Sustainable Gardening With Upcycled Plant Containers: Reducing Waste and Adding Personality | the ReFab Diaries

Waste is a serious global problem, and environmentalists are persuading people to recycle anything to reduce dumping on the environment. Household waste today is too much for the environment to handle and now threatens livelihoods. Upcycling allows for the reuse of many items in the garden instead of throwing them away.

Sustainable garden upcycling is all about creating usable items from things that would otherwise be thrown out. This includes using everyday items as plant pots. This way, you save the environment and money. With the DIY tips in this post, you’ll have new ways to re-pot large house plants or organise your succulents. 

Sustainable Gardening with Upcycled Ideas

Instead of throwing away old items, a little imagination will allow you to reuse and recycle them. Upcycling is satisfying and can bring personality to the garden in unexpected ways.

Upcycling reduces waste and conserves the environment. It also results in some fun gardening ideas. This activity is a lovely way to stay busy and bond with your kids, teaching them new ways to help the environment. Here are some excellent upcycling ideas.

Plant Pots

Many plant pots end up in landfills after plants are repotted into larger pots, but this doesn't have to be the case. Reusing them in the home garden can save money and time. Fill these items with soil, plant seeds or a flower bud, and place it in your garden to sprout. Remember to water the plants as needed and watch them sprout and grow into healthy plants. 

With a bit of creativity, anything can become a plant pot: reuse butter, yoghurt, and catering containers to plant smaller plants or seeds. 


Some deliveries arrive on pallets, which you may want to throw away. But you can reuse the pallet for upcycling in your garden. Pallets are extremely useful. Make a few changes, like painting, then plant some herbs or use it as a home compost bin. You can also mount a pallet and fill it with herbs or hardy succulents, making a green wall.  

Pallets can help organise a garden and keep it healthy. The rows on a pallet can prevent weeds from growing amongst the flowers or plants. If creativity is knocking, you can even reuse pallets as a bench, storage box, or an outdoor table. 


Household jars can pile up, but before dumping them, think of how they would fit in your garden. Rinse off the jars with hot water to clean off any remnants of their original content and sterilise them. Remove any labels, paint them as you wish, and place them outside. Put a tea light inside or, even better, add soil and seeds or freshly cut flowers.

Old Footballs

The old football you're about to get rid of can still be useful as a plant container. Cut the ball with a sharp knife, put in soil and organic matter, and plant succulents or cacti. If you have several balls, paint them as you wish and place them in the garden. 


If you're wondering how to dispose of your old car tires, consider their potential in your garden. You can paint them and use them as funky garden planters. Place them on the ground, add soil and organic matter, and plant greens in the middle. 

Tires can also be hung on a tree or attached to the wall with plants inside. You can also line up tire slots in your garden path and plant them. Alternatively, stack the tires to create a taller, bottomless plant pot, then cut them in half. Another way is to break paths or grass by placing them between the tires. 


If you have some spare tiles lying around your house, use them to label items in your garden. Name plants or draw what's in the soil using a permanent pen. Place them on sticks or next to each plant in the soil. 

Benefits of Upcycling Plant Containers

Upcycling is transforming waste materials into new valuable uses. It's now a widespread practice, especially with upcycled planters. The process makes your garden unique, and creative planters benefit the environment. Here's how upcycling helps the environment:

Environmental Conservation

Reusing waste reduces the landfill effects of household consumption habits. Repurposing different materials saves items from being discarded. 

Conserving Resources

Repurposing items conserves resources by transforming old materials. Upcycling cuts down the production of plastics or wooden items, which need a lot of energy. Conservation of resources preserves natural habitats while decreasing deforestation and water use. 

Promoting Sustainable Gardening

Upcycled planters boost sustainable gardening. The process allows for the reuse of would-be waste materials in gardening. They encourage using natural planting methods to avoid pesticides that harm the environment. 

Aesthetic Benefits

  • Unique designs
  • Adding character with "would-be waste" items
  • Saves money and use of resources

The Better Option: Upcycling Materials for Gardening 

Repurposing of waste materials contributes to waste reduction and conservation of resources. The process also conserves the environment and promotes sustainable gardening practices. Upcycled planters add a unique character to any setting. They allow everyone to be creative. So, before throwing away any waste, think of how to repurpose it to enhance your garden. 

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