All of these ideas are ways that people can help save their environment as well as save themselves money. Recently I had some friend’s refinish a table and refurbish a few old bar stools. If they had not refurnished the table and bar stools, where would the products have gone? To the landfill.
Does anyone realize we are running out of space for landfills and that all the landfills are leaking into the Earth and polluting the environment? Unfortunately people now days are still not as educated on this problem. Or if they are, they feel they don’t have the ability to help out in their own homes. But by upcycling products that are within your own home, instead of tossing them out, is helping to save the environment!
Ok ok, I understand that sometimes one does not have as much time to create crazy gardens or benches however what about all the extra bottles laying around the home? Maybe sometimes you do have time to take them to a recycling place and get your .5 cents back for every soda you drank, however what if you never had to leave home? Instead of tossing them in the trash can, why not reuse them as storage compartments in the garage? Check out this innovative way to reuse these 1 gallon jugs and 2 liter bottles!
It does not require much to make a difference. Just these small changes in anyone’s life can help to prolong our Earth and prevent unhealthy chemicals to enter the atmosphere. Everyone can help save the world. We all need to start acting now, because it is not our generation that is effected but out children’s children who will be in worse shape than us. Upcycling is our future.
The benefits of upcycling within your own home are exponential. Not only are you lowering the amount of waste you are producing, which leads to smaller landfills. You are also saving money by making things you would have instead purchased. You are increasing the worth of your house and making it more visually appealing. Not to mention it is socially and emotionally desirable to be green and help the environment. Your house looks good, your bank account looks good, you feel good, and you look good to society. So what’s the problem? Time? Ability? If you don’t have the time or ability to upcycle you can donate products to people and companies that can.
BENEFITS of UPCYCLING
-Reduces Waste/Landfill Waste
-Conserves Global Resources
Have Fun With Your Home,and Save the Environment While You're at It
What is Upcycling?
Upcycling is defined as the reuse of (often used or waste material) products that can be altered to create a product of higher quality or value. It’s the idea of “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Upcycling is often used creatively, like with fashion or crafts. Upcycled products can also be made for useful purposes. In many cases, the value of the item increases with the alterations. Often we could go onto a social media site and see pictures or videos about people making home décor or beautiful artwork out of items many people simply throw away. In simple terms, upcycling is a physical process that gives ‘new life’ to unwanted or used up items.
What is Recycling?
This process may sound similar to upcycling; the act of converting waste into reusable materials. Recycling is not often done for creative purposes, rather use the material to make another product with minimum alterations for use without changing the essential form of the original item. Taking consumer products such as metal, plastic, paper, and glass to make fresh lesser valued consumer products out of their base materials. In simple terms, recycling is a Chemical process that stretches out the life-cycle of a product.
What is the difference between upcycling and recycling?
The point of both, upcycling and recycling, also happens to be their biggest similarity, they both conserve the environment. The main difference between the two is that upcycling is used to increase the value or quality of the item. Another important difference is that recycling is often a chemical reconstruction of the materials, while upcycling is a complete alteration, making something completely new out of waste or used products. Upcycling does not involve breaking down products to their base materials, rather it uses products as they are, in their current state, to create a whole new item. Lastly, the possibilities each hold, upcycling involves an unlimited usage of materials, while recycling can only use the materials until they cannot be recycled anymore.
Another important difference is the cost. While you may need to buy a few extra supply’s to make an upcycled masterpiece, it generally is cheaper than recycling. Admittedly, throwing something in recycling and not the trash is free to the individual and better for the environment; the actual process of remaking the material from its basic compounds takes fuel, energy, and manufacturing costs. That being said, on an individual level, upcycling may cost more, but in the grand scheme of things, recycling takes the metal for the cost. On another note, many upcycling items may be sold for profit, making the cost worth it.
How do you Upcycle?
There are many ways to upcycle, from art, to waste reduction, to profit. This Blog is dedicated to exploring some of these possibilities; as well as educating our viewers on the methods and forms that may be new or unfamiliar. It’s possible that almost everything (that doesn’t decompose) may have unseen potential.
Why should you Upcycle?
Upcycling is believed to provide a longer term solution for preventing landfill waste and conservation efforts. There is only so many times a material can be recycled before its put into landfill. Upcycling gives new life, Recycling stretches out the end of a materials use cycle. Upcycling has a never ending life span. Bored of what you made? Make something new.
