Simplest Upcycling Project in the Garden

Simplest Upcycling Project in the Garden

Tires are among the largest and most problematic sources of waste that we have on this planet. This is due to the large volume produced, their limited durability and a number of components that are ecologically problematic. It is estimated that 259 million tyres are discarded annually.

 There are some processes that recycle tyres for shoes and sports pitches, however, tyre recycling is sometimes linked with illegal activities and seriously lack environmental awareness. So what can we do in our own small way to tackle this problem from a local perspective?

Upcycling is the process of converting waste or useless products into new products, that look better and have better environmental value. When upcycling people can let their hair down and have some creative fun, because with upcycling there are no rules! Upcycling differs from recycling in that recycling involves breaking something down, and reprocessing a new product. Upcycling just works with what you've got infront of you. 

In our case, the newly conctructed Residents Community Garden at Nazareth house was in need of some planters for our new fruit bushes. Its very exciting to get our fruit garden going and we are eager to protect these little plants for the first few years until they get more established. The use of old rubber tyres is the perfect way to do this. They are very hard wearing, and a person can run right up against them with either a strimmer or a lawnmower causing no damage to either tyre or plant. Like all community gardens, budget has its restrictions, so for us the choice of FREE tyres was a no-brainer. Just ask any of your local tyre service businesses or your county council and usually obtaining free tyres is not a problem.

We simply had to make them look less like old industrial tyres, and more at home in the garden space. A friend who is a professional graffiti artist, just happened to have plenty of half-empty tins of spray paint lying around, and was happy for them to go to a new home. We have always found that asking friends or neighbours is often a great way of building up your community garden without spending much money. Remember there is more happiness in giving than in receiving, and more often than not people will be happy to help. 

So once you've got your old tyres and your spraypaint, simply wait for a dry day, get everyone involved and have some fun! We have planted up our tyres with Blackcurrants, Red Currants, White Currants, Rhubarb, Potatoes and Pumpkins. Check out other pictures and progress from the Residents garden here.

Children just adore the excitment of playing with paint and decorating. At one of our home educating garden groups this week the children had tons of fun upcycling tyres as potato planters. So long as under correct supervision, this project could be easily done at home with parents and their children in the garden together. And who knows, educating the young minds of the next generation of humans, could lead to answers or alternatives for this global problem.  

Click here if you would like to see more pictures from our home educated Garden Groups. If you would like to grow food at home with your children and have the subtle guidance of a horticulturalist, just get in touch by clicking here.

Permission was granted for all pictures used on this website.

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