By definition, upcycling is:
"the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value." (thx wikipedia!)
It's a term that has been on the downlow for the past 17 or so years- and it revolutionizes the concept of recycling- which "destructively" involves the tearing down of materials for reuse. Whereas upcycling, in contrast, gives an item more value, as it is built up into a new evolutionary form.
|fashion wine bottle cork into a sustainable bath mat!|
The movement seeks to reuse products in the home, in an enviromentally friendly way, and to further improve upon an item's frail and useless state.
|weave old newspaper into a lampshade!|
So, how would the average DIYer go about upcycling an item? Here's a few suggestions:
-Use old plastic bags as yarn.
-Make new clothing out of old scraps.
-Turn an old hard drive into an alarm clock.
-Make a dress out of newspaper.
Essentially, it's the art and stewardship of turning someone else's trash, and giving it a second chance.
|make a bowl out of some loose change!|
While I still am a bit uneasy about rifling through the trash for hidden treasures, I've found upcycling to be a unique way to add some history and interest into your home. Try it out for yourself!