 2,150 water bottles, 150 hours ...

Fourth-graders use 2,150 water bottles to build greenhouse for Earth Day 04/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2010 12:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: First day of fall brings more showers, humidity to Tampa Bay

    Weather

    More moisture will filter into the Tampa Bay area on Friday, the official start of fall, allowing for higher rain chances through the day and beginning half of the weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Polk childcare workers who berated autistic child turn themselves in (w/video)

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Two childcare workers are facing child abuse charges after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old autistic child.

    Police are searching for two childcare workers - Kaderrica Smith, 26, and Alexis Henderson, 20 - after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old Autistic child in Winter Haven. [Winter Haven Police Department]
  3. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  4. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on …

    A Fort Myers woman who'd recently undergone a double-organ transplant painted a sign that said, "HOT SINGLE FEMALE SEEKS SEXY LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY HER LIFE" and sure enough, she got her power turned back on. [Photo from video]
  5. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.