Recycling And Upcycling: Increasing Awareness And Saving the World
The environment is one our biggest collective concerns. We love this planet, our home, and want to look after it. As governments we have implemented emission limits and regulations. As people we have learned to recycle and upcycle.
Our awareness of recycling and upcycling has increased as our knowledge of how our actions impact the earth have increased also. We have realised that it is not just down to the big polluters to lessen their impact on the environment. The aviation industry, plastic manufacturers etc, It is down to us too.
By increasing our awareness of recycling and upcycling we are helping to save the world.
Recycling and Upcycling
The standard definition of recycling, according to Wikipedia, ‘is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects’.
We all know how important recycling is. And we play our part appropriately. We put the correct waste into the correct bin. Separate glass from aluminium and cardboard, the hard plastics from soft plastics, etc. It’s the first big step in the recycling process.
You would be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t aware of the basic principles of recycling. Especially amongst the younger generation who seem much more aware of our environmental impact and, more importantly, what we can do to lessen that.
Upcycling, or creative reuse, according to the same source, ‘is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic value or environmental value’.
As you can see there is very little difference between recycling and upcycling. They are both about transforming something that would be wasteful into something useful. Both limit the negative impact on the planet and both are a sure sign that we, as a people, are not prepared to walk blindly into our own environmental oblivion.
Upcycled furniture is just one of the areas where the concept of recycling and upcycling has really come to the fore.
Not only has it provided us with some great pieces, both of great quality and aesthetically pleasing, but it has also shown us a way to do so without being as damaging to the earth. Somewhat random items once destined for the scrapheap to be buried and act as pollutants upon the earth are now being salvaged and turned into something not only useful but also appealing and attractive.
Upcycling can see bath tubs turn into sofas, computer parts into coffee tables, car parts into benches. In fact, it seems the only limit to any upcycled piece is the creators imagination.
Increasing Awareness of Recycling And Upcycling
As our worldwide population grows and, along with it, our climate and environmental concerns, it seems fairly certain that awareness of recycling and upcycling will continue to grow.
Whilst historically we have always done a little bit of recycling, like in the scrap metal trade for example, there has never been a time where it has been such a collective concern as such as it is now.
Every household has some insight into their personal impact on the world. It is a concern the majority of us share and, thankfully, want to do something about.
In recent years we have seen governments introduce recycling legislation and provide us with ample means to play our role in safeguarding the planet. We have made changes to our living and lifestyle.
We reuse and recycle and are doing so to an ever-increasing degree. We increase our awareness and the awareness of those around us. It isn’t a matter of choice. It is a matter of necessity. The hero to save our world is us. And we can still be heroes that live in style.
Gareth Willmot is a serial weird festival collector, coffee snob and a neurotic last-minute traveller who is passionate about marketing, ultramarathons and yoga.