By Scott Meeks 

School is back in session! And I've got a green science project idea that's sure to put your kid at the head of the class. It's a rainforest terrarium made from an old soda bottle. Totally easy, totally crunchy and perfect for the classroom or for a kid's bedroom!

Supply List

2 liter soda bottle (washed and dry)
Activated Carbon (from the pet store)
Pistachio shells (or Spanish moss)
Potting soil
Fresh moss
2 small tropical plants (like a fern and a palm)
1 small toy animal


- Four inches from the bottom of your 2 liter bottle, cut the bottle into two parts. The bottom part will be the planter and the top part will be the cover of the terrarium.

- Add an inch of pebbles to the bottom of the planter. 

- Add a single layer of activated carbon. 

- Add a layer of pistachio shells or Spanish moss. 

- Add potting soil -- enough so that it comes to about a ½ inch below the top part of your planter.

- Plant the tiniest tropical plants you can find. Mini palms and ferns are perfect. 

- Add fresh moss to the top of the soil.

- Add a toy animal that would enjoy living in your rainforest. 

- Lightly water your terrarium. 

- Cut a short slit down the back of the planter, about a ½ an inch. 

- Push the planter together where you cut the slit and place the cover on top. 

- Put your terrarium in a spot where it'll get plenty of indirect sunlight.

Scott Meeks is a passionate environmental journalist, lifestylist and author. You can learn more about him and his eco-ways at