Upcycling is a way to creatively reuse and recycle waste, or by-products into new materials that are of higher quality.

Upcycling is quite important as it allows a creative, DIY way to reuse materials! Upcycling has a wealth of benefits including environmental, social, and personal.

Below, we are going to guide you through the benefits of upcycling – and how you can upcycle common items around your home.

The Environmental Impact of Upcycling

Upcycling has a largely positive effect on the environment. A quick forage through the internet can show you that we are currently in a trash crisis. Our atmosphere has the most CO2 levels in history, and our oceans have large whirlpools of trash and plastic.

Upcycling can help bring these numbers down by preventing the amount of waste that we discard.

By upcycling we remove the need to produce new or raw materials. By reducing this need, we can cut down on air pollution, water pollution, landfill use, and even greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, instead of dumping old wine bottles or beer bottles, you could cut off the top and use them for candles, or DIY chandlers. Using old bottles can prevent the amount of glass that has to go to landfills.

By upcycling you are actually taking positive steps to impacting the environment for the better. 

The Social Impact of Upcycling

We currently live in a time where folks want to spend less money on generic, mass-produced items, and spend more time respecting the value of what they have.

Do It Yourself culture prides itself on creating content that allows for self-expression. When you upcycle, you are engaging with a community of individuals who want to create some level of uniqueness with recycled items.

When you buy upcycled products you are usually supporting artisans, local industry, and rural industry.

However, you don’t just have to purchase upcycled items in your local community. Depending on where you purchased upcycled products from, for example, Upcycle studio, you are supporting people from various communities around the world.

There are many people who are engaged with upcycling. At many farmer’s markets, flea markets, town markets, or open art shows you can find products that were made from upcycling. Buying these products are an easy way you can support your local community and even get involved in upcycling on your own.

If you would like to know where to search for upcycling centers or communities near you, we recommend a quick google search. For example, in the Chicagoland area, there are a number of upcycling-based businesses and organizations with a wealth of information around what types of items are commonly upcycled in the area.

The Personal Benefits of Upcycling

When you upcycle, you have the personal benefit of knowing that you are taking steps to promote a healthier environment. However, Upcycling is also a very creative process. You will have the knowledge that you can quite literally turn trash into treasure with a bit of creativity and an idea.

Working with your hands and learning how to Upcycle can also help you gain a larger skill set to repair other items. For example, learning how to upcycle old clothes and shirts can help you learn necessary sewing skills that will help you patch up holes in new clothes.

Companies That Sell Upcycled Products

There are many companies that sell upcycled products. Loopworks uses converted seat covers from airlines, leather jackets, and various shirts to design stylish bags. Alchemy Goods makes backpacks out of blown inner tubes from bikes.

Sometimes items don’t get old, they are simply made in surplus. Sword & Plough turns surplus military supplies into jewelry, handbags, and even hats. The upcycled materials include uniforms, sleeping bag covers, and surprisingly 50 caliber bullet casings.

These companies show that you can upcycle almost anything and turn it into a useful and even beautiful item.

Upcycling Ideas

There are a number of objects you can use to upcycle. You can use old beer or wine bottles. You could use old clothes that you have. You could even break apart an old dresser and use the wood from that dresser to create something else.

Mason jars are also very useful for upcycling. They can be used as pots for plants, makeshift mixed drink holder, and also candles. You could even use a mason to create a DIY lamp.

What is great about upcycling is that it is all about your creativity. If you can imagine a use for an old item, you can use that old item.

Upcycling Is A Creative Way to Recycle

Upcycling is a creative way to recycle old materials you may have – into a full-fledged product.

You participate in helping the environment when you upcycle, and you can contribute to local markets when you purchase items that are upcycled.