How To Become A Gold-Medal Upcycler Without Even Trying

It’s not every day you get a refreshing dose of inspiration from awesome Olympic athletes, so now more than ever it's timely to take a look at what you can do to be a top upcycler!

WARNING: the following words are over-used in this article: upcycled, upcycling, upcycle.


“When you change the way you look at things

the things you look at change." Wayne Dyer


Forget about any rules. There. I said it! Upcycling really comes down to doing what you can with what you have, before contributing to land waste. It really is that easy.

In fact, you probably already upcycle heaps without even knowing it.

Upcycling is re-using an item, object or material by creating something new. Put simply, it's turning trash into treasure and in the process helping the environment by reducing waste.

So, while upcycling is closely related to recycling it is different.

Still confused?

You don’t need to worry, because here are three tips for you to try so you too can embrace the habits of a gold-medal upcycler!


“When you change the way you look at things

the things you look at change." Wayne Dyer

This is not just applicable to life itself but to the “stuff” we collect each day! Try and look at your everyday things from a different perspective and you'll even surprise yourself - I guarantee it.

Just take a look at these ideas.

Hey, you there! There's no need to throw out that old tea-towel.

Give it a good wash and chop it up into squares - voila - now you have fresh washing cloths you can sanitise and re-use over and over again because after all, who wants a stinky old sponge full of germs?

You know that old t-shirt you can’t even give away to the clothing bin.

Now, that’s funky and so damn useful - that's from Delia Creates - here are the instructions.

Have you just had a big special celebration and you can’t possibly part with that memorable bottle of wine?

Just light it up and you have your keepsake!

No silly, you don’t need to throw those candles out!

Wowser! Now that’s what I’m talking about! Here are the instructions.

Plastic salad containers, beer bottles?

Ahhh! Now that's more like it!


Re-discover your inner child!

Don’t be afraid - it’s not as serious as it sounds!

Go on, go and grab your scissors and glue and get creative.

Why not try re-creating your junk mail into a cute little basket?

Even the kids could give this a go! Here's how you can make them.

Try making that tetra-pak planter featured on our blog a few weeks ago.


What would MacGyver do?

Indeed, when you think about it, MacGyver was an upcycling cult hero!

Angus MacGyver had the ability to use a single paperclip and a piece of old duct tape to save the world.

While that’s some feat to live up to, you know what? You don’t need to feel overwhelmed as you can simply follow MacGyver’s lead…in your own big or small awesome way!

The simple act of asking yourself, “is there anything I can do with this before I choose to put it in the bin”, well that really is the beginning of the journey to becoming a gold-medal upcycler!

Finally, here are a few things to think about before you do your upcycling thing:

  • Is your product useful?

  • How long will it last?

  • What will be its impact when I’ve finished with it?

  • Does it save you money because you don’t need to go out and purchase new materials?

  • Does is make you think about what more you can do to reduce waste?

If you’re craving more info, 1million Women has heaps more cool stuff about what is means to upcycle.

Oh, and don’t forget about Emubob’s range of upcycled products!

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