Upcycling. You’ve heard the word, but what is upcycling? It’s been a buzzword lately and upcycled products are popping up all over blogs, Do-It-Yourself books, craft fairs, and Etsy.com. Upcycling is simple: it’s the process of taking waste materials or useless products and turning them into something new and useful. Lots of upcycled products turn into products of a better quality and helps the environment. Take something you would have thrown out and use it for something new and voila – you’re upcycling!
According to NaturallySavvy.com, The term was first used by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. “McDonough and Braungart compared upcycling to the “downcycling” of recycling a plastic, for example, into a lesser grade plastic. To put it simply, downcycling reduces the quality of the materials, while upcycling maintains or improves the quality of the materials.”
Lots of us upcycle without even knowing it, do you save your wine corks for craft projects? You’re upcycling. Ever used an old jam or pasta sauce jar as a makeup brush holder? That’s upcycling too! If you want to start upcycling, there are tons of internet inspirations for you. Pinterest is a great place to start looking for upcycling ideas or check out blogs like The Upcycle Blog or Love to Upcycle. If you’re not feeling crafty yourself, support independent artists who upcycle on Etsy.
Photo from: UpcycleMagazine.com