Do you know that most of the treasurable items you see today were once made from trash items recycled into useful materials? Statistics show that an average of 1500 pounds of waste goes into a landfill each year. 

According to studies, households in England produce an average of 0.79 kg of garden waste per day or 288 kg per year.  Some of these waste products can be recycled into useful materials used for other valuable ventures. This is mostly a way of conserving the environment and conserving our natural resources. 

A Living wall is a wall covered with vegetation to act as an outdoor decorative wall. They are also called Green Walls or Vertical Garden. Modern-day designs have adopted living walls because of their many benefits to the environment.  It has aesthetic benefits,  and also environmental benefits. 

Living walls are capable of cooling the temperature of your environment,  and reducing the adverse effects of heat. Right from centuries, living walls have been in existence, The Hanging Walls of Babylon is a clear example of such.

In modern times, living walls have been added to a lot of outdoor decorations in offices, hospitals, and big buildings. It is most preferred because of its aesthetic and environmental benefits.

Living walls can be created from recycled materials from your trash. This article highlights DIY methods to help you make living walls from materials recycled from your bin.

Turning Trash into Treasure: Exploring Recycled Materials for Living Walls

You might wonder, what kind of recycled materials can one use to erect a green wall. Briefly here are items you can use:

  1. Recycled Plastic Water Bottles: Living walls mostly include plants.  Either budding plants or fill-grown plants.  You can use recycled water bottles to create a safe growing space for the plants. The bottles are PH-neutral giving the plants a safe space to grow organically.
  1. Old Hanging Shoe Hanger: These old Hanging Shoe hangers with pockets in front can be used to hang individual plants. Hanging or trailing plants; e.g. herbs, can fit in perfectly. 
  1. Leftover decking board: Decking boards are beneficial in this case. They can be used to create a frame for the living walls. Ideally, you can use a composite decking board, since it is a moisture-resistant and eco-friendly material. 
  1. Old Carpets or Old Fabrics: You can use old carpets or old fabrics to create pockets or small holes to hold your plants.
  1. Old tyres: Old tyres are great for hanging plants. They can also be used to hold sand that houses the plants. You can cut them into shapes or simply stack them vertically. Tyres can also be painted to make them colourful for use, or coated with paint so as not to be destroyed by water.

You might encounter difficulties with some of these items. Since they are recycled items they can have short lifespans. While picking an item, go for items that will stay longer. 

Secondly, the weight of these items can weigh down your walls. During the rain season , water clogs your walls due to ineffective drainage from the materials you use. The hack here is to go for items that can serve you effectively.  Avoid weightier items that can destroy your work. Avoid recycling trash materials with a short life span. 

DIY: How to Build Your Own Living Wall

You can build your own living walls from scratch using items from your trash. There are different methods to achieve good results. But here is a simple DIY method to help you create a simple living wall.

Items Needed

  • Leftover decking board. 
  • Old fabrics.  Preferably a plain colour. Or you can use an old carper.
  • Plastic bottles.
  • Paint. Any colour of choice.
  • Green plants.
  • Other relevant tools such as screw nails, paintbrush, hammers, pliers, etc.


  1. The decking board is to act as a frame for your walls. You can set it up vertically.  Use a sharp cutting tool to carve out space to insert your plants. If the decking board has enough space to hold the plant, then go for it.
  1. Once you have set up your vertical frame on the wall, you can cover it with an old fabric cloth. Or an old carpet. Carve out spaces in the fabric to contain the plants.
  1. Cut the plastic bottle into two. Add some sand to hold the plant, and then insert the plant into the bottle. You can paint the bottles with any colour of your choice.
  1. Start inserting the bottle holding your green plants into the holes carved into the frame.
  1. Insert them vertically from up to down, till the plants cover the entire frame. 

You have successfully created a living wall for an outdoor decoration. There are other forms of living walls. You can create the tray method or the potted plant system. The aim is to decorate the walls with green plants. You can visit the Web for more inspiration on different designs you can make.

Living Wall Magic: The Rewards of Upcycling

There are many benefits of Living walls to outdoor or interior designs.

Aesthetic Benefits: Living walls add aesthetic beauty to your environment, making them visually appealing.  You can mix your plants with not just green plants, but add colorful flowers for aesthetics. 

Environmental Benefits: Living walls have many benefits to the environment. It helps to regulate the temperature of an environment, thereby providing shade and cooling effects. Also, it helps absorb noise thereby reducing noise pollution. Again,  living walls helps filter pollutants in the air ,making the air safe for breathing. 

Mental Health Benefits: Incorporating nature into our space by erecting green walls proves effective for your mental health.  It can help reduce stress and put you in a good mood. Making you feel more relaxed and healthy.


Using recycled materials for indoor or outdoor living walls is aesthetically pleasing and has its environmental benefits. Using recycled materials helps reduce the amount of waste products that can cause landfills, and helps preserve the environment.  Using recycled materials also helps conserve our natural resources. Erecting green walls has immediate effects such as cooling temperature, and air filtering. Additionally, it helps relax your mood and strengthen your mental health. You will do no wrong if you explore using recycled materials to build decorative living walls for your homes and offices.