Upcycling and Recycling
Recycling is not really about saving money, although in a few cases it can – or even make you money. Most people do some form of recycling at home, even if this just amounts to putting glass, paper, tins, plastic etc in a separate bin with ‘landfill waste’ in another. Some more dedicated people compost food and other materials to use on their garden – if they are using this to grow vegetables then this can really amount to saving a lot of money.
This is not quite as common as recycling although it is starting to become quite a trend – possibly even fashionable and mainstream. Upcycling is defined as the art of re-using unwanted items by converting them into something better! Prince Charles has been known to talk favourably about upcycling and making some suggestions of his own.The two most popular areas for upcycling are clothing and furniture. Rather than list some suggestions here, you should have a look this page on Pinterest which show some amazing ideas. Upcycling will save you money as well as benefiting the planet by producing less waste.
If you work in an office (or other similar workplace) you should encourage your employer to take recycling seriously – many don’t. There are plenty of areas where office recycling can really count eg recycling paper, (and using both sides!), ink cartridges, packaging etc You can also encourage employers to use less printed paper for things like fliers, posters, catalogues, brochures, memos etc – most of these can be done digitally saving the company money – that’s usually the best way to encourage the employer to recycle.
The workplace can also be an excellent area to gather items to upcycle – businesses tend to throw things out when they get a bit tired and worn but these are by no means worthless. Many a time I have seen businesses discard filing cabinets, desks, chairs, office furniture, mats, pictures etc which are still perfectly usable but perhaps a bit faded. So the workplace can be a great minefield to source materials for your upcycling.
Wooden pallets are a great source material. They are very easy to find, often being discarded at or near building sites. They contain loads of string pieces of wood and are quite straightforward to disassemble. Pinterest is full of great examples of of some superb objects that have been made from pallets. Below is an example of three different items made from pallets to suit a vintage or rustic style bathroom suite.
Game of Thrones Toilet Seat
Lots of recycled knives seemed to have gone into making this Iron Throne!