What is Upcycling

What is Upcycling

What is Upcycling?


At first glance, the terms upcycling and recycling may sound the similar, but they have two different meanings. Both upcycling and recycling reduce garbage and, therefore, minimizes environmental impact. However, upcycling involves giving something old a new purpose. Upcycling turns nne person’s trash into another person’s treasure.


Trash by the Numbers:

  • The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash daily.
  • The average American produces 1,600 pounds of trash annually. With this amount of garbage produces in the US alone, you can form a line of filled up garbage trucks that can reach the moon.
  • 30% of America’s trash comes from packaging.

Recycling vs Upcycling


Recycling takes consumer materials like those made of glass, metal, plastic, and paper — and breaks them down to create a new consumer product. On the other hand, the process of upcycling is an improved version of recycling because does not involve breaking down of materials – but giving a new purpose to an old product.


Some people think that upcycling is just a fad because it became more popular thanks to Pinterest, but many people hope that this trend stays for a long time.


Here are some of the benefits of upcycling:

  1. It’s good for the environment. Upcycling is environment-friendly for various reasons: the trash in landfills is reduced, pollution of air and water are lessened, and it sets a good example for others. It raises the environmental awareness of people by teaching them about green living.
  2. You can earn from trash. Many businesses have delved into the upcycling business because serious money can be made in this growing industry. The process goes like this: companies buy waste at a low cost. Using the waste, they create “new” products and sell them at higher prices for their aesthetic and environmental value. Artists and furniture makers also benefit from upcycling because they’re able to turn trash into treasure without having to pay for anything.
  3. Upcycling boosts one’s creativity. It’s an exciting hobby to get into because you’re not only creating something new and updated out of an old or unused item, but you can also earn money out of it! If you’re new to upcycling, you can check Etsy or Pinterest for inspiration — and once you get a hang of it, you’ll have more ideas for your next project.
  4. With upcycling, you don’t have to let go of the objects you love. If you’re a person who has a hard time letting go of valuable and old items, it can eventually turn into a hoarding problem. Upcycling can solve this because you get to keep your precious items, increase their practical value and turn it into something you can actually use.
  5. You can turn your upcycling hobby into a business. This way, you can enjoy both the benefits of upcycling and the perks of having a freelance, work-at-home job — you get to have freedom and flexibility. It can be a bit challenging at first but being your own boss has many benefits.


Upcycling is a simple process and doing it at your home is a perfect way to express yourself and be creative. Think about upcycling the next time you clean out your home and see if there would be suitable candidates for your next DIY upcycling project.


How about you? Have you tried upcycling? Share your projects with us in the comments section below.



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