We know the mantra – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But there’s a new trend – Upcycling. It is a type of reusing items which adds greater value to the product than before. Remember that beautiful designer lamp made out of glass bottles? Or that cute denim bag made out of old jeans? We love them because they’re creative, fun and unique.
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. – Wikipedia
Here are some reasons why we should all share the upcycling love:
- We save something from the landfills
Because we chose to salvage something instead of throwing it away, we give it a new life. The plastic container would otherwise sit in the landfill for a thousand years after serving as your takeaway lunch box. We know it will still end up there someday but delayed-trashing, too, relieves the strain on resources for waste management.
- We buy less
Say we turned that plastic container into a planter – that means we don’t have to specifically buy a new planter. We are therefore not consuming another product that required all that resources and energy to produce. Which, at the end of its lifetime, will end up as an additional item that, again, requires energy and resources to dispose of.
- We save money
Because we didn’t need to buy that new planter, we saved some money. Quoting Russell Peters, “You save fifty cents here and fifty cents there, you get one dollar. Then you go to the dollar store and you buy something else.” (Although we could make many of the dollar store items from upcycling.)
- It helps us get creative
Paint the planter into your favourite cartoon character. Or your favourite shade of pink. Give it a rustic look by using twine around it. There are many ways to personalise the item according to your preferences.
Maybe you could turn the container into something else. An accessories holder perhaps? Or a soap dish? Let your imagination run wild!
- The item is more valuable
An item that would otherwise have been discarded now has utility and that is creating value out of nothing.
Use the same principle further and apply it to items with sentimental value. That vintage suitcase from your grandmother is probably no longer functional. Why not turn it into a piece of furniture that would adds warmth to your living space? This lovely piece of item no longer sits lonely in the cellar but with you everyday.
- It is a fun activity in itself
Bored and restless at home? Trouble finding something fun to do with the kids? Pick up one of our simple recipes and lose yourself in the process of creating something. It is not difficult to find joy in creating something and exercising your creative juices in the process. Also a cheap and enjoyable bonding activity for you and your loved ones.