Upcycling is converting something old which was probably going to be discarded to become landfill into something which is useful and/or beautiful. The concept of upcycling appeals to me because it is said to be environmentally friendly and I like the fact it requires a degree of creativity. However, some upcycling ideas just don't seem that practical to me and don't seem to achieve what they are meant to.
The trouble is-
sometimes I have no need for the thing I could create because I'd never use it or I already have one.
I don't have the necessary tools or skills.
I'd need to buy various things to make it and then have lots of leftovers
I could buy one second hand from an op shop or a market
they are so cheap at the local bargain shop
I don't like the look of the finished project
This is a clever idea for using out dated diskettes but I don't like what it looks like and even painted I doubt it would appeal to me Pixabay
However, some of the projects are illustrations of the problems I see with some upcycling projects. For example one project involved making a doormat from 10 old leather belts. How many old leather belts do you have lying around your house? There is one in this house but it wouldn't be suitable for the doormat project. I guess I could ask all my friends to save any unwanted belts for me but I probably still wouldn't have the required number.
Yes, I could buy some from op shops but even if I got them for $3 each, the total is more than a door mat from a bargain shop. There would be quite a bit of time and effort involved in creating the mat, so is it worth it?
I know it's not all about how much something costs but expense is one consideration.
Advantages of upcycling -
you get the satisfaction of making or improving something
you may make something aesthetically pleasing
you are saving something from becoming landfill
Are you always helping the environment? What if -
you use a toxic glue
you include lots of plastic
you throw away the leftover materials you needed to buy for your project
If your aim is to help the environment I think you need to think about each aspect of the project and check it is environmentally friendly.
Don't get me wrong, I do think upcycling is a great concept, I just think some projects are flawed in some aspects.