Food For Thought

Why Should I Care About Upcycling?

Earth Day is a great way to encourage and remind ourselves that we must work to keep the earth clean in order for it to be here for generations to come. A lot of people try encouraging that we need to go clean up lakes, and plant a tree. Though these things are important, I find starting in our own homes to be the most important.

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Quote From humon Comic

It’s weird to think about the fact that when we say we should save the environment, we are still being selfish. The other organisms of the earth can quickly adapt and evolve into living in conditions us humans will never be able to naturally live in. That though an apocalypse could wipe out most of humanity, a good portion of animals and microorganisms of this world could still survive. This comic by humon pretty much sums up what I mean about this.

Though it is important to note that the species that are endangered are also a big part of keeping this earth that we love so much. Not because they’re pretty and create beautiful photos. (Even though some of them do.) Each animal is a part of their local ecosystem. Biologists are still trying to fully learn the effects of what happens when a species disappears from an ecosystem. In most cases, it causes an imbalance in the wildlife.

The best example us Americans have is at Yellowstone Park with the wolves. They were one of the biggest predators in that area, and with them gone, coyotes and other smaller predators took their place, but they did not have the means to take down elk. So the elk population size grew, and with that so did their hunger. Younger trees were being ate away before they even had a chance to create the next generation. Because the trees were not growing as fast as in the past, there was less cover for the small creatures in the forests to hide in, less space for new birds to create nests in. With the rehabilitation of wolves into the park, it helped bring back and save a lot of species from disappearing.

How does this deal with Up-cycling at home?

It’s not good for our man-made products to enter our local ecosystems. These items, like plastic cans, degrade into highly reactive chemicals that then float around in our air, water, earth, etc. before they attach to, usually, an organism. It then will cause toxic reactions to the creature. Or in other words, affects the animals/plants body systems.

It’s also important to note that recycling can only go so far. They have a little bit of a limit of what they can actually recycle depending on where you live. This is where up-cycling comes in.

With Up-cycling, you reuse items that you’re about to throw out and turn them into something else that is useful for you, a friend, or family. You can up-cycle plastic pop bottles into cool gift bags, or turn a flat tire into a unique coffee table. You can create wind chimes out of bottle caps, and yarn out of plastic bags.

By up-cycling you are reducing the amount of waste you throw into landfills, reusing “trash” into something else, and recycling the material. The 3 R’s of recycling put all together in one project.

And I’ll be honest, I don’t have the ability to do some of these amazing up-cycling projects. I live in a one bedroom apartment. It’s very tiny, just big enough to host a small game night and that’s it. What I can do, however, is recycle old items I’m about to throw out and turn them into something useful around my place. But do not fear! I have found a couple more websites/blogs that might be what you’re looking for.

UpcycleThat

This website searches throughout the interwebs for cool DIY projects that are great for reusing old items around your house.

ThredUp

I have yet to try this site myself, but from the reviews I’ve seen of it, it seems awesome. It’s like a fashionable thrift store online. Which is kinda cool.

Are there any sites that inspire you? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you all for reading, and may you have a great weekend ahead!