A primer on upcycling at home

When you create something usable out of something unusable at home, your upcycling has more impact than you imagined.

You know what upcycling is and you’ve probably done it too, but there’s a lot more to a simple act of repurposing things at home. In simple terms, upcycling is the process of taking something that’s no longer in use and turning it into something useful at home, in society and in business.

The upcycling you didn’t know about

What you might not know is the infinite benefits and positive impacts of upcycling, even you upcycle something basic at home. For brevity, we’ll focus on the three most direct and biggest positive contributions you can make by upcycling at home.

Disrupt the product-to-landfill cycle

Landfill in a developing nation

Upcycling saves finished products from ending up in a landfill, and in direct consequence, decreases the burden on landfills. The world is awakening to the knowledge that our dumping habit is nearing the endpoint. Land, ocean, rivers, lakes and urban spaces are bearing the double whammy of decreasing landfill space and stressed recycling capacity.

Every item of clothing, furniture, kitchen container, glass jar and crockery that you upcycle, creates an item less in the local landfill and a little more free space, the value of which is priceless in populated cities across developed and developing nations.

Help the environment help itself

The ever-growing cycle of mass-manufacturing and irresponsible consumption is tilting the balance between man and nature with environmental degradation coming tops.

Take the example of an omnipresent material like rubber. Widely used in the transportation industry and household items, the growing demand and use of automobiles, packaging, home and industrial use has resulted in the loss of millions of hectares of forests and farmlands to rubber plantations in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and India. There are also drastic environmental concerns inherent to the processing and manufacturing of rubber.

Wouldn’t then your project to upcycle used tyres into planters, a bed for your pet or a seat from tubes save a tyre from the landfill and scale down the manufacture of an array of household items? And while at it, you might want to conserve your car tyres by taking public transport.

Bring home satisfaction

Upcycled coffee container

At a personal level, upcycling is not merely an example of ingenuity, it’s also a matter of science, skill and satisfaction. Perhaps you’ve never been introduced to the warm feeling of doing something for mother nature or the creative satisfaction of making something. Your crafty skills can make you the creator of one-of-a-kind items, and your home, a place for items with a unique history. For example, if you converted that glass jar in the kitchen or the mason jar on your office desk into a wish jar, the personal story behind it is exclusive to you. Haven’t done it yet? Here’s your inspiration.

Did we mention that every time you upcycle paper at home, you’re helping a tree live somewhere in a developing nation? And every tree you help save, saves us in return – one tree produces enough oxygen for three people to breathe. If you liked the nifty and practical upcycled handbag made from newspaper, get it on Amazon or make your own. is upcycling

This week, we at are in the mood for upcycling. Through June 15 to June 21, we’ll share the virtues of upcycling, help you upcycle at home, and show us what we upcycled. Stay tuned to and get stuck upcycling projects back in motion, or feel the high of doing it for the first time!

By Romeo Coutinho

Rationalist, truth seeker, full time writer, part time dreamer.

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