Do you think we’re doing enough to save this planet?
Recycling might sound cliche as a means to reduce wastes. But how about repurposing or upcycling?
Usually, materials on the recycling process are melted down to be converted into new products.
People who promote recycling have a good intention to save the environment by decreasing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, rivers and the oceans.
But as someone who cares for the environment you should know that repurposing and upcycling are better alternatives for reducing waste.
Read on to find out the several benefits of repurposing items.
Recycling, Upcycling, and Repurposing: What’s the Difference?
Recycling refers to the process of breaking down a product to turn it into raw materials. For instance, plastic bottles are melted down and undergo specific procedures to produce plastic chairs. On the other hand, upcycling improves the appearance and function of a product to reuse it again.
For example, a broken table is repaired and repainted to avoid buying a new one. Meanwhile, repurposing is the process of using a product for another purpose. For example, worn-out shoes that you cannot wear anymore can be used as pots for plants.
The Surprising Benefits of Repurposing Items
If you are part of the upcycling community, perhaps you are already aware of its benefits. But aside from gaining several advantages of upcycling, you may also love the benefits of repurposing items. Instead of throwing broken things that you can find at home, you might find a way to use them for another purpose. The following are some convincing reasons that might convince you and your friends to promote repurposing:
You preserve the quality of the material through repurposing.
As mentioned earlier, recycling requires melting down the material to produce another product. Therefore, the recycled item had undergone a chemical change, reducing the quality of the material. It is recommended to repurpose things because it does not change the composition of the raw material. Besides, every material has certain limitations when it comes to the process of recycling.
For instance, paper can only be recycled five to seven times. It is because an ordinary sheet of paper made out of wood-derived cellulose fibers can only survive four to six strips worth the recycling process. Besides, low-quality papers are not that flexible for recycling compared to white office paper.
Repurposing will help you save money.
The upcycling community will surely agree that upcycling and repurposing items are cheaper compared to recycling. It is because the latter process uses certain chemicals to change the composition of the materials.
Therefore, physical stores and online shops sometimes sell recycled items at a higher price. Buying eco-friendly products might be good for the environment, but it might cost you higher than the regular price.
It does not require intensive energy.
Recycling contributes to the carbon footprint. The more materials are recycled, the more carbon footprint is created. Aside from that, recycling requires intensive energy to produce new products. As a concerned citizen of this planet, would it be better to find a better solution?
Instead of promoting this process, why not opt for repurposing? Since you will use the item for another purpose, it doesn’t need to undergo different procedures that require energy. With repurposing, you are not only reducing waste, but you are also decreasing the carbon footprint.
When you repurpose you use your creativity.
One of the exciting benefits of repurposing items is it improves your creativity. Who would have thought that you can use old toilet bowls for landscape gardening? (Of course, you need to clean and disinfect it first.) What about your winter boots?
There are many items at your home that can have double or even more purposes.
For example, broken window frames can be used as large photo frames, while empty shoeboxes make excellent storage. All you need is to be more creative, and you will indeed find a lot of repurposing items.
It can be your way to make new friends.
Many people are into recycling, and so is upcycling. These people are those who want to help the environment even in the simplest ways possible. You can gain new friends by connecting with the upcycling community.
You can make repurposing projects together and make it a hobby. Not only have you made new friends, but you also become friendlier to the environment.
Repurposing lowers production costs.
If you start an upcycling business, you’ll know that you can save more money with upcycling and repurposing. Unlike recycling, you don’t have to buy new raw materials to create a new product. Therefore, no chemicals are needed for production. It is safer not only for the employees but for the environment as well.
When you repurpose items you avoid pollution.
Since recycling requires different chemicals for production processes, there is a higher risk of pollution. For instance, the chemicals used for melting down plastics may find their way to waterways, polluting water bodies.
Not only that, but the smoke coming from factories also decreases the air quality. Besides, recycling may also be a cause of soil degradation. Therefore, instead of helping the environment, it can worsen the planet’s condition.
When you promote repurposing you support the upcycling community.
When you support local businesses that do upcycling and repurposing, you help them earn a reasonable income.
These people will undoubtedly be grateful for individuals like you who care for the environment and patronize small businesses. Remember, they also contribute to the economy like big enterprises. Buying repurposed items is both environment and community-friendly.
Recycling, upcycling, and repurposing have good intentions to save the environment from having too many wastes. But as someone who wants to make reasonable changes in the environment, it is recommended to assess these options.
Among these three, upcycling and repurposing are better alternatives because they conserve energy, unlike recycling. Saving both energy and money are just some of the benefits of repurposing items. To create a good impact on the environment, select the right choice of reducing waste.
Andy is an urban survivor passionate about recycling, clean energy, and micromobility. He loves nature and people and peacefully militates for a balance between the two. When he’s not writing on Noble Urban you’ll find him riding his bike, fishing, or reading a good book.