You’ve probably heard of recycling, also known as ‘downcycling’, however, you might not know about upcycling. Upcycling, put simply, is the process of making something new or more valuable, out of something old. Upcycling offers many benefits to individuals and the environment; I will discuss some with you now.
Preservation of Raw Materials
When individuals upcycle, they are helping to reduce the manufacturing of raw materials. As the demand for raw products remain low, there is no need for them to be produced at such a high rate. Producing raw materials, emits lots of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, which is not good for the environment. Upcycling can be a great way of lessening the demand for raw ingredients and allows items otherwise to be thrown out or recycled, to have a new life.
Less Items in Landfills
However hard we try to recycle, unfortunately, some items still end up in landfill. Waste sent to landfills are buried underground and left there to decompose. Sadly, a lot of the waste deposited in these sites can take years to decompose. I could write a whole other blog on landfill sites and the negative aspects surrounding them from my experience visiting an inhabited rubbish dump in Kenya, however, I’m sure you can come to the conclusion that these places are not particularly hygienic or good for the surrounding wildlife, humans or landscape… Due to this alone, I think the importance of upcycling really shines through. Instead of throwing things out, think to yourself, can I make something with this or give it to someone else who can give it another life?
Upcycling allows individuals to develop valuable DIY skills – you might use equipment such as a saw or drill or you might need to get the sandpaper and paint out for your new project. Through using different methods to upcycle, you develop new skills. You might need some work doing at home and instead of paying someone to come in and complete the job for you, you can use your new skills (it’ll save you money too!)
Unique & Quirky Items
You can be as creative as you like by mixing and matching materials and using different techniques to create your latest upcycle project. Whatever unique and quirky item you make, you can be proud of it. As well as having something ‘new’ to admire, you can be certain that you have helped Mother Nature with your action.
This list is small, but if gives you an insight into the positive difference upcycling objects can make. You can make home goods, garden furniture and planters or children’s crafts through the wonderous world of upcycling. So go on, why not give it a try?
Upcycled Herb Planter
Written by Julianne Jessett