Upcycling the Summer Away |Research Project

Photo c/o Morguefile
Photo c/o Morguefile
I know that this has little-to-nothing to do with being an information professional, but my job at the EPA has inspire me to look into practical means of going green.  Thus, I wanted to share!
Earlier this year, during an event at work, I did some recycled-do-it-yourself projects, and ended up with a basket made out of a giant bird seed bag and a picture frame made of wine corks.  That was not my first stab at this type of DIY, though:
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This recycling-meets-DIY concept has a specific name to boot: “upcycling.” In a 2010 New York Times article, Beth Gardner points out that upcycling is different from recycling, in that upcycling turns waste into “products of greater value,” while recycling breaks down products through degradation before they are repurposed.

If the idea of transforming dilapidated suitcases into a nightstand is a bit intimidating to you, then there is good news: upcycling is as complicated as you make it. It’s great for everyone from kids to college students to working professionals, because it requires people to adapt that which they already have.

There are lots of great ideas on the Internet, such as:

An old refrigerator re-imagined as an ice chest:

Photo c/o Home Talk
Photo c/o Home Talk

That mat from sushi-at-home experiment turned into a brush holder:

Photo c/o Inna's Cute Box
Photo c/o Inna’s Cute Box

Bottles from last night’s wine can be inverted to create a hummingbird feeder:

Photo c/o Apartment Therapy
Photo c/o Apartment Therapy

If you’re interested in finding more ideas, try a quick Google or Pinterest search. Other places, such as Apartment Therapy, can be unexpected sources for ideas as well. Be sure to comment if you try something innovative or unexpected!

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