So much waste is going to landfill every year, we need to think of ways on how to reduce the damage being done on the environment. With what has been happening in the world today, it’s really important for us to practice proper care and to have a strong sense of accountability for it has lasting benefits, not only environmental but also economic and social.
Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. Source: en.wikipedia.org
What’s the difference from recycling?
Just like recycling, the main goal of upcycling is proper waste management in order to achieve sustainability. Perhaps the major distinguishing factor of upcycling is that it’s more of “creative repurposing” “• a matter of reusing old, used, waste materials to make it better and of higher value than its original form.
Upcycling has actually been practiced for a while now and you may even have done it already. A common way to upcycle bottles, jars or tin cans is by making flower vases or some kind of storage. Another well-known upcycling project is turning pallets into furniture. Old cable spools are often turned into cute coffee tables. There are definitely so many ways to upcycle. If you’re into DIY, arts and crafts, then this would definitely be up your alley!
Here are some simple ways to get you started:
Preserve antiques and vintage pieces
Most of the time, the reason why we can’t let go of old stuff is because of its sentimental value. We get too emotionally attached to collections, souvenirs, presents or inherited items. All you need is a little creativity and imagination and you will surely go a long way.
These are simple, easy-to-create upcycling examples:
- Paint and reupholster old dining chairs. You can even experiment with new, modern, and funky colours and some interesting upholstery patterns.
- If you have a baby crib in the storage room, transform it into an outdoor bench, a dog crate, or disassemble the rails to make a drying rack.
- Old picture frames can be turned into a message board, a serving tray, a jewellery organiser or a key hook rack.
- Turn old suitcases into functional bookcases, side tables, chairs, and ottomans or even pet beds!
- Vintage teacups can become succulent pots or trinket holders. You can even try to make teacup scented candles!
- Create room dividers, headboards, or quirky photo holders with window shutters.
Upcycling projects for kids
Spend some quality time with your kids, and at the same time be environmentally friendly by getting started on cool upcycling projects at home.
- You and your little one can make desk organisers with tin cans and jars or milk cartons. Paint or wrap them with patterned construction paper to give them a much nicer look.
- Don’t throw away toilet paper or paper towel cardboard tubes. You could do so many creative things with them such as flower wreaths, pen holders, cable organisers, or bird feeders!
- Plastic bottles can be turned into coin banks, treat containers, canisters, or planters.
- Broken crayons are often left lying around the house. Ask the kids to gather all of them up, peel them, and place them into silicone moulds. Preheat the oven to a low temperature then pop the moulds in. This step should be done or closely supervised by an adult to prevent kids from burning themselves.
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