Friday, March 26, 2010


Upcycling is taking something you would throw away, and making something of equal or better value out of it.


Like recycling. Only more so.

For instance, when you recycle, oh, say, paper, you put your used paper in a recycle bin, where it will sit and eventually be carted away to be broken down and remade into, oh, I don't know, packing material. And that's good, because, hey, packing material is something we all use, and really, does it need to be made out of freshly cut trees?

But what if you wanted to upcycle that paper, instead of just giving it tosomeone else to recycle? You could shred it and make your own paper out of it. There are instructions here and here, or put your own Google-Fu to work. Then dig out that calligraphy set you bought years ago, and make your own cards out of it. Okay, you don't want to make paper out of paper...fair enough. How about jewery? Look at this, or this. Or what about yarn? Or...well, let your imagination roam.

Why is this something I think a lot about? Well, our landfills aren't getting any emptier, now, are they? Besides, it's creative and fun. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent happily making plarn or frogging thrift store sweaters to upcycle into new (and occasionally useful) items. And I'm dying to make the paper beads. Hey, it keeps me off the streets...

So that's upcycling. Gotta love it!

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