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Top 7 Reasons to Start Upcycling Today

upcycled

Reuse is becoming such a large part of our lives here at the Free Range Family as we journey to become sustainably free.

Nowhere is this more exciting and fun than with upcycling.

I absolutely love the idea of re-imagining and re-purposing items that have lost their usefulness or (dare I say it!) have become a little stale and boring.

A fresh injection of energy into an item can do wonders for your space and state of mind.

Upcycling can be a great outlet that doesn’t have to cost the earth.

 So here’s a list of 7 reasons why you need to start upcycling today:

  1. It’s greener than recycling

Recycling is a far-from-perfect solution to the problem of waste. While recycling can stretch out the life of non-renewable items eventually they will end up in the landfill. Recycling is downcycling, that is the items are broken down and remade into something else. This process in itself can often be harmful to the environment and our societies.

Also, not all items destined for recycling will ever make it. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a common attitude in the recycle process.

 2. Upcycling stirs up your creative juices

Finding a new use for something that it may never have been designed for, creating new practical applications, stretching the old grey matter. Nothing like getting inventive to re-invigorate your world and the people around you.

 3. You end up throwing away less stuff

While recycling may reduce what goes into the landfill, at the end of the day you’re still throwing things away. Upcycling keeps stuff useful and in circulation. It also saves you money through having to buy less in replacement.

 4. Upcycling projects cost very little to complete (generally)

Keen upcyclers can sniff out a bargain, and are usually pretty good at keeping costs down on any alterations.

That’s half the challenge – and the fun.

 5. Upcycling can help prevent additional manufacturing of new products

If more people upcycle, less new products need to be made, which improves the environmental impact and reduces waste.

For example I learned it takes about 2900 gallons (approx. 11,000 litres) of water to make a pair of jeans! My last two pairs I bought for $5 each at the second-hand shop.

 6. Can become an excellent source of income

What starts off as an interest or hobby can actually become a successful new business in it’s own right. Clothing, furniture upcycling, jewelry, art. The options are limited only by your imagination, and demand.

 7. Extend the life of non-renewable resources

Plastic comes from oil. Oil is a finite resource, and one day we will run out. That’s just one resource.

If we upcycle what we have already, we don’t have to pull as much non-renewable resource out of the ground to replace what we throw away.

There is actually one more very good reason to get started upcycling.

They have better stories.

I love good stories, they’re part of our cultural psyche. Upcycled goods come with stories of past lives attached to them unlike newly produced items. For me, that alone is reason enough to start upcycling. To add to the stories they have, and help create new ones.

upcycled bed

 What about you, what are your reasons for upcycling? Let us know below in the comments.

If you haven’t already go on give it a go. You might just open up a whole new adventure.

Be free and happy!

Scott (The Free Ranger)

 

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Comments

  • April 6, 2015

    Upcycling is a new term to me, but upon reading your post Scott I realize its not a new concept to me. However you have added a lot of perspective for me. And you discuss some very good points. Btw, evrytime I go into a second hand shop, I come out with more jeans… 🙂

  • April 8, 2015

    wow ya i never thought of that… “1. It’s greener than recycling”.. so true.

    • Scott Stembridge
      April 8, 2015

      Yep, it certainly is!

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