Skip links

#27 Upcycling

#27 Upcycling

The environmental benefits of upcycling, or repurposing, are substantial. Statistics show, 21% of Americans upcycle clothing, boxes, and goods regularly – reducing the need for production of new goods. Upcycling benefits the environment by reducing the pollutants of air, land and water in the production process of new goods – as well as prevents additional natural resources from being used. It also reduces excess waste from ending up in landfills.  

Reuse, Repurpose, Upcycle:

One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to reduce your consumption. Upcycling is the practice of creating a usable product from waste or unwanted items or adapting an existing product in some way to add value. The purpose of upcycling is to reduce waste and improve the lifespan of resources used. Let’s take a look at some statistics on upcycling.

Benefits and Facts of Upcycling:

  • Upcycling reduces the strain on valuable resources – such as fuel, forests and water supplies – and helps safeguard wildlife habitats.
  • Upcycling reduces air and water pollution.
  • Upcycling results in less hazardous waste production during the production process.
  • It reduces the amount of waste that will need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators.
  • It Saves energy – as well as reduces greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate fluctuations.
  • Upcycling saves you money and allows products to be used to their fullest extent.
Potted Coffee Mugs

How can I make an impact:

Tier 1: Global Goodness

  • It’s online search time! Do you have an item you aren’t sure how you can repurpose?  Simply search the item online with the word repurpose and see what cool things you can find.
  • Maintain your items. Caring for items and maintaining them properly will greatly extend the life of your goods. 
  • Reduce, Reduce, Reduce. Be realistic about what you need and what you simply want.

Tier 2: Planet Protector

  • All of Tier 1
  • Buy Used. Shopping at used goods stores can reduce the impacts on the planet – as well as your pocketbook.
  • Barter with friends or family. If you know someone who wants to get rid of something you need, see if they would be interested in trading for something they need. 

Tier 3: Earth Angel

  • All of Tier 1 & 2
  • Share your knowledge. Mindful consumption can be a priority in everyone’s life – if we share our knowledge on the benefits of upcycling.  
  • Borrow items that you only need once or twice for a special project. Get involved with your community – by working together people can pool their goods – making the whole community run more efficiently.  

Facts References: 

https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-and-reusing-basics
https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/upcycling
https://www.statista.com/statistics/699810/americans-who-upcycled-used-materials-united-states/
https://www.upcyclestudio.com.au/blogs/sustainable-living/the-environmental-social-and-personal-benefits-of-upcycling
https://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-reuse-beats-recycling.html

Join the Discussion

Return to top of page
SIGN UP FOR THE PLANET LOVERS NEWSLETTER!
Stay updated about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, healthy recipes, and more!
We respect your privacy.