Bring new life to items you no longer have a need for.

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22, marking the anniversary of the modern environmental movement that began in 1970. To celebrate Earth Day, we often find ways to take care of the planet by picking up litter, planting trees, or organizing community-wide fundraisers for environmental causes. You can also do your part to benefit the planet in your own backyard. Upcycling is an effective way to minimize waste by converting old or unwanted materials into something useful. Here are some interesting ideas I’ve found to help you turn your trash into treasure.

Repurpose Containers as Planters

Before dishing out cash for a new planter, look around your home for containers that can function as planters. Old watering cans, galvanized buckets, and toolboxes can double as planters by drilling a few holes in the bottom for drainage. For larger planters, repurpose old or broken pieces of furniture, such as dresser drawers. Think outside the box when choosing items to use as planters. For example, rain boots can be filled with soil and flowers for a pop of color on a patio or along the top of a fence.

Create a Pallet Patio

If you already own wood pallets or have access to them, consider building a pallet patio in your backyard. While traditional decks can be expensive to build, pallet decks can be built for a fraction of the price. Wood pallets can be sanded and stained to create a more finished look, and several pallets can be combined to build a larger-sized deck.

Make Wind Chimes From Recycled Materials

Whimsical wind chimes can add color, beauty, and soothing sounds to a backyard space. Best of all, you can make them at home using recycled materials. Nearly anything can be used to make wind chimes, such as old silverware, sea shells, wine bottles, pieces of stained glass, large beads, or painted bamboo sticks.

Hang a Swing in Your Garden

This project is not only good for the planet but is also fun for the whole family. Find a sturdy tree branch in your yard or garden and hang a swing. Use an old tire to make a traditional tire swing, or remove the legs from an old chair for a different type of repurposed swing. Making your own swing from a chair means keeping unwanted or broken furniture out of the landfill while adding an attractive feature to your backyard.

Find Ways to Use Old Garden Hoses

Repurpose trash into treasure. [Flickr]

Most people discard their garden hose after just a few years. If you have an old hose, find new ways to use it in your garden. By punching small holes throughout the length of the hose, you can use it as a soaker hose in your garden. Hoses can also be used as outdoor décor. For example, a hose makes a perfect wreath for your door when adorned with colorful flowers.

Turn Tin Cans Into Lanterns

Nearly everyone has old tin or aluminum cans lying around from ground coffee, canned foods, or even soda. Why not put them to use and turn them into rustic DIY lanterns? Use spray paint to give the cans a blast of color before creating a fun design on the front. All you need is a hammer and nail to punch small holes in the metal. At night, the can will light up like a lantern when a candle is placed inside.