Whatever you decide to do with used tires, it’s important to recycle them somehow. Used tires collect water and can quickly become mosquito breeding grounds in the summer. You’ll be doing your part to help the environment and make the world a better place.

Why you ask? Every year, about 290 million tires are discarded; of those, about 233 million are recycled in one way or another. Shredded tires can be used for playground surfaces, welcome mats, hot-melt asphalt, bark mulch and even made into building material for “green” construction.

But what can you do with your old tires? Here are some ideas:

— Fill a tractor tire with sand to make a great sandbox for kids

— Hang a tire from a rope as a tire swing

— Stack a couple of tires on top of each other, bolt them together and paint them a cheerful color, then use them as a planter

— Lay two rows of tires next to each other, somewhat staggered, and use them for broken-field running as part of football conditioning

— Bolt two tires together, then affix a round glass top for an instant patio table

— Tires can be hung or slightly embedded in the ground and used as planters (note: don’t grow vegetable plants in tires)

— With a little imagination and some other building materials, you can use old tires to set up an entire playground of climbing structures, obstacle courses, and other fun designs