Upcycling is taking something that’s considered waste and repurposing it. The upcycled item often becomes more functional or beautiful than what it previously was. That’s why it’s called upcycling, because the value of the upcycled item is increased!
The Difference Between Recycling and Upcycling
Recycling and Upcycling have different processes. In the recycling process, items are broken down to be reused. It’s called downcycling; paper is shredded and turned into pulp, plastic is shredded and melted into pellets, glass is smashed and melted to be recast. Downcycling is an essential step in the recycling process, but it does degrade the value of the materials. The quality of recycled materials is lower than that of new materials.
Upcycling is a creative process where waste is looked at as a resource. Upcycled items are reused in a clever new way, giving them a second life and function. Think of a pallet being upcycled into a coffee table. It used to be an unused pallet, now it’s a useful and beautiful piece of furniture.
Both recycling and upcycling are important as they reuse materials instead of throwing them away. This means less waste ends up in the landfill. Recycling and upcycling have a positive impact on the environment.
How to Upcycle
Anyone can be an upcycler! We have 2 different ways that we like to upcycle. You can either think of something that you’d like to have, like a lamp, or you can think of something that you’d like to use, like glass jars. These 2 ways of looking at upcycling are categorized on Upcycle That according to ‘Make That’ or ‘Use That’.
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About Upcycle That
Upcycle That is on a mission to inspire as many people as possible to upcycle! The website offers upcycling ideas, inspiration and tutorials. Upcycle That is run by Judy Rom. She co-founded the site with Jacques Karsten on Earth Day 2012. Upcycle That is a resource for people interested in reusing items in innovative ways. By showcasing discarded items as a resource, we aim to inspire people to creatively repurpose and reuse what they already have.
Judy Rom is passionate about design, home decor and sustainability. She has been creating art with found materials from an early age and loves the thrill of thrift and garage shopping. Judy is an experienced digital marketer with a BCom degree in Entrepreneurship. She is especially interested in helping brands achieve their triple bottom line (social, environmental and financial) objectives.
Message Judy to talk about how Upcycle That can help your brand.