Stuff. Most of us have way too much of it. Even as we grow more eco-savvy trying to reduce, reuse, and recycle, sometimes we still are faced with the question of what to do with what we have. Used to be we would throw it away, give it away or store it. Today there’s another option: Upcycling. Upcycling is the process of converting useless things or products you no longer want – including waste materials – into new goods or objects of a higher environmental value. In other words, you get creative with the stuff you already have by fashioning it into something new! It’s all about ingenuity, and having fun, too. But if crafts aren’t your thing, you can still participate by buying upcycle merchandise, which cuts back on the consumption of raw materials for new products. And that ultimately ends up reducing energy use, air and water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions.
The following is just a tiny peak at what some people have done with their discarded stuff to decorate their homes and at the same time efficiently upcycle their odds and ends. Keep in mind, if you are not handy with crafts and the like, there are a number of websites that offer upcycle home decorations. Buying upcycle is a great alternative to purchasing something new plus it helps keep our landfills free of needless waste.
So here’s a wild one: The Mac Aquarium. Do you still have one of the original iMacs kicking around? Remember the Apple computer that came in thirteen “flavors”? Imagine turning it into a colorful fish aquarium! Well, that’s just what some folks have done, and it’s a real showstopper.
Staying with the tech theme, how about that stack of useless old floppies? Here are several clever solutions: assemble a small book using recycled paper for the inside and two floppies for the outside. Punch two holes through the ‘book’ and bind with a couple of loose leaf rings. Take four floppies to construct the sides of a pencil holder with a fifth for the bottom. Use old CDs to craft a lampshade or the face of a small clock.
Fabricate a fashion statement: Cut up the bright sides of soda cans, add earring hooks and you’ve got a unique set of earrings. Speaking of jewelry, dust off those outdated vintage brooches, remove the fittings on the back, glue on a super strong magnet and you’ve got yourself some glamorous refrigerator magnets!
Light up the room: Create eye-catching candles out of graphic tea tins, sardine cans, olive oil cans, etc. Break a tea saucer? Fill the cup with candle wax and add a wick for an elegant flame. Single coffee cups, cute but never used eggcups, teapots – they all are good vessels to hold wax and can be one of a kind gifts to give.
Mirror mirror … on the table? Repurpose small wall mirrors as decorative trays. Glue on a backing of felt and dress up your dresser top!
A stitch in time could save nine or it could make a new table runner, rug for the hall or throw pillows for the window seat. Sew together vintage napkins for the table, tea towels, napkins or soft shirts for the pillows and rag rugs for a comfy hall runner.
As you can see, the ideas are endless and the results original, distinctive and eco-friendly. Repackage ordinary objects in your house and delight your family and guests with your surprising design and decorative solutions! Who knows, you just might inspire them to do the same.
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