First off, big thanks to Jeff Yeager - the "Green Cheapskate" for the ideas on re-using the wine bladders. Super innovative. Check him out online.
Boxed wine is a great deal. It's much cheaper than bottled wine, it still tastes great, and you do good for the environment when you choose it over bottled wine.
See! Over 6 bottles of wine in this bag. The carbon footprint of boxed wine is much smaller than that of bottled wine. So you're really way more than 6.5 times as Eco-friendly when buying boxed wine.
I paid under $20 for this box o wine, or about $2.75 per "bottle". Sweet.
Tear open that cardboard and remove the wine bag. Remember to recycle the cardboard - we're saving the world one drink at a time!
It takes a bit of effort but you can just pull the valve portion of the bag assembly out of the grooved fitting.
Now wash out the small amount of wine remaining in the bag.
Wash the valve too.
If you're going to use this for something other than holding a liquid, go ahead and hang dry the bag to get rid of the remaining moisture.
Here's the first cool re-use: an inflatable travel pillow! Just replace the valve, depress the button that controlled wine flow before, and blow it up to your desired level of softness.
I know it's an odd way to use the bag but it works! A camping pillow is a great use for the bag. Or you can use it on a plane as Jeff Yeager suggests - If you want to be "the weird guy" on the flight!
The next cool trick is using the bag as a slow drip plant waterer.
I'm going to use a wire clothes hanger to suspend the bag full of water. First, clip the hanger near the hook with your needlenose pliers.
See, this will fit nicely around the valve and fitting, with a bit more bending and modification.
I also take a moment to fully extend the hanger and straighten the kinks.
Bend and wrap the hooked end around the valve and fitting and start getting the two pieces close to each other.
This is the toughest part, the first bend to lock the hanger in place on the fitting. Try and get it as tight as possible. Use the short end to wrap around the long end.
Finish wrapping it multiple times to lock it in place.
I made sure the hanger hung on the portion of the fitting on the bag instead of the valve itself. Just seemed a bit sturdier.
I added two holes at the bottom of the bag opposite the corner from the valve. After testing this, I'd start off with just 1 hole - it drips more than you'd think. You can always add more holes later
Fill up your bag with water by removing the valve again and then reinserting it after the bag is full.
This thing probably weighs about 15 pounds when full. Water is heavy! Make sure that if you use the hanger to suspend the bag that it is attached properly to a sturdy structure.
Here's an example of the drip rate with 2 holes.
A little closer up. It drips consistently and a bit more than I thought. I think 1 hole, as I mentioned before, would be fine for a slow drip unless it's really hot out and it evaporates too quickly.
Good luck with your own projects! Let me know if you have other good uses for the wine bags. I plan on drinking more wine to increase the potential for experimentation. Hah!