It started it out as a hobby, but recycling glass has become a part-time business for Shawn Vail and Deana Vail of Myrtle Beach.
"I started learning about glass and playing with it and next thing you know I learned a little bit and a little bit more and started making these glasses," says Shawn Vail, co-owner of Groovy Green Glass.
Each crafted object is made from glass bottles from restaurants and bars up and down the Grand Strand, glass many businesses simply throw in the garbage. For instance, they'll make a set of drinking glasses out of discarded Gray Goose vodka bottles. The Vails started with drinking glasses, but now make everything from spoon rests to vases to jewelry.
"Friends would come over and see the glasses that he made and had to have them, so we started making glasses for friends and it just kind of progressed from there," says Deana Vail, Shawn Vail's wife and co-owner of Groovy Green Glass.
Shawn Vail cuts and smoothes everything down in their garage at home. The Vails take what's not used to make the glass creations to the recycling center.
"Since now I'm going to the recycling center to get rid of the excess glass, by doing this, it's pretty much turned us into recycling everything," says Shawn Vail.
"We have gone from filling our weekly trash can up every week to having maybe a bag," says Deana Vail
The Vails have been making glasses since August. They take photos of each creation for sale on the Groovy Green Glass Facebook Fan Page where Facebook users can check them out. Many of the pieces are sold as one-of-a-kind green gifts to friends and family. Each glass has a unique size, shape, and color.
"You pick each one up and look at and say this will be a neat vase or this feels nice - it's got a good size and we can turn this into a glass, just playing with it and looking at it and seeing what it says to you," says Shawn Vail.
A single glass can take about an hour to smooth down and shape, but it's a labor of love for the Vails.
"When you start appreciating the product and you start loving what you do it's not really a job. It's just a lot of fun and we're just glad to help the environment. We're teaching our son about recycling by doing this," says Deana Vail.
For more information about Groovy Green Glass check out the company's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GroovyGreenGlass.