What’s Upcycling?

14 Aug

Put simply, it’s  the “reuse” in “reduce, reuse, recycle”. Upcycling refers to the practice of taking disposable or discarded things and repurposing them into valuable, useful, or simply aesthetically pleasing items.

How is it different to recycling? Recycling also prevents waste from going to our garbage dumps by extracting materials from items once they have been discarded. But, as McDonough and Braungart argue in their book Cradle to Cradle, recycling technologies can often lead to ‘downcycling’ of materials into products of lesser quality or value

There are heaps of online discussions about the benefits of upcycling, often giving great examples. So we’d rather get straight to it and show you some of Conserve India’s upcycled products:

The 'Breeda': making rubber tyres and old shopping bags 'a little bit fancy'

The 'Tassels': a no hassles way to do something good for people and the planet

The 'Porsche': strap yourself in to a new way of thinking about seatbelts

The 'Bermuda': how to do your shopping with the greenest of green bags

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One Response to “What’s Upcycling?”

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  1. Art = Upcycling? « - July 2, 2011

    […] our original upcycling definition, does this use of end-of-life materials create ‘valuable, useful or simply aesthetically […]

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