Whether you really love taking on a new DIY project, are finding it tricky to find new furniture due to coronavirus restrictions or personal taste or are looking for a low-cost change; upcycling can be a great way to re-vamp your home and garden. There are many different benefits to upcycling from being a creative outlet to a practical low-cost innovation.
Yes, upcycling is often extremely eco-friendly for many reasons. Firstly, it reduces the amount of waste going to landfill. As a consumerist society we are very used to throwing things away when they are no longer of use or desirable to us, we often forget that many of the materials in old items are still perfectly usable and can be re-claimed to make impressive new goods. In fact, you will often see many high-end items in fancy stores often draw attention to the use of ‘reclaimed’ materials, which have been made into very desirable items. Waste in landfill leads to soil, water and air pollution.
Upcycling also saves energy in the production process, the fossil fuels used to transform raw materials, assemble items and transport to stores is all reduced through upcycling. Even upcycling old clothes can have a positive impact on the environment – as the fashion industry has a hugely negative impact on the environment in a number of ways, and its reliance on the quick rotation of ‘new trends’ means that it is a very wasteful area too.
Further, upcycling bypasses the need to acquire the raw materials in the first place and therefore saves on limited or unsustainable resources– an example being that no more trees need to be cut down for the wood to make your new bookcase or no more cotton needs to be picked and dyed for your new top. Instead you are utilizing the materials you already have and caring for the earth in the process.
It almost goes without saying that instead of going out and spending lots of money on a new furniture set, shelving or whatever you need (much of which can be pretty pricey); giving your old things a new lease of life, or repurposing them into something completely new can save you tons of cash. There may be some costs involved, such as the cost of paint, but overall you can make some pretty beautiful pieces cheaper than buying completely new. Even repairing old goods and giving them a new lease of life can sometimes be more cost-effective than buying new, it also saves you from searching to replace a favorite item that was broken.
One of the best things about upcycling is looking at the finished piece, that you will proudly place in your home and garden and feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment that you created that. It is often also really fun to take on a new project, finding your creative inspirations, working out how to make it, finding solutions to problems and even learning new skills along the way. It can test and expand your creative and practical skillset – often leading to an even bigger sense of satisfaction once you have completed it.
Up-cycling encourages creativity and innovation – by finding new ways that you can save money and be eco-friendlier with the goods in your home, you can simultaneously find a new-found joy and passion in a creative project that can make you happier, more fulfilled and exercise your creative muscles.
You may have bought your furniture from a shop that sold thousands of the same product, but nobody will have the same item once you upcycle it. You can take some old pieces of furniture from inside your home and repurpose them for outdoor use.
You may collect together broken or old items and arrange them into a memorable garden arrangement – examples include old chairs, tyres, or wheelbarrows as planters, bathtubs as ponds, old tins or bricks as plant pots, step ladders as plant stands and so forth. Anything can happen with a dash of imagination! Wooden pallets are a popular choice to make a variety of things with, such as garden furniture, planters or even rustic indoor furniture – shelving, coffee tables – the list is endless.
So, whether it is simply a fresh lick of paint or making something completely new out of the pieces of the old item, whatever you do, it’s likely that it will be completely unique to you. So maybe run with that idea and make some new statement pieces that compliment your home and taste perfectly!