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Creative Recycling Projects from Common Household Items

 

Top 10 Reasons to Recycle
There are a host of good reasons for recycling; While the central reason that it’s great for the environment is, of course, perfectly valid, there are plenty of specific reasons too.

  1. It can be an extremely enjoyable way to spend some spare time, on your own or with your family.
  2. While modern landfill sites are now created more safely than they once were, it’s crazy to send materials to landfill unnecessarily.
  3. Recycling reduces global warming and prevents unnecessary greenhouse gasses reaching the atmosphere.
  4. Recycling (and up / downcycling) is good for wildlife; The damage done to ocean life by discarded plastic bottles, for example, is well documented.
  5. Recycling dramatically reduces energy use. For example, producing aluminum cans from “secondary production” uses 92% less energy than doing so from raw materials.
  6. New raw materials are generated from recycled products, providing a way to make new things without the further use of resources that may be finite.
  7. Reusing materials for new purposes can save a considerable amount of money. As this article shows, many useful items can be produced by repurposing items that would otherwise have been thrown away.
  8. When more people become environmentally aware, demand for recycled products increases. This creates a self-perpetuating circle of demand that’s good for the industry and for the planet.
  9. Water pollution is reduced when recycling increases, as producing goods from recycled materials doesn’t pollute as much as using virgin raw materials.
  10. With an average family in the western world producing a ton of waste each year, recycling is one activity where just one family (or one person) can make a genuine difference.

 

What Things Can Be Recycled?
If you’re looking to make something useful out of something recycled, you may be surprised by just how many items you can reuse creatively. Even a simple plastic bottle can be turned into a garden sprinkler, a bird feeder or a watering can! So never assume the only possible destination for an item is the trash. There are creative recycling projects out there for dozens of everyday items, including (but by no way limited to!) the following:

  • Glass bottles
  • Plastic bottles
  • Paper rolls (from kitchen towel and toilet paper)
  • Stale bread
  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Vegetable peelings
  • Plastic Pots
  • Corks
  • Dryer sheets
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg cartons
  • Shoe boxes
  • Old and damaged tiles
  • Bottle caps
  • Mailing tubes
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Light bulbs
  • Christmas trees
  • Carpets

 
Upcycling
Upcycling is a way of recycling creatively, turning items that would otherwise be unused into functional and useful things. An example often seen is when people reuse wooden pallets and turn them into anything from outdoor seating areas to staircases. Upcycling is also possible with far smaller items than pallets! Wine corks, for example, have myriad uses in upcycling projects, with creative people turning them into anything from kitchen backboards to bathmats and plant labels.

Upcycling can produce striking decorative items, or items that are merely practical, such as an upturned plastic bottle used to irrigate a plant pot while someone is away on holiday. Either way, the items get used again rather than being treated as waste.

Downcycling
Upcycling, as described above, is something we hear a lot about these days, with some people even building businesses around upcycled items. Downcycling is just as useful but involves stripping down items to component parts, usually with less of an inherent value than the original item.

Downcycling usually happens on an industrial scale. However, anyone looking how to make creative things from waste material at home will also find examples of downcycling that work as personal projects, such as using old clothes as dusters or linings for pet beds or turning old CDs and DVDs into drinks coasters.

 

 

 

Resources: ReuseThisBag.com : Creative Recyling Projects
URL: https://www.reusethisbag.com/articles/creative-recycling-projects

Date of Input: 26/01/2023 | Updated: 08/02/2023 | aslamiah

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