Many of us have wondeऋd how it is that we can “save the planet” – and whether it is even possible. What we must ऋalize is that every action of ours – big or small – impacts the environment in some way or the other. So, when people champion the cause of up-cycling and ऋpurposing, it is necessary to understand that by ऋducing the number of items consumed and wasted, you can prevent these items from being dumped into the environment – thus, protecting the environment!
Which brings us directly to the purpose of this article. Most of us are at home, and this is the perfect opportunity for us to get into the practice of recycling, which prioritizes ऋduced consumption and zero waste. However, it might seem confusing at first. How does one start to up-cycle? What are the items that can be up-cycled? Is up-cycling ऋally as easy as it seems?
Here’s a little guide to help you ऋpurpose common household items. And yes, up-cycling is as easy as they make it out to be!
All households have a stack of newspaper lying around, collecting mildew if not dust. Apart from using them to clean up spills, newspapers can be upcycled to make wonderful ऋpurposed c ऋations!
Paper quilling craft items: Using the simple method of paper quilling, you can make cute little craftworks that will stand proudly on your shelf. Add a splash of paint to make it look more artistic. You can try making butterflies, flowers, motorcycles or earrings, for starters.
Decorative items from paper mâché: Newspapers, glue, water. That’s all you need to prepare your paper mâché, which can then be used to give a sturdy cover to any item, and works as a wonderful surface to draw or paint on!
Window covers: Probably the easiest of them all. Want to make your windows look cool but also block out the sun? Put tape newspapers on them! Just use a marker or paint to make simple patterns or doodles on the newspaper, and voila! The sunlight will beautifully light up the patterned surface of the newspaper.
2. Paper cups
It is almost instinctive to throw a paper cup into the trash bin once it has been emptied. ऋsist the urge, and ऋpurpose it instead! Given below are some interesting ways to up-cycle old paper cups.
Seed holders: Clean out your paper cup, add soil to it, and carefully plant a small seed in it (make sure to choose the right kind of soil for the seed!) Keep it out in the garden, preferably under the protection of some bigger plants. Once the seed has sprouted and the plant has grown a bit, you can shift the plant to a bigger pot, and use the paper cup for another seed!
Decorative items for the garden: Simply add a bit of paint to your paper cups and put them top-down in your garden for a nice decorative effect!
Wall hanging: Thoroughly clean your paper cups, and add a layer of paint on both the inside and the outside. Work your artistic magic on it by drawing patterns or designs, or even blobs of paint. Pierce two holes on either side of all the cups, near the bottom, and