01 March 2012 ~ 4 Comments

How to: Upcycle

Did  you know that recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to run a TV for three hours? While we’re all quite familiar with recycling and how it can benefit the world around us, upcycling takes it a step further.

What is upcycling, you ask? Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Last month, The Huffington Post did a great piece on ways to upcycle plastic bags and we couldn’t help but share. Below are a few do-it-yourself upcycle tips, along with a link to the original post. Enjoy!

make a soccer ball with plastic bags

  • Create a soccer ball. It’s easier than you think to make a soccer ball. Simply fasten multiple plastic bags tightly together.
  • Learn to plarn. Plarnning is the art of making a weaveable material from old plastic bags and serves as the basis for many other plastic bag crafts.
  • Stand-in for plastc wrap. If a recipe calls for something to be battered and flattened, use a bag instead.

While their eco-impact may be harsh, you can make a plastic bag serve a second purpose before it ends up in a landfill.

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4 Responses to “How to: Upcycle”

  1. Suzanna McMahan 2 July 2012 at 10:59 am Permalink

    How does this sound? A gal has been living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for 2 years and loves it. While hunting for a house, hurricane Katrina comes and ruins it all for her. The result? Well she’s without a job, so after relocating to central Mississippi and getting a home there, she decides to create one for herself by upcycling unwanted items into fantastic jewelry that tells a story.

    Who could this be? Me, of course! I was taught to recycle at 5, but I’ve been upcycling for 10 years – full-time for 5. I’ve sold to one British TV personality and have already been featured on some blogs, but I’d love to be featured on yours since you deal with the meat of my business which is upcycling.

    If you’re interested for more info, you can visit my site at suzannamcmahan.com and my phone number is 601-260-3098.

    Thank you very much for reading this and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Suzanna McMahan

  2. Fiona 24 July 2012 at 11:17 am Permalink

    I’d love to learn how to weave plastic bags, what a great recycling craft to get into! I often buy these as they look great and are fairtrade – but learning the art would be lovely.

  3. Heike 24 July 2012 at 12:56 pm Permalink

    Agreed! Being crafty and green is a great talent.

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