Upcycling: Something Your Grandma Used to Do, And You Should Too

Upcycling is nothing new, but it is gaining increased traction among more people these days. Your grandma may have been one of the original upcyclers, with families in the 1930s and 40s repurposing items until they were no longer useful anymore. With little economic and material resources, they would thrift old objects, giving them new looks and uses.

People today upcycle for the same reason and more- they love thrifting and repurposing old items, enjoying crafting and DIYs, and they care about the environment. Read on for the importance of upcycling and why everyone should be doing it.

What Is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the creative new use of an object that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s the process of repurposing and converting old items or materials into something new and useful. Upcycling items gives them a new, and often better purpose, and keeps you from putting things to waste. The upcycling process reduces the amount of waste we produce, while also reducing the need for new materials for new products.

Recycling Vs. Upcycling

Upcycling may sound the same as recycling, but the two are actually different. With upcycling, you’re using the material of an item to create a new item with a new use. You may be changing the look and function of the object, but it’s still made from the same material as when you started. For instance, creating a bookshelf out of an old wooden ladder.

Recycling, on the other hand, takes materials such as plastic, metal and glass, and breaks them down so they can be used to make new items. For example, plastic bottles can be recycled and made into carpets or clothing.

4 Benefits of Upcycling

1. Environmentally Friendly

Since you’re repurposing old items into new ones, you aren’t throwing your old items out, making it more sustainable for the environment. It reduces the amount of waste dumped into the landfills, decreasing land, water and air pollution.

2. Saves You Money

Instead of spending your money buying new products, upcycling allows you to create new uses for old items. Turn old picture frames into serving trays, an old door frame into a coffee table, or old books as wall shelves. There are lots of ways to upcycle old objects!

3. Elevates Creativity and Encourages Innovation

Upcycling allows you to get creative and turn “junk” into treasure! Upcycled items are always unique and quite beautiful. It takes time and creativity to create something meaningful from an item that would otherwise be thrown out, and that’s why the finished product is usually so special. Upcycling encourages you to take time away from media and technology and get your creative and innovative juices flowing!

4. Preserves Natural Resources

Every time a new item is made out of a natural resource like wood, the supply of that resource is diminishing. Upcycling eliminates the need to use raw materials to make new products, preserving our precious resources.

With so many benefits, upcycling is the way to go! Next time you go to throw something out, ask yourself how you can repurpose it instead!