Welcome to Sustainable Baby Steps

Give me 7 days and I'll have you so crunchy you'll have to change your name to Moonbeam. (Plus, you'll get inbox love from me. And everybody wants my inbox love.)

Get the Free Guide

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Did you know that despite the small effort it takes to recycle tires, a whopping 240 million of them get thrown away in the United States alone? Less than 7% of them are recycled, with 11% becoming fuel and about 5% of them being exported out of the country. The rest are stockpiled, thrown away illegally into the environment, or sent to the landfills. And 190 million tires waste away in the sun or somewhere else around the US each year. They are a huge problem that will only grow worse in time.

They can however be used as building materials and more, as we'll show you below, or even as the building blocks for better roads with Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC). RAC is essentially shredded tires mixed together with asphalt for a more sturdy road that needs less maintenance.

The ecological effects of tires can span a long time due to their slow decomposition, but they can be used in a great number of ways thanks to that same longevity. Below are some tips and ideas to help you get more us of them before you considering ending them through a recycling process.

Tips for Reusing Old Tires

One of the first things is to know when you recycle tires is that mosquitoes love using tires to breed. If you just leave tires laying around, they will catch rainwater and they will in term serve as the shallow pools mosquitoes need to inhabit to survive. You must make sure you store them inside until you can figure out what you want to do with them.

You should also keep in mind that growing food in tires can be dangerous. One of the chemicals used in rubber is cadmium, which helps fix the color of rubber used in them. Cadmium is a poisonous metal and vegetables such as potatoes, cabbages, lettuce, carrots, turnips, peanuts, cocoa and tobacco can all absorb it in different quantities. Please keep that in mind if you plan on using tires as planters and stick to using them for non-edible plants.

It's also recommended that you use older tires, as it will be much better for your overall health. Old tires would have had a lot more time to oxidize and release most of their harmful chemicals. New tires have a very distinctive smell and old tires usually have almost none. The reasons for that is simple, but older tires see a lot of exposure to oxygen and the atmosphere, thus blocking most of the gases released by a new tire as time goes by. Therefore the best time to use tires for DIY purposes is to do so when they have "aged" so to speak. This allows a much better utilization of tires as a material with safety in mind.

Unique Ways to Recycle Tires

You can make a great number of items recycled from tires, but they are most popularly used as furniture or planters. For instance, you can get a small wooden table with the size of a tire for example, then hang some chains on a good and strong branch or a ceiling. Bolt them together with the tire and table. Cut some holes in the wood for cup holders and then paint and seal the wood. Now you can simply use it anytime you want to enjoy some time outside. This is just a single example of many other things you can do with tires, from using them on your walls, to planters, to insulation or a good, old-fashioned garden swing.

Below are some popular ideas from around the web...

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

If you're feeling crafty you can recycle tires into a doormat! - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

There are plenty of ideas on how to turn an old tire into a small table - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Another version of the recycled tire turned into a table - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

An upcycled ice bucket is perfect for sporting events! - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

As long as it's no longer off-gassing, you could make a cute little dog bed recycled from tires - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

This one would be a fun challenge to make, or can be bought right here: Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

I love this clever use of tires for an outdoor bike rack - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Recycle tires into an alligator for unique outdoor yard decor - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Or this jungle gym recycled from old tires - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Or this fun play structure, which would be a little easier to make - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Pretty cool way to protect walls or other barriers - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Or recycle tires into non-skid steps - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

With some paint you could turn it into a neat plant hanger - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Unique idea for a Christmas tree - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Probably a favorite of mine; make rubber stamps from bicycle tires - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Maybe some old bungees to create this interesting chair - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

If you don't like the exposed tires, you could wrap it in fabric - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Or wrap the tire in a jute or hemp cord - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

And of course, you have the see-saw - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

An outdoor path or stairway (or even just retaining wall) can be a great way to recycle tires - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

This would be a great alternative for a Man Cave, child's room, or even garage - Source

20+ Unique Ways and Tips to Recycle Tires, Step-by-Step, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Great way to keep the garden hose - Source

There are SO MANY more ideas. Find more ways to recycle tires at these links below:

Heather Roberts is a freelance guest blogger from London, UK. She has got many published articles on various topics such as cleaning, organizing, home and garden etc. She loves to spend her time with family and friends and she also tries to live an eco-friendly life. Currently she writes on behalf of Cleaning Services Chelsea.




7 Day Treehugger Kickstart