From old to new – Upcycling!
Many products of our daily life originate in the tropical regions of the world – the rainforests. As an example, paper is a product we find nearly everywhere in our homes and offices – toilet paper or tissues in the bathroom, printing paper, post-its and calendars in the office and food-packaging, paper bags or postcards at the fridge in the kitchen. All those paper products share the same fate: they’re made out of trees and mostly end up in the rubbish. But there is a way to give them a longer life: Upcycling!
But what means upcycling? Is it just the use of old stuff to create nice things?
Not, it is much more than that: The word upcycling means to re-use something, to give it another function or role. In that process “rubbish” or apparently worthless things become something completely new. In comparison to “downcycling”, by upcycling, ”useless” products will be upgraded to an entire new product and like that gain a new value. There are various reasons to upcycle things. On the one hand using things longer saves natural resources and protects the environment, because the mass production of paper, plastic and other resources endangers the natural habitats and livelihoods of animals and people – for example in the tropical rainforests. On the other hand, it is fun to create new things out of old ones and provides an opportunity to rethink consumption habits. Paper gives us thousands of opportunities to upcycle it: jewelry, little boxes or bowls or small Easter or Christmas decorations – there are no limits to your creativity.
Get inspired by the variety of Upcycling opportunities and tutorials on the web. Like that, you can do your part to protect our natural resources.
Not only paper gives us the opportunity to upcycle, many non-profit associations have incredible ideas for upcycling: a beach chair out of an old trash bin, bags made out of no longer worn T-shirts, lamps out of old cans... Get inspired and start your own upcycling project!
"You can make such beautiful things of old paper, but my parents through it away without thinking of it."
by 8-year old girl from Germany