Perhaps you haven’t come across the word upcycling. It’s not a widely used word for turning waste into a purposeful and usable object or using waste to create art. The word didn’t exist really until the late ‘90’s when upcycling or making useful things out of things that are of no use anymore, was conceived.
The concept itself is not new, Picasso was known to convert waste into artforms, inspiring many artists since to follow suit. But it wasn’t called upcycling, probably because there was little environmental intent in the olden days. The wave of upcycled art is inspired by environmentally aware artists around the world who are creating works of art from waste. Each one is contributing to the reduction of waste through creative repurposing into something worthwhile.
The remarkable thing about upcycling is that it does not use energy. This is the critical difference between upcycling and recycling. When waste is sent for recycling it must be broken down for future use in manufacturing. This process requires the use of raw materials to make energy, labour, and equipment to create new recycled goods.
At Junk Removal Wirral any initiative that reduces waste and involves less waste collection gets our nod. Upcycling is one of the movements that can be explored by anyone, artists, mothers, children, and garden enthusiasts. Just about any form of waste can be turned into something, it just needs an open mind and some energy.
Firstly, there are no boundaries to upcycling. All you need is something that is going to be thrown away that you think will be good for a re-birth. A good environmental intention is the basis of upcycling, doing something creative and fun with a useless object that would otherwise have ended up on the scrap heap.
It’s equivalent to giving a new lease of life to a piece of junk and saving the environment the burden of having to harbour it in the landfill. Think about starting upcycled art, a creative piece made of bits and pieces of waste. You could use rubber, glass, plastic, wood, or metal to craft it into a work of art.
As you can see this is far removed from the well-publicized topic of recycling. It’s completely different, you are adding value by redesigning or repurposing the object.
You are going to need some workspace to do your upcycling and some tools to do it with. There will be painting, sawing, chiseling, gluing and many other activities requiring a bunch of DIY tools to get you going.
You’ll be excited because you are going to create items of value, maybe a lampshade out of an old bottle and an old curtain, a fancy hanging light out of old jars, or you can sew together some old materials to make something useful. Whatever it is, you must be creative. And that is where the fun begins.
When you get some of your friends to participate, it becomes a whole fun thing, with everyone eagerly wanting to show off their works. Start a flea market where you can all sell your upcycled creations and help raise money for the conservation of your area in the process.
In the same way that consumers eat organic foods, the concept of buying goods from upcycled products appeals to certain sectors of our society. Consumers like a story attached to a brand that is handmade. If the manufacture of the product involves an environmentally friendly story, so much the better.
An example is the Flowfold wallet which is made from discarded sailcloth. This was a simple idea born when the inventor, while on a sailboat, needed a new wallet and designed one to make a tough water- resistant easy fold wallet. He turned this into a commercial venture and the brand was born.
When it comes to fashion, there are a number of well-known brands that are upcycled: Ruby Moon is one of them. This non-profit uses ocean waste to create a swimwear range that has achieved worldwide acceptance with its sustainable products. Fanfare is another. By taking discarded jeans, the company can re-fashion them, adding an individualized touch to an old pair of jeans, making them look individualistic and unique.
Upcycled goods are also sold in the form of artworks, sculptures, and furniture for the home. The value lies in the creativity and the personality of the items, which on top of it all has been created by taking something out of the landfill. This act of social responsibility is often what motivates consumers to support this type of industry.
Extending the life of waste is one of the key ways of keeping waste collection down. We have seen that upcycling is an energy-saving way to reduce waste collection. The term downcycling is used to describe the action of separating waste to get it ready for upcycling or recycling.
Recycling as we have seen requires further energy and mechanical actions to be able to include the waste product in a new remanufactured product. The last alternative is to simply reuse the waste product, like a single-use bottle which later can be refilled as and when needed instead of simply throwing it in the bin.
Let us help you with your waste collection when you need it. As a licensed waste operator, Junk Removal Wirral can service your needs at any time you need waste collection. Our disposal methods are ethical, we encourage the activities like upcycling and recycling to prevent waste from accumulating in our environment.
Upcycling can be fun and the spinoffs of changing something that would normally be discarded into a useful object requires only some vision and creativity. We can all do it.
The products we have seen being made from discarded materials are truly inspiring, and some have been turned into brands that are now commercial successes.
After sorting your waste for upcycling you may have some that you need collected. If so, feel free to contact us!
Call us at the following number: 0151 808 0407.
We look forward to hearing from you.