The Wat Pa Maha Chedio Kaew temple has found a way to bottle-up Nirvana, literally. The temple, which sits in Thailand’s Sisaket province, roughly 370 miles northeast of Bangkok is made of more than a million recycled glass bottles. True to its nickname, “Wat Lan Kuad” or “Temple of Million Bottles” features glass bottles throughout the premises of the temple, including the crematorium, surrounding shelters, and yes – even the toilets. There’s an estimated 1.5 million recycled bottles built into the temple, and as you might have guessed, they are committed to recycling more. After all, the more bottles they get, the more buildings they are able to construct.
The bottle-collection-turned-building started in 1984, when the monks used them to decorate their shelters. The shiny building material attracted more people to donate more bottles, until eventually they had enough to build the temple standing today. Bottle caps are also integrated as decorative mosaic murals. Going beyond use of glass as a sustainable building material, the bottle bricks don’t fade, let natural light into the space and are surprisingly easy to maintain. So if you’re looking to find Nirvana in a bottle, you might want to consider making a stop at the Wat Pa Maha Kaew Temple.