A Complete Guide to Upcycling and Embracing Sustainable Products

A Complete Guide to Upcycling and Embracing Sustainable Products

At ecoHiny, we admire all your efforts to improve our environment! It's our goal to be your planet-helping partner by offering encouragement, advice, and the best option for bamboo toilet paper, all in hopes of leading you to a more sustainable existence.

So much of minimizing your footprint means being mindful of the products you purchase. As consumers, it's our responsibility to make choices that reflect our values and vision for the future of our planet. Sometimes, the best strategy is not to purchase a new item at all. That's where the idea of upcycling comes in.

If you're looking for another way to up your sustainability factor, then upcycling just might be for you!

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is a process that involves taking old or discarded materials and transforming them into something new and useful. The goal of upcycling is to create something that is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. This is achieved by using creativity, innovation, and a little bit of elbow grease.

The possibilities for upcycling are nearly endless! You can extend the lifespan of many everyday items in new and creative ways. Consider some of these ordinary items that are commonly used in a new capacity after being upcycled.

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Glassware
  • Building materials
  • Planters
  • Mail
  • Beverage cans
  • Jelly jars
  • Vegetable cans
  • Wine bottles
  • Jewelry
  • Bedding

One of the biggest advantages of upcycling is that it helps to reduce waste and minimize the environmental impact of our consumption. By giving new life to old items, we can help to reduce the amount of waste that we produce. 

Upcycling is also a great way to save money and be more sustainable. Rather than buying new items, we can repurpose old ones and give them a new lease on life!

Lessen Landfills

By upcycling, we reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. This is because upcycling means reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away, thus reducing the need for new resources to be extracted, processed, and manufactured. Alleviating part of the millions of tons of waste collected in our landfills each year (1) is a significant step toward reducing environmental harm.

Unnecessary Use of Energy

Additionally, upcycling helps to reduce the amount of energy and water needed to produce new products, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. 

A Complete Guide to Upcycling and Embracing Sustainable Products

Getting Started With Upcycling

Recognizing upcycling opportunities can be challenging at first, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. 

One approach is to keep an eye out for items that are no longer useful in their current form but still have value as raw materials. For example, old furniture can often be upcycled into new pieces by sanding, painting, or adding new hardware.

Another approach is to think creatively about how you can repurpose items. Could that old ladder function as a bookshelf or blanket rack? Is there an old cardboard box perfect for a cat playhouse? Do you have old T-shirts that would look lovely as braided headbands? Before you throw something out, try to imagine its potential in a new way.

Getting Inspired to Upcycle

The internet and social media outlets are excellent resources for drawing inspiration. Crafting sites, environmental groups, and DIY pages often suggest projects with suggestions and instructions for successful upcycling strategies.

Consider getting your thrift on! A trip to the thrift store can be an excellent alternative to buying new, and there are plenty of items on thrift store shelves ready to be upcycled. 

Upcycling Supplies

Although, in many cases, upcycling an item is simply a matter of cleaning it and repurposing it, there may be tools or other items that will come in handy when embarking on a more complex upcycling project. 

To upcycle wood, you'll need a few basic supplies. These may include sandpaper, paint or stain, brushes, a saw, drill, screws, nails, and wood glue. Additionally, you may want to consider using wood filler, which can help smooth out any cracks or imperfections in the wood surface. 

Depending on your project, you may also need specialized tools or materials, such as clamps or a wood-burning tool.

When it comes to upcycling clothing, there are several supplies you might need, depending on the project you have in mind. Some basic supplies you may need include scissors, a sewing machine, thread, pins, iron, and an ironing board. 

To upcycle glassware, you'll need a few supplies such as sandpaper, rubbing alcohol, paint, paintbrushes, stencils, and decorative elements like beads, gems, or ribbons. You may also need a glue gun to attach these elements to the glassware. Additionally, you can use a glass cutter if you plan on cutting the glass to create a new shape or size. 

Upcycling Goes Hand in Hand With Other Sustainable Choices

The goal of a sustainable lifestyle is to reduce our impact on the environment and preserve natural resources for future generations. It involves making conscious choices to consume less, waste less, and live in a way that is more in harmony with the earth. Upcycling is certainly a great way to get there!

At ecoHiny, we're proponents of adding upcycling to other sustainable swaps to be an entirely eco-conscious consumer.

Perhaps one of the most important ways to impact the planet positively is by being aware of the impact of your single-use products, and toilet paper is a significant source of single-use waste. In fact, every year, the average American uses approximately 140 rolls of toilet paper. (2)

When it comes to toilet paper, there isn't really an option for upcycling, but there is a significant way to reduce the impact of traditional toilet paper by choosing a more eco-friendly toilet paper option, like bamboo toilet paper.

By going bamboo in the bathroom with ecoHiny, you're getting incredible perks for yourself and the planet!

First and foremost, bamboo is a highly sustainable and renewable resource, as it grows much faster than traditional trees used for paper products. This means that bamboo toilet paper is better for the environment and can help reduce deforestation. ecoHiny is absolutely tree-free and Forest Stewardship Council Certified, so you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you're not contributing to harmful deforestation.

We're not just tree-free, but that same sentiment applies to chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Bamboo is also naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial, which means our toilet paper is safe for all skin types.

An added bonus is the balance of strength and softness that bamboo toilet paper offers. You don't have to sacrifice comfort for sustainability when you choose ecoHiny.

Other Sustainable Swaps

Whether upcycling appeals to you or not, you can still make sustainable swaps. Here are some easy, immediately applicable ideas for making your home more sustainable.

Try some of these most popular:

  1. Swapping out single-use plastics, such as straws, water bottles, and grocery bags, for reusable alternatives. 
  2. Switching to energy-efficient LED light bulbs to save money on your electricity bill and reduce energy consumption. 
  3. Choosing eco-friendly cleaning products that are free from harsh chemicals and toxins. 
  4. Using cloth napkins and towels instead of disposable paper products. 
  5. Investing in a programmable thermostat to reduce energy consumption and save money on heating and cooling costs. 
A Complete Guide to Upcycling and Embracing Sustainable Products

Add Upcycling and Stay Sustainable

Upcycling is a fun, creative, and effective way to reduce your household waste. Keep our landfills clearer and help push manufacturing to a minimum by doing your part to reuse old items for new purposes. 

Add to that smart, sustainable choices like bamboo toilet paper, and you've got the formula for making a difference!

  1. "The real problem with toilet paper: Where it comes from." Environment America, environmentamerica.org/articles/the-real-problem-with-toilet-paper-where-it-comes-from/.
  2. "National Overview: Facts and Figures on Materials, Wastes and Recycling." United States Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/national-overview-facts-and-figures-materials.