Finding ways to decrease your carbon footprint is as important now as ever before as we try to care for our planet and live more sustainably. One way to help fight climate change is to reuse and give new purpose to old materials, otherwise known as upcycling.
Upcycling is a creative way to give a second life to unwanted, old objects and by doing so, can help reduce our overall consumption. If you get creative enough, you can turn almost any product into something new and valuable. Upcycling can make you more aware of how your actions can impact the environment and is a great way to lower your waste while helping you save money.
Recently, tool and equipment hire specialists Brandon Hire Station launched a UK competition that encouraged children to put their creative skills to the test and come up with brilliant ideas for giving old household items a new lease of life. Some of the winning ideas included creating a cake-themed chest of drawers, a revamped toybox, and a storage unit painted in various colours.
What are the benefits of upcycling?
There are numerous reasons why we should all be upcycling more, but one of the most significant benefits is that fewer materials will end up in landfills. Landfills are dangerous to the environment and human health, producing one of the most powerful greenhouse gases, methane. If more and more people turn to upcycle, fewer materials will end up in landfills.
Upcycling requires using existing materials, which means fewer natural resources will be needed. This benefits the environment because we don’t have to use raw materials to make new products.
Businesses can also benefit from upcycling as repurposing existing materials means the cost of production is reduced, and with companies spending less, the profit margin increases.
Turn your trash into treasure
If you want to give upcycling a go or are stuck for some fun, creative ideas to get crafty with, here are some household items you could use for your next upcycling project.
An old chest of drawers can be used for many different things, but you could use the drawers for under-bed storage or even as a planter in your garden.
Glass jars are great for storage containers for pasta, cereals, lentils, etc. or if you want to fill them with colourful marbles or fairy lights for table decor. You could also use a glass jar as a toothbrush holder or an alternative vase.
Old clothes such as T-shirts can be turned into reusable rags for cleaning and are great for cleaning windows or using them as dusters.
Don’t forget kids love to get creative and crafty, and there are many upcycling projects they can get involved in too. Easy upcycling ideas for children include using toilet roll tubes inside a cardboard box to make a mini garage for toy cars, or you could try glueing two toilet roll tubes together to make a pair of binoculars.