According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental use. The first recorded use of the term is particularly new, only being coined back in the year 1994. However, the method had been around as early as the 1930s. It is stated that upcycling revolves around the concept of "recycling", but whereas recycling oftentimes gives products new use by breaking them down, it doesn't necessarily give them more worth. In fact, it almost always give it the contrary, which is less. That is why upcycling was born, where the worth of old products go "up" through the aid of this process, and not down.
With the background already shed on the subject, it is then without a doubt wise to try, attempt, and practice upcycling. With just a few moments of our time and some of our resources, something that is seemingly of no good use anymore may be converted to something that is perhaps even better than what it originally was. We can actually upcycle everything! All we need would be our ingenuity and downright creativity!
Here are a few upcyling ideas borrowed from a website called Twisted Sifter, which we can do with materials that may already be in the safety of our very own homes:
- If you find your toilet paper rolls already depleted of its toilet papers, instead of throwing the rolls away, just collect them, store them in a container as they all stand vertically adjacent to each other, and viola!... an environment-friendly storage for your cables and chords is within your grasp!
- Old wrenches can be converted to wall hooks. All we have to do is bend and then nail them on our walls.
- If you think your empty credit card is already worthless, think again! It can be converted into a guitar pick. All you have to do is cut it in the shape of one.
- If your fence is plagued with holes, fill them up with old marbles. It certainly would add to the creativity and neatness factor in the eyes of your next-door neighbor.
- An old door frame can easily be converted into a coffee table. You would need stands and some manual construction though.
- Unused bulletin boards can be converted into jewelry organizers. Something to hang these jewelries provided separately.
- Old Lego pieces can be transformed into a key holder. Just nail a bigger Lego piece to a spot of your choosing on the wall, connect two or more smaller pieces with small holes drilled within them, and there you go! Just place the key chains supporting these keys within those holes and you have already given the Lego pieces a new purpose, making them more than just an old toy!
- Old books can be converted to shelves. Just make sure there is a stand to make sure they stay untouched as they lie horizontally against the wall. Then place the objects of your choosing atop the books, and you're done.
- Even old mini fridges can be converted into storage units. No further explanation needed.
- Upcycling can prove useful even to children. Cupcake wrappers can be used as popsicle supports to prevent dripping of ice cream.