Who doesn’t love a bit of upcycling? It’s fun, creative, often different and quirky, makes for great presents and could save you money. All that and I haven’t even mentioned preventing waste from going to landfill.
So what exactly is it? Well according to Wikipedia it is
“The process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value”.
The aim is to prevent wasting materials by using them to create new, better products. This also means that we are using less raw materials and probably less energy, reducing our carbon emissions in the process.
OK, so that’s the technical bit. What’s exciting are the endless opportunities for crazy and creative designs. Being a jewellery lover, one of my favourite pieces is a bracelet made from old bed springs which I bought at Camden Market around 10 years ago. Every time I wear it someone comments on it and they’re always surprised to hear what it’s been upcycled from. My friend Shona also gave me the best earrings made from 45″ singles for my birthday the other year.
Of course upcycling isn’t really a new thing. Making something new and beautiful out of something old is what people have done since times began, surely. So why not join in?
An example of upcycling events taking place in November as part of this year’s European Week for Waste Reduction are the Textile Reworking Sessions in Aberdeen, organised by Aberdeen University and the reuse organisation Aberdeen Forward. Staff and students at the university are invited to attend the workshop sessions to learn how to make a new piece of clothing or other textile product from waste material.
The university’s Students’ Association Climate Change Project is also joining in by organising a Student Design Competition where students are asked to design a piece of art using waste materials. The entries will be displayed on campus where other students can view the finished pieces and a prize will also be awarded for the best artwork.
Are you part of a community group, charity, local council, school, university or business? If yes why not organise your own action to take part in this year’s European Week for Waste Reduction? Visit our website to find out more.
For more upcycling ideas, try the UK Upcycling website.