Are you keen on activating your arts and crafts skills? Here are some easy upcycling ideas to get you started.
No matter how well we consider our style, and how much effort we put into finding the perfect timeless pieces, there will come a time where we have to say goodbye to some of them, as our shape changes, or when we truly don’t like them any longer. Of course, selling clothing items on a flea market or giving them away are good alternatives, to just throwing them out. Nevertheless, with a little bit of creativity, we can often alter old clothes in a way that makes us love them again or even give them new purpose so that they facilitate our daily grind.
Easy upcycling ideas to adjust and improve items in our favor are either sewing on some extras from other used fabrics or cutting parts of it off and changing the objects shape.
We spend a good amount of money on making our homes cozy spaces, which are to reflect us as the people we want to be. A sustainable and low budget alternative, to purchasing deco items, is creating your own decoration from obsolete things that a household naturally produces over time.
Do you have books you don’t read anymore, bits and pieces of gift wrapping paper or the newspaper from last week? Craft a bunch of paper roses!
Waste, which barely any household can circumvent, is lightbulbs. But why dispose them when there are so many beautiful ideas how to upcycle? One inventive trick, to keep the bulb within its field of illuminating our home, is to craft a chandelier. If that is too much of an effort, there are many more options, to repurpose lightbulbs. For instance, they look nicely delicate as hanging vases.
Part of what drives upcycling activities is the wish to live a more sufficient and minimalist lifestyle. As mentioned in the previous post on downsizing, old plastic bottles pose a great opportunity to create helpful objects in and around the garden. In our nursery, we use Eco-Bricks, plastic bottles tightly packed with non-recyclable material, to support our staggered vegetable beds. Moreover, in our Eco-Education Workshops, we teach students how they can make seedling trays and hydroponic systems which save water from old plastic bottles.
Packaging is probably the biggest environmental issue, which the kitchen faces. Shopping at big supermarket chains entails a lot of plastic wrapped groceries, and therefore fills the kitchen bins rapidly. A way to reduce plastic waste, and practice upcycling, is to keep all glass or other containers which can be potentially reused. Those can be employed for zero-waste shopping at a local store or a farmers market. Not only do they save you a lot of plastic, but they also look much prettier and personalized than commercial packaging. Another thing to ask is, if we really need a knife holder? If it is something you don’t want to miss, why not just take some cookbooks and tie them together with a rope or rubber band and tuck the knifes in there?
To create extra storage for our belongings, it is not always necessary to go to the furniture store and purchase a ready-made cupboard or closet, when there is building material in the garage or the attic, waiting to be repurposed. Unused ladders can be colored and transformed into beautiful and functional clothing hangers. Admittedly, not everyone has a spare broken piano at home, but if you see one being thrown away, don’t hesitate to step in and rescue it! Turning a piano upside down can make an amazing book shelf which contributes to an extra fine art vibe at your home.
For this year’s Women’s Day in South Africa, we want to introduce a woman in sustainability who inspires us daily. After earning a Master’s degree in Development Studies, she joined Greenpop in 2014. When she is not heading up programmes across Sub-Saharan Africa, you can find her spending time with her family, tending to her garden, practising Italian, and searching for the best pizza in the Mother City. Get to know Zoë Gauld-Angelucci!
World Environment Day is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and has been held annually since 1974. The goal of the day of action is to promote environmental awareness and draw attention to crucial concerns around our planet’s survival, that require active engagement and commitment. Today, the day represents one of the largest global platforms for environmental action, with millions of participants from around the world. Each World Environment Day focuses on a specific issue that reflects urgent problems and challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss or pollution.
Composting is surprisingly easy with these 4 steps – you can even do it at home, and don’t need a lot of space.
Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.