Posts Tagged ‘Art’

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Word of the Day: Upcycling

by The Green A-Team

Word of the day: upcycling.

What does it mean for the way we think about our trash?

Originally coined by Michael Braungart and William McDonough, authors of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, upcycling is the liberation of discarded materials to create something completely new and beneficial.  It differs from recycling in that the material doesn’t need to go through any extra steps to begin it’s new life as something else.

Take a sheet of hard industrial plastic, for example.  To recycle it, the type of plastic must be identified, sorted, cleaned, and reformed using a slew of chemical processes.  The same sheet can instead be upcycled and used with little or no modification to become the surface of a picnic table or other useful permanent object.  Upcycling gives meaning to the hands-on reuse of materials in their original state without the mystery of the hands-off method of recycling.

For some ways to try upcycling for yourself, check out these links!

Upcycle Art

Upcycling Old Clothes

Upcycled Furniture

Photo by Enno de Kroon.


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