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With the increasing environmental problems nowadays, it is beneficial to perform some activities that reduce waste and promote sustainability. Awareness on how to save the environment should start at home. Most of us may already be aware of the processes such as recycling, reusing, and repurposing of different items. The idea of upcycling is fascinating since it can be a way to promote creativity and help the environment.
The Oxford Dictionary defines 'upcycle' as a term to reuse (discarded objects or materials) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Upcycling, on the other hand, refers to the process of adding value to an item that is recycled, thrown away, displaced, or abandoned. The process can involve re-creating, revamping, refreshing, repurposing, or reusing the item. As a result, the finished product became more valuable, practical, and pleasing to the eye.
An example of upcycling is turning a wine bottle into a candle chandelier or magazines turned into a beautiful flower pot.
Some people are a bit confused between upcycling and recycling. Or, they may think that the two are just the same. However, there is a significant difference.
Recycling pertains to the process of converting waste materials into reusable items. Unlike in upcycling, the items to be recycled are often broken down to create new items. For instance, plastic bottles are broken down or melted to create plastic chairs.
Upcycling offers both personal benefits and environmental advantages. Some of them are the following:
#1 Upcycling helps to reduce garbage in landfills
One of the biggest environmental problems in the world today is waste management. Each day, tons and tons of garbage and different kinds of materials are being dumped in landfills. Some of these materials may contain harmful chemicals that contribute to pollution and even soil degradation. Upcycling helps in reducing the amount of waste materials thrown in the landfills.
#2 Upcycling can minimize the use of natural resources
When we do upcycling, we do not need to use new raw materials to produce new items.
#3 Upcycling promotes creativity
Behind every product that is a result of upcycling is a creative application of insights and imagination. It can develop a new way of craftsmanship and enhance the passion for developing artistic materials.
#4 Upcycling can be an opportunity to create a business.
Upcycling can encourage innovation and creative inputs that may lead to successful business ideas. You can sell the finished products from upcycling and eventually establish a business offering upcycling crafts and other products.
#5 Upcycling can aid in reducing manufacturing costs
If business owners can learn how to manufacture things from reclaimed materials, they can significantly decrease their manufacturing expenses.
#6 Creating upcycled items can promote a feeling of satisfaction
It was a satisfying feeling when you created something unique and useful from an old item that seemed to be no longer in use. Also, it feels good when you know you are doing something to help save the planet.
You can find different items in your home that can be upcycled. The ideas you can have are boundless. Just look around inside and outside your house and collect all the things that you can upcycle. Apply some creative ideas, and you'll surely come up with amazing new items.
Below are some upcycling ideas you can try at home:
#1 Converting your old hammock into shopping bags
There's no need to purchase a new shopping bag for you to create a new one. If you have a hammock at home and you're no longer using it, then it's time to upcycle it to a beautiful shopping bag. Just a few stitches, and you'll have a simple to fashionable bag to carry the next time you go out to buy groceries.
#2 Wine Bottles Used as Candle Holders or Chandeliers
Another clever upcycling idea is creating a chandelier or candle holders from used wine bottles. You can just attach them together (in the form of a chandelier) and add some creative touches. It's also a great idea to use solar lights with these bottles to be more cost-saving and environment-friendly.
#3 Camping Hammock Turned into Comfy Cushion Covers
If you have wooden chairs or a couch at home, you can make them more comfortable and stunning with a cushion cover made from a used camping hammock. It's definitely a smart upcycling idea because your whole family and friends can enjoy it.
#4 Bed Frames Turned to Gorgeous Plant Racks
Give your garden a whole new vibe by adding an upcycled bed frame into plant racks. They can be used as holders of your potted succulents and other ornamentals. They can also be used as containers for your seedlings and even a growing space for your vegetables.
#5 Old Bicycle turned into a Garden's Centrepiece
Here's another creative and smart upcycling idea for an old bicycle. Make it a piece that will highlight an area of your garden. If you need something for your vines, a bike's metal frames are not a bad idea. You can have the plant in the basket located near the handlebars and let the leaves hang down. Another way is to mount the bike on a wall and let the vines climb up.
There are still many items at home that you can prepare for upcycling. Your old furniture can be used as decorative storage for your home items. Some kitchen items can be turned into lovely containers for your fashion accessories. Old magazines and newspapers can be converted into lovely flower vases and pots.
By using upcycled items, you can give a new vibe to your home. Apart from saving them from being thrown in the garbage, you can save money from buying new items. You can also be part of saving the environment by reducing the trash that can be dumped into landfills. The upcycling ideas mentioned above are only a few of the hundreds of ideas to make trash more meaningful. Give your home items another opportunity to become more useful, and this time around, it can be even better.