Reduce the waste in your bin while keeping things creative. Photo: Pinterest

From waste to wonder: Upcycling tips for your home

By Gemma Gatticchi
Friday, Jul 7, 2023 Recycling

Upcycling is a great way to give old things new purpose while using minimal resources. Take a look at these five ideas for your home and garden.

Upcycling for the outdoors

Some of the items you may be about to throw into the bin have the potential to improve your green thumb. Here’s how:

  • Yoghurt containers into seedling planters: Clean the yoghurt tub and use a drill to make a small hole in the base. This is for the water to drain. Add soil and seeds to the plastic pots.
  • CDs to keep birds away: Pull string or ribbon through the hole of a CD and tie it to a structure near your plants. You will want to hang up a few so that there’s enough reflectiveness to scare the birds away in a safe way.
  • Cardboard into seedling planters: You need a glass jar and cardboard. Cut the cardboard into strips depending on how tall you want your planters to be. Add a few centimetres to include the base. Soak the strips in water for about 15 minutes. Then wrap the damp strips around a glass jar or tin, folding the cardboard over the base too. Leave it until it is about 80% dry, then remove the jar. The cardboard should hold its shape. Fill your cardboard pot with soil and seeds. These little biodegradable pots are ideal for sowing seeds as they can be planted directly into the ground. Here’s an Instagram reel with step-by-step instructions.

Light it up

These ideas could spark some creativity when loadshedding gets you down:

  • Tin cans into lanterns: Wash an empty tin, fill it with water and freeze. Once the water has frozen, take a hammer and a nail and punch a pattern of holes into the tin. When you’re done, allow the ice to melt, dry the tin and place a tea light candle or fairy lights inside it.
  • Glass bottles into candle holders: Create a decorative candle holder by filling an empty glass bottle with stones or water. Add a long candle to the mouth of the bottle, and make sure to place something under it to catch falling wax.