What does this new term Upcycling mean? Is it really any different from the "old" term recycling? Maybe you haven't heard of upcycling yet and you are now more confused than ever. Well, let me try to explain what I have found out about these two terms and then you can decide what you believe.
If you shop on-line for handmade items made by artist's and craft person's, you will find an array of goodies ranging from furniture to jewelry and clothing. The items can be made from materials purchased at a local craft store or made from materials gathered from around the house or a second hand shop.
The items made from materials purchased at the craft store are usually considered new when they were created, while the items that were made with post consumer products are considered an upcycled product. An example of some items an artist might use to make their upcycled products are: used books, maps, bottle caps, tin cans, plastic bags, game pieces, paper sacks, plastic bottles, cereal boxes, records and the list goes on....These items can be turned into unique and useful gifts.
The term upcycling usually refers to taking an existing item and changing it into a new item without breaking it down, melting it or destroying it. So the cereal box, or paper sack can become a greeting card or envelope. The process of recycling usually involves melting plastic or metal to make a totally new form or pulping post consumer paper products to create different paper products. Upcycled is not in the dictionary yet, but this is what dictionary.com has to say about recycling. So is there a difference?
1. to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse: recycling paper to save trees.
2. to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of: The old factory is being recycled as a theater.
3. to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: The governor recycled some speeches from his early days.
Look at these Upcycled items:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/74030087 - by itsourearth
Made from a Beatle's vinyl record and sleeve.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/62848977 - by FreestyleGifts
Made from record sleeves.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/42266893 - by Mayasmomma
Made from a cereal box.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/44401075 - by teddmcdonah
Made from a Tin can.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/71626720 - by picardcreative
Made from a tin can lid
http://www.etsy.com/listing/74345927 - by frankcluck
Made from a plastic dog food bag.