4 Ways You Didn't Know You Could Use Old Tires

A great many scrap tires are created every year. Most of them are used for fuel and sundry other projects, but too many are still ending up in landfills. If you're wondering what you can do to help, look no further. Here are 4 unusual ways used tires are being recycled and repurposed.

Take that Tire and Turn it into a Home

No, not a home for mosquitoes or roaches, a home for a family. One revolutionary company is providing building plans for sustainable, green homes that are built primarily out of used tires. Earthship architecture relies on the use of recycled materials, green energy, and ingenious water recycling systems to make a home that is almost entirely self sufficient. None of it would be possible without the humble used tire. 

Yard Art Tires? Yes, Please!

One great way to reuse a ratty old tire is to turn it into something amazing for your yard. You can make a beautiful bird tire sculpture with nothing but an old tire, a scrap of wood, some string, and some paint.

  • Use a portable saw to cut the middle section of the tire away from the edges, but leave the bottom portion of your sculpture intact. The intact portion will be the bird's belly.
  • After separating the center part of the tire from the edges, cut it in the middle. The front part will be the bird's head, the back section its tail.
  • Split the tail portion into 5 or 6 strips, leaving them attached to the main body. These will be the tail feathers.
  • Cut a notch into the center of the head section. Cut a piece of scrap or plywood into the shape of a beak. Secure the beak into the notch with nails or glue.
  • Paint the tire into the pattern of any bird you desire.
  • Use string to hang the tire up by the intact edges, which will now look a little like wings.

Make a Planter

Old tires can make interesting centerpieces in your yard, or hanging planters on your fence or porch. If you feel intimidated by DIY projects, this is a great place to start, because nothing could be simpler!

For a Ground Planter:

  • Use nails to attach the tire onto a scrap piece of plywood cut into the approximate size and shape of the tire. 
  • Drill holes in the plywood to provide adequate drainage.
  • Paint the tire any color you desire, or leave it plain. 
  • Add soil and plants. You're all done!

For a Hanging Planter:

  • Decide which part is the top and which part is the bottom of the planter.
  • Drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
  • Spray paint the tire if you want a pop of color.
  • Use L-braces to hang the tire onto your fence, or strong string or twine to hang it from an awning or eve.
  • Fill with flowers or herbs. Admire your handiwork!

Tractor Tire Sandbox

Nearly every child has a special place in their heart for sand boxes. You can make one in your back yard for next to nothing.

  • Obtain a very large tire from a scrapyard. A lot of times you can get them for free.
  • Use plywood to fashion a bottom for the sandbox the same way you did for the planter. Alternatively, if you don't mind it being a permanent fixture in your yard, plop it right onto the ground.
  • Fill it up with sand. You can purchase sand at any home improvement store.
  • Use a tarp to cover the sandbox when it's not in use to keep the neighborhood kitties from using it as their litter.

Reusing old tires is easier than you might think, and infinitely better for the environment than dumping them in a landfill. What are you waiting for? Go get some old tires and start making something awesome!