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Let’s not just ‘create’, let’s ‘upcycle’…


I wanted to post some ideas on how to encourage our kids to reduce waste by reusing, recycling and *upcycling* and then realized ‘upcycling’ is a relatively lesser known and even less understood term and hence we just may confuse it with ‘reusing’. So, here’s a quick post on what ‘upcycling’ actually means, how’s it different from ‘recycling’ and ‘reusing’.

Upcycling is similar to recycling in that we take something (that’s otherwise a waste) and revamp/remodel it into a new form for continued use. However the main difference is that in the case of upcycling we generally do not alter its form back into its components for reuse. Also, in recycing – the quality of the original material may degrade (recycled plastic) but in upcycle, we actually retain the quality of the original product and infact sometimes enhance it.

For example, we have an old glass bottle.

In recycling, the recycling center sorts the glass from other recyclable material and sends them out to be recycled, where the glass would most likely be melted down to make a new bottle/jar along with all the other glass containers that are no longer in use. In upcycling we would clean the glass bottle, beautify it with some glass colours etc and reuse it as a flower vase!

Upcycling is different from simply ‘reusing’ the product for same purpose – for example, reusing the glass bottle to store oil or juice.
Reusing it as a flower vase means upcycling. The glass bottle got a new lease of life when we revamped it to use as flower vase.

This term (‘upcycling’) was originally coined by the authors McDonaugh and Braugart and is being extended to revamping anything for a different use/purpose. Anything that was intended to end up in the landfill.

Upcycling reduces substantial amount of waste and industrial production. Besides being a boon to environment, its wallet friendly as well as we buy less. I find it much more satisfying than just ‘creating’ anything new because in upcycling, we are reinventing and repurposing an old item that may have outlasted its purpose or usability. When we repurpose it, we are giving it a new life and meaning…

I need help sustaining this blog…

Dear blog readers – It’s been exactly eight years now that I’ve been writing on this blog! Yes, eight long years and hundreds of articles. From art, creativity and learning; to food, health, gardening, travel, sustainable and mindful living, natural birth. In our un-schooling life, as we go on introspecting, questioning and evolving, I’ve strived to share our stories and experiences with as much honesty, care and sincerity as possible.

I spend hours writing an article – and often write and rewrite many times before it rings true to me and sounds worthy of your time to read.

The most important thing for me is to keep this blogging endeavour authentic and true to my values. This blog has been my sacred space to express, share, feel empowered and contribute. Hence, I do not like to support businesses that don’t align with my values. So far, I’ve rarely taken sponsorship from brands and companies. I haven’t placed any ads on my blog, though there have been multiple offers.

Infact, I’d like to keep this blog ad free unless something truly meaningful comes across.
Yet, there’s a cost to running this blog. The basic cost of keeping the domain alive, and hosting all this content on. I spend roughly INR 10,000 (USD 173) just to keep this blog up and running. So, I need to cover this cost. Plus, it’d be nice to bring in some income for our family of four. And, this is where I request your support.

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