The beauty of upcycling
(BPT) - Everything old is new again. At least that’s a simplistic take on the tenets of upcycling, which translates to giving renewed purpose to something others send to landfills. For consumers with a passion for do-it-yourself projects, and the boards on Pinterest to prove it, upcycling has taken root. Some ideas are as simple as investing in a set of sharpies to transform ordinary cabinetry knobs into one-of-a-kind home accessories. Others require more time, as in creating a working chandelier from white plastic spoons. It’s a small step considering that Americans throw out enough disposable dinnerware to circle the equator 300 times, according to www.earth911.com.
The Internet is littered with statistics estimating when our landfills will reach a tipping point. Other stats concentrate on the fact that trash must travel farther to meet its fate, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, individual states continue to consider putting in place stricter regulations for commercial businesses in order to save landfill space.
In answer to the call for smarter manufacturing practices, many brands have found ways to reduce their contribution to landfills. For instance, fashion brand H&M recently announced its partnership with I:Collect. H&M customers may donate any article of clothing from any brand to any H&M retailer worldwide in exchange for a store voucher. I:Collect then repurposes the donated clothing. Since The Council of Textile Recycling reports that the average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing each year, this is yet another small dent in keeping usable materials out of landfills.
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