Upcycled = Recycled/Remixed/Repurposed/Reusable
Like many of you, I grew up in the era of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and here we are 10-20 years later using different words for basically the same thing. Inspired nonetheless, I personally equate those three R’s to today’s usage of upcycling. I’m sure there are plenty of eco-pros who can school me on the technical term and usage of “upcycle”, but let’s be real…the term upcycle these days is more synonymous with Etsy artisans than it is with the industrialized Germans who coined it in the early 1990’s. The term upcycle was first recorded in an article by Thorton Kay Salvo and used by Reiner Pilz of Pilz Gm bH to express the opposite of downcycling–a byproduct of recycling. It was here Reiner Pilz explained how recycled materials can either be downcycled or upcycled. Downcycling is when the materials in the recycle process go to creating a lesser quality product or material.
Upcycling can be best described as creating a more useful and valuable product or material out of what otherwise could be considered a limited functional material/product or a potential pollutant. While there are many variances of upcycling, here are a few of my recent upcycled endeavors. Do you have any upcycled ideas you’d like to submit and see featured on this page? I would too! I look forward to you contacting me for details 🙂