We’re all used to fads coming and going which is why we have become somewhat immune to them. We’ve lived for so long in a throwaway culture with fast fashion and home trends which are in one minute, but out the next. We haven’t minded so much before as items have become so cheap. We’ve been able to afford to live in this consumerist culture as there are pound stores and discount stores filled to the brim with the items we desire at ridiculously low prices. We can change our wardrobe or home décor at a fraction of the cost of what it would have cost say twenty years ago.
Unfortunately his sort of lifestyle and attitude is detrimental to not only our wallets, peace within and minds but, as we are now realising more and more, it is also so detrimental to our planet. Whilst these sort of fast trends and fads are not worth jumping on the bandwagon for, there is one new trend that is going against the grain and is actually making a positive difference. That trend is upcycling.
Upcycling is the fad that has stayed, and rightly so. It’s the trend that has become a trendy way to turn trash into treasure. It could be turning an old bathtub into a sofa in the same style as Breakfast At Tiffany’s, an old ceramic milk jug into a plant pot, transforming your old clothes into up to date wearable pieces or, if you really want a challenge, how about repurposing a disused vertical industrial water tank like these (click site) into a planter, outdoor fireplace or even a totally unique chicken coop (see here for all these ideas and more) . But what you might not realise is there is so much more to upcycling than just a cool way to individually decorate your home or garden.
Aside from creating brilliant masterpieces that look great in your home and garden, here are four more reasons why upcycling is the trend that needs to stay:
- It prevents landfill waste
Upcycling is just another way of recycling. It’s reusing trash to make something stylish and that is extremely beneficial to our planet. Not only does it keep unwanted items out of landfill, but by reusing and repurposing them we are helping to stop wasting resources in manufacturing new items continuously. This benefits us and the planet as it reduces pollution. It celebrates conscious living and creativity in a way that buying something new simply does not.
I really hate to talk about landfill as if you have unwanted items there are so many ways to get rid of them without adding to the destructive practice of landfill waste. With upcycling being so huge and people keen to save money there is no need to ever throw items away. The internet is a wonderful place and with the likes of eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and other similar sites, you can nearly always find someone to take your unwanted goods off your hands.
If you were going to throw it in landfill anyway then simply list it for free and let someone make use of your unwanted items. It’s so much better for things to be used than thrown away. You should only ever throw away things that absolutely have no use to anyone. Even then I feel guilty about throwing things into landfill.
- It’s a fun lesson for children
Everything about upcycling is perfect for expanding the imagination and thinking of children because, on the one hand, it teaches kids the importance of looking after our environment and that caring can actually be fun, and on the other hand it encourages kids to get stuck into a fulfilling project.
You can teach your children how to reuse and repurpose old items, how to fully get every last bit of life out of something rather than simply throwing it away. Teach your kids to fix things, repaint things and reinvent something rather than just going to the store to buy something new all the time. It’s an important lesson to teach our kids nowadays – how to value something instead of teaching them to depend on consumerism.
Just give your child something you were about to throw out, let their imaginations run wild and watch them reshape it. Even something as simple as an old box can provide hours of entertainment and creativity; it suddenly becomes a castle, a spaceship, an aeroplane, a car, a home and so much more.
- Being creative is a stress buster
Pretty much every upcycling project ever involves using your hands, being creative and innovative and out there. In most circumstances it involves being in the great outdoors too. All of which are proven to be fantastic for relieving stress.
You get to give your brain a break from the stresses of modern daily life and use it in a new way simply focusing on the task at hand. You’ll feel the brilliance of achieving something which you built with your own hands. Plus you often get to do this whilst being surrounded by nature in the fresh air. The combination of these actions are a great mood booster and you’ll feel less stressed in no time.
- It all started as a hobby…
How cool would it be to start off painting old plates or making wind sculptures out of discarded metal, only to turn it into a thriving business? Well, more and more people have seen their passions flourish from nothing more than upcycling their unwanted items into something that will become useful or beautiful to someone else. Even my husband has been collecting unwanted wood and pallets to turn them into incredible retro desks with a passion to turn it into a paying side hustle!
Upcycling isn’t just a useless trend that we can’t wait to get rid of. It’s something with a purpose that is greater than our own instant pleasures as it helps to protect our environment and reduce the damage we are causing to our home planet and the creatures that share this very space with us. I hope upcycling is here to stay and more people start to consider the impact of the items they purchase for their home.
More planet friendly blog posts
Why everyone should eat organic food
5 simple ways to reduce waste in the kitchen
20 ways to reduce plastic consumption
15 eco-friendly things I do on a regular basis
Legal challenge to include vegan milk in schools on par with cow’s milk
Your ultimate guide to an eco-friendly kitchen