A growing awareness of environmental issues has increased interest in recycling, reusing, and repurposing materials rather than cranking out more of the millions cheap plastic products that rapidly dominate landfills and overpopulate ocean ecosystems. Recycling has been the crux of the Environmental Movement for decades with a multitude of ecological and economic benefits, but even this vital strategy has certain limitations. Therefor alternative methods are necessary to create a meaningful reduction in the waste stream of modern societies, such as "upcycling".
UPcycling vs. Recycling
UPcycling and REcycling don't look that different at first glance, but there are some important differences between these two environmentally conscious practices.
Upcycling is the process of taking a post consumer waste and creating a novel product. For example: Here at Liz Daly Designs we use vintage vinyl records and discarded CD's to create wall clocks! On the other hand recycling takes expended products and processes them into a material that can then be used to manufacture another product, such as the processing of plastic bottles into new plastic bottles or other plastic products (with the many steps expertly explained in this article by The Atlantic).
If you're more of a visual person, here's an excellent explanation from http://upcycling123.weebly.com :
UPcycling @ Daly DesignsMany of the patrons that visit Liz Daly Designs are excited to discover all the different creations we've UPcycled from other materials. Scrabble tiles transformed into a bracelet, spoons shaped into elegant rings, rocker chic guitar pics worn as earrings, and magazine vignettes contained in bottle cap magnets are just a few of our favorites. You can purchase many of these upcycled treasures from our online store, and if you're in the Greenville area don't miss out on a great opportunity to explore all of our one-of-a-kind designs!
In addition to those Daly-Made designs, many of the local artists that display in our gallery also handcraft reclaimed materials in unconventional ways to create beautiful jewelry and intriguing art. I will feature these and many other Greenville artists regularly, so to learn more about these talented artists and the incredible work they dream up, please subscribe to Greenville Designs Daly and Like Liz Daly Designs, LLC Facebook!
The Importance of UPcycling
If I haven't convinced you of the benefits of upcycling yet, just give me one last chance to win you over.
Upcycling is beneficial to the economy and the environment. Not only do repurposed materials cost less, but they also reduce the waste interred at overflowing landfills so we don't have to build expensive new facilities. Upcycling utilizes materials that can't be recycled. Much to many of its citizen's dismay, Greenville recently announced that glass will no longer be accepted through their recycling program, but with good safety practices and a bit of ingenuity there are numerous ways to transform ordinary glass objects into works of art.
Finally, Upcycling is FUN! There is nothing more rewarding than making something with your own two hands, and along with that sense of satisfaction you'll likely find you're pretty good at it. Don't waste another weekend in front of a brain melting screen, get some friends together and give those aluminum cans, old buttons, or just about anything else you can think of new purpose by UPcycling it into something special! Bonus: people will be impressed by your amazing crafting skills and all the cool, creative things you can fashion from mundane items! You'll be a upcycling Macgyver in no time!