The green scene The green scene

For an eco-friendlier outdoor space, consider lawn and garden products made from recycled materials.

There are many things you can do to lessen your ecological impact and protect the environment, from reducing power consumption and driving a hybrid car to recycling your rubbish and planting a tree. But there’s another sustainable step you can also take, one that combines passion for the planet with love of gardening and alfresco entertaining: opt for lawn and garden products made from repurposed materials.

More brands are recycling plastic, rubber and other discarded ingredients and transforming them into products that can be used in your yard, including mulch, landscape fabric and outdoor furniture. Consumers are getting more than merely guilt-free green goods; they’re also benefiting from high-quality, durable products, say the experts.

Outdoor seating area in garden
Herbs growing in crate
Grapevine on white background

A win-win for the environment and us

“Outdoor products made from recycled materials are extremely durable,” says Costco member Jenni Owens, vice president of business development for POLYWOOD, a maker of recycled plastic outdoor furniture sold at Costco.

“Our chairs, tables, benches, dining sets and accessories are top quality and made to last a lifetime. They can even be recycled again.” But the biggest perk of these items is enjoyed by the Earth itself.

“Products made with recycled content contribute fewer greenhouse gas emissions and require less energy to manufacture, especially compared with virgin plastic. It may not be cheaper to make recycled products, but it’s an important step in eliminating waste,” says Nina Bellucci Butler, CEO of More Recycling, a recycling research company.

She adds, “Buying products with recycled content also creates the market demand needed to warrant the collection of recyclables.”

Succulent growing in kettle
Wooden bench among greenery
Colourful compost
wine cork seed starters

What to look for

To ensure that you select green outdoor wares, look for language on the packaging that states “made with recycled materials/content” or “made with post-consumer waste”. The label should also indicate what portion (up to 100 per cent) was created from recycled content.

Additionally, the universal recycling symbol tells you the product was made with recycled content and/or is recyclable.


Green guide

Wine barrel


Compost your grass clippings, leaf debris and food waste to add key nutrients to garden bed soil, helping to strengthen greenery and flowers.

Collect water

Make a homemade barrel to collect rainwater from your gutters, which can be used to keep plants and your lawn hydrated.


Use old toy trucks, wagons and large blocks as containers for plants and flowers.

Make it yourself

Create homemade mulch from lawn clippings, shredded leaves and more to apply to trees and bedding plants.


Originally published in The Costco Connection, May/Jun 2021. Pick up the latest copy at your local warehouse or read it online.