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How to Upcycle Items Around Your House

How to Upcycle Items Around Your House

4/29/2014

Recently, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new report, highlighting the dangers that the world faces if policies mitigating the damage of global warming are not introduced in the very near future. In a matter of years, it may be too late to stave off devastating effects.

While the UN report was focused primarily on the need for governments to pass legislation limiting or discouraging the production of carbon dioxide, these findings also emphasize just how important it is for people to take steps in their personal lives to minimize their impact on the environment. And one of the best ways to accomplish this goal is through upcycling​. When you upcycle, you take items that no longer serve much of a purpose and, instead of discarding or recycling them, you repurpose them in a new, exciting way. Upcycling is inexpensive, it's good for the environment and it can be a lot of fun.

Here are just a few ways you can upcycle various items around your house:

1. Turn discarded materials into art
One of the best ways to upcycle is by finding items that are unimpressive in their current state, but have the potential to become delightful works of art. This may seem counterintuitive - after all, most discarded products aren't exactly lovely to look at - but many enterprising designers and innovators have discovered that numerous common, everyday objects can be totally transformed when repurposed.

For example, the website Twisted Sifter suggested turning old, unused mugs, bowls or bottles into unique light fixtures, which you can display around your home. If made of glass, these items will produce interesting lighting effects, while ceramic items can add a folksy charm.

Similarly, the source suggested using old picture slides to cover windows. When sunlight passes through these windows, the different colors of the picture slides will practically glow, and the slides can be arranged in countless configurations.

Another possibility is taking the pages from an old, unwanted book and transforming those pages into a wreath, as Savvysugar highlighted. Such a project can add a tremendous amount of personality to a home when placed on a door or wall.

2. Get organized creatively
In addition to art, upcycling is great for improving your home's organization. For example, Twisted Sifter noted that by filling an old, unused box with wooden skewers, you can create an effective knife block, as the skewers will hold the blades in place safely.

The source also recommended changing an old, unused bulletin board into a jewelry organizer. Necklaces and bracelets can hang from pushpins inserted into the board, helping you keep your jewelry untangled and easily accessible.

Savvysugar suggested upcycling a cardboard six-pack, originally used to transport beers, into a kitchen utensil holder, putting knives, forks and spoons within easy reach of diners. You can decorate these boxes with paper and paint to increase their visual appeal.

3. Handy tools in unexpected places
Lastly, you should consider ways of transforming existing objects into new, useful tools. For example, HGTV suggested using old garbage cans as planters, which can be displayed inside or outside your home. Twisted Sifter recommended repurposing old CD cases to hold wires and cables, keeping these items coiled for convenient, easy use.

All of these upcycling strategies are key for minimizing your environmental impact while simultaneously upgrading your lifestyle. The same can be said of ProtectCELL's cell phone buyback program. This program allows you to get ahold of a new, improved phone, without throwing away your current device.

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