Upcycling is a term used in taking a product that is no longer being used, and giving it a second life that is more valuable than its original use. In doing so there is a decrease in adding waste to our environment, while also saving money for individuals. For example, an item like plastic spoons is used then discarded right after one use - upcycling gives us the opportunity to take something like plastic spoons and make it more valuable to us as seen in the image above. There are many ways to upcycle, and with that comes many purposes.
If you're not really into crafts or decorations, yet still are dying to save the planet? Don't worry there is another way for you to upcycle. You can upcycle practically. Use waste products and with a quick change in composition they can be used for organization, convenience and function.
Do you have any shirts with holes, stains, or even just out of fashion? Upcycling can also be done by simply making new and more appealing clothing through the use of old clothing. Making new clothing can be done by just adding small bright colored fabric, or it can be done by completely reconstructing the article of clothing
Do you need help with organization? We suggest taking old some old tins cans, if they are food cans remove their labels, wash thoroughly, and file down any sharp edges. These can be placed in drawers, on counters, glued together and put on walls. For better visual appearance add a little paint. There you go, quick, easy, and free organizer.
Need new furniture? Don't waste money, use waste or cheap materials to create gorgeous rustic furniture. A very useful material for furniture are pallets that are used for shipping products and then discarded later. Pallets are a popular use of furniture because it can initially hold more weight.
Upcycling is often used for DIY decorations or household everyday use, but can also be used as a sustainable way to help both the environment and our economy. Through research we discovered that the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics created a more sustainable use of straws to help reduce emissions. The product itself was sustainable for the environment and was sold for 3 to 5 dollars, so it resulted in being economically sustainable. This also shows that upcycling can be done all around the world, as opposed to limiting it to one demographic.
Why should you make a business out of upcycling? If you’re a crafty person and love to make unique one of a kind things, why not save the environment and make money while doing it. Upcycling involves taking waste materials and giving them a new life, think about all the money you will save by using items you were going to get rid of rather than buying materials. Using waste materials and selling the results reduces landfill and saves you money. If you’re thinking of starting a business using upcycled materials, here are a few tips to think about and help you on your way.
Things to Think About:
As a seller you are not limited to only online or in person. Selling online may look easier, but can be just as difficult as selling at fairs.
Online Selling Pro’s:
In Person Pro’s:
The best way to make your business grow is to sell both online and in person. Selling online will help you get a steady rate of customers, and sell to a larger audience. Whereas In person will help you make connections, and help you grow from a seller perspective.
Marketing is extremely important either way, and there are a variety of ways to get your business name out there. There are several ways to market your business, some of which are listed below.
Budgeting is often pushed aside by online sellers, but should always be factored in no matter where you sell. One things you may want to consider are fees, transportation, and production cost. For example, events almost always have an entree fee or a space fee. Costs to consider include; how much will it cost to get your things there? (Gas) Are you paying someone to assist you at your booth, or is it a friend? And cost it took to make all the product you’re hoping to sell that day. Online websites always have a small fee for working with them, and often take a portion of the price of goods. For example, you price your upcycled lights at $10, and $1 of that goes toward the website you use. This is similar to a rent fee per a piece. Don’t forget about shipping costs to send out and receive packages around the world; will you include shipping in price of the product, or will you make customer pay to return the piece? Are you willing to pay for goods that were damaged due to shipping?
Now that we have covered the pros and cons of online vs. in person, how to market, and what needs to be budgeted for. Let's talk about some additional things to consider, for example, partnership. Are you doing this alone or with a friend/partner/etc.? Are you splitting the payout with them, or have a business plan laid out in case of future growth? Are you both sharing a space to work at, or work separately at home? If sharing a space, be prepared to change spaces to work if someone decides to dip out. And most importantly, make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to selling, and keep each other informed on everything.
Links giving tips, tricks and hints on how to start your business and where to sell your products:
Handmade Business Article talks primarily on how to start and prepare to sell at craft shows
CrateJoy Discusses selling online, and getting your small business seen.
Mud Lists several online websites to sell with that isn’t etsy.
Festivalnet Old looking website, but it stays up to date with events/shows/fairs in any state to help people find a place to sell.