Upcycling 101: What Is It and How To Do It

by Emily Carlstrom

Upcycling is something that we are very passionate about here at Kappi and something that we love to do (as well as encourage others to do!). Not only is it great for the environment, it gets you thinking and those creative juices flowing. Today we are talking all about upcycling and how you can turn what would normally be considered trash, into treasure.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is taking something that is considered to be waste or unwanted and repurposing it. It’s giving something that would normally be discarded a new life. The item that is upcycled often becomes more useful and functional – hence the name upcycling!

Upcycling is a creative process. It makes you look at an item as a resource and consider how it can be used in a new and different way. Upcycling is an extremely important initiative when it comes to our environment. It persuades us to reuse materials instead of simply throwing them away when we are done with them or when they have served their original purpose. This means that there is less waste going to landfill and we are able to have a positive impact on the environment!

The best part? Anyone can upcycle! We can all contribute to creating less waste and putting our creative minds to work. Upcycling can help you to save money, it’s fun and it’s amazing for the planet – what’s not to love?

How to Upcycle

There are so many ways you can upcycle – from using old materials and building something new or simply using empty containers as storage for something completely different. If you are new to upcycling, there’s no need to think you have to start building furniture out of old supplies. Start small – every small act helps. Here are some of our favourite (and easy!) upcycling ideas.

  • Most of us have old jars lying around – whether it’s from food or storage. We love using old jars to plant herbs or flowers in. It’s a great way to repurpose the glass instead of simply throwing it out. If you’re looking for another way to use an old jar, you can fill it with little fairy lights and use them as decorations.
  • When it comes to our beauty routine, old skincare jars and containers are constantly being thrown away. Wide-rimmed skincare jars are great for planting succulents, while we love holding onto our smaller jars for when we travel. Tall, thin bottles can be kept as vases for flowers. If you enjoy a little DIY skincare, hold onto your empties to pop your new creations in!
  • Have an old tin lying around? Get creative with some paint brushes and turn it into a holder for pens or makeup tools. The same can be done with larger candle holders.
  • Old t-shirts can easily be turned into bags – so not only are you upcycling, you are eliminating the need for single-use plastic bags!

These are just a few easy ideas but when it comes to upcycling, the possibilities are truly endless! Next time you finish up a product or are about to throw something old away, put your creativity hat on and consider what it could be turned into. It’s fun, it’s cost-effective and it’s sustainable. There really is no reason not to upcycle!


Have you Upcycled something cool? We want to hear about it!

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