27 images of 'reincarnated' plastic bottles show why it's better to recycle.

Your plastic water bottles deserve more.

Do you know how much plastic waste the U.S. generates each year?

33 million tons, according to the EPA, from a 2013 analysis.

If that's not sobering enough, over 90% of these plastics meet their final resting place in landfills, meaning they'll never be recycled.


However, I'm not here to depress you with statistics.

I'd like to introduce you to the born-again plastic bottles that are recycled.

The ones that are hiding in plain sight, as opposed to the ones that are out-of-sight, out-of mind at your local garbage dump.

The ones that found a higher calling thanks to your decision to throw them away in the blue or green bins, as opposed to the black ones.

The recycled plastic bottles that are just begging you to rediscover them in their newfound glory.

NOTE TO READER (especially you lovely folks on your mobile devices): It might take a few seconds for these images to load. I promise it will be worth the wait!

1. Cozy Patagonia fleece

Check out all their recycled plastic products here.


2. Winter jackets, too!


3. Check it out: Luxury bedsheets designed by will.i.am


4. Plastic bottle denim jeans by a company called Dirtball? Sign me up.

A+ business name, guys.


5. You can also root for your favorite NFL team in these plastic bottle football jerseys.

6. Do yoga (or just be comfy) in these plastic bottle yoga pants.

Namaste, plastic bottles. Namaste.


7. You could also look fly in these New Balance NewSky sneakers.


8. Plastic bottle UNDERWEAR, y'all


9. Designer handbags, backpacks, and luggage by Matt & Nat

Even the inside liner is made from plastic bottles!

10. Red (or green?) carpet fashion

But like, what plastic bottle wouldn't want to end up with Colin Firth and his wife, Livia?


11. Plastic bottles can also strut their stuff on the runway.

Work it, plastic bottles. Work. It. Out.


12. Pet beds!

GOOD BOY.


13. And pet toys, too!


14. And you've probably walked on a plastic bottle rug.

And, hey! These are affordable.


15. Plastic bottles can also get a second chance with these "B2P" pens by Pilot.

Next time you're ready to restock, consider these bad boys.


16. Rainy day? Try a plastic bottle umbrella.


17. You probably want to buy this awesome bat backpack.

For kids or adults? I'll let you decide. They also come in pink bunnies, purple owls, penguins with ties, and more.


18. Or this pink dump truck.

*adds to Christmas list*


19. Be fancy with a fancy plastic bottle chandelier!


20. Stare in awe at some ridiculously creative plastic bottle artwork.


21. And don't forget to check out this artwork ... made with plastic bottle "paint."

WHAT? HOW??


22. You can even make an entire HOUSE from plastic bottles.


23. A bus stop?! Yeah, a bus stop.

24. These people are riding solar-powered recycled-plastic-bottle BOATS.


25. Even the roads of the future are paved in plastic bottles!


26. No big deal, just a man-made plastic bottle island here.


27. Or, you know, 1.5 million bottles could get you AN ENTIRE FREAKING BUILDING.

Learn more about the EcoARK in Taipei, Taiwan, here.


See? It's an absolute crime to send plastic water bottles to the dump when there's so much potential awaiting them elsewhere. Not to mention each ton of recycled plastic saves over 16 barrels of oil since it requires less energy to produce than new plastic.

And remember: Recycling is only one part of the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra. Reducing (or even eliminating) your consumption of plastics, in addition to coming up with your own fancy DIY uses for milk jugs and water bottles is even better for the environment, if you're willing to make the lifestyle change.

Recycle on, friends!

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's