Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What exactly is Upcycling?

Recycling, Repurposing, Upcycling – what’s the difference? …and what exactly is Upcycling?

We all know what recycling is. A plastic bag is used to carry home groceries then is later reused by the owner who uses the bag a second or third time, perhaps to again carry groceries or store items. The bag has been recycled by its owner. The bag is being reused but the value of the bag remains the same.

In upcycling, the item is often no longer being used for its intended purpose but is repurposed – given a new purpose – and along with this new purpose it is also given an increase in value (usually both aesthetically and monetarily) It is worth more in its new form.

Recycled – used again and value remains unchanged

Repurposed – used again but with a new purpose

Upcycled – used again, with a new purpose, and with greater value than its original state

Why are upcycled items so desirable?
They are created with innovation and creativity!

Necklace pendant made from broken Shelley Blue Rock teacup

Wisegeek said it best:

“Upcycling is designed to work in opposition to consumer culture, encouraging people to think of new and innovative ways to use things, instead of simply buying new consumer goods. It also benefits the environment, by promoting reuse over discarding whenever possible.”

There you have it!

Belt buckle made from a broken plate