Upcycling is the new sustainable choice. Slightly more different than recycling, upcycling uses the waste material as it is without breaking it down like you would in recycling. As an illustration—recycling creates microplastics to create threads from plastic, while upcycling cuts open the chip's packaging and stitches it together to create bags.
There are so many benefits to upcycling. First, you wouldn’t have to worry about how your waste will be contributing to greenhouse gas and water pollution if you create it into something else. You also wouldn’t have to worry if the recyclables that you’ve put in the recycling bin will be recycled or not if you process the waste material yourself. You would break the waste cycle and help preserve materials to have a longer span of life, which can help lessen the burden on the natural resources we take every day. Plus, upcycling is easy! You can do it at home as a weekend project by yourself or do it with your friends or family.
With that said, we’re here to give you some upcycling ideas you can try at home! (P.S. you can even create some of these ideas into a business, so pay attention!).
Make your waterproof bags!
For you chips, candy, or chocolate lovers out there, this is the upcycling project for you! It’s pretty easy, especially if you have a sewing machine and have experience in sewing. All you need to do is collect the wrappers until you feel like you have enough to make a size of your liking. Wash them, cut them open so you can have more area to work with, and stitch them together. You can line the inside with fabric to make it neater or add a stiffener to add some structure to your bags! You can also earn cute pouches out of candy or chocolate wrappers by folding them and linking them together. You wouldn’t need to worry about stitching here, just some hot gun glue.
Here are some videos to help you make your upcycled bags.
Find out more about other materials you can use to turn to bags here!
Reuse your wine corks to elevate your dining tables!
If you collect wine, then don’t throw away your wine corks. Instead, upcycle them into coasters for your table. They will add a rustic and timeless look to your dining room. All you need are the corks and some strong glue! Arrange the pins to your liking, glue them together and wait for them to dry. A simple way to upcycle your corks and bye-bye to waste!
You can also check out this article to find more inspiration on what you can do with your wine corks.
Glass Container for Your Makeup Essentials
Don’t throw away your pasta sauce container and upcycle them to keep your essentials neat!
This one is probably the simplest project we put here. If you love cooking, you won’t be unfamiliar with the glass packaging you would likely get when you buy pasta sauce or pickles. Glass is one of the more complicated materials to recycle. Not many producers will go through the length to recycle them, but you can upcycle them into something useful at home!
All you need to do is clean them off any gunk that may have been left behind, clean the labels off the glass, paint the lid, and voila, you have your new container. You can store your reusable pads or deodorant bars in them. You can even keep your homemade eco-enzymes in these upcycled containers to place them in your bathroom. To spice up your new container, you can add handles on top of it by gluing it or screwing a handle in place. Check out how you can do that here!
Towels and Beyond
Upcycle your towels to a variety of reusables for your home!
We go through towels quicker than we may think. Especially if you have a pet around, those fluffy towels can turn real flimsy quickly. But this doesn’t mean that you should throw them away. You can upcycle them!
You can make reusable cotton pads, reusable paper towels, menstrual fabric pads, even coasters! You do need a little bit more patience and sewing skills with this project since it can get a bit tricky, but there’s nothing you can’t do without a bit of practice. You just need to try first. You should read more about this project here. The website will give you a more in-depth tutorial on making all the mentioned items and more!
So, what do you think about these upcycling projects? A little bit challenging, a little bit fun. Hopefully, you can try some of these out in your homes during downtimes! Nothing more satisfying than creating something for you by yourself!
Before you go off on your upcycling projects, we want to add a disclaimer. We mentioned how you could make some of these ideas into a business, but you need to keep your actions accountable. If you’re creating an upcycling business, you need to make sure that the legality of your product is sound. For example, you need to make sure that there are no other logos attached to your products not to confuse the originality and who to credit. You also need to make sure that you clearly state that your products are upcycled. You can read more about it here, and you should research your own regarding this matter. However, if you’re doing upcycling projects independently, you don't have to worry about it. Remember to be responsible!
We’ll see you next time. Stay tuned to hear more about other upcycling projects you can do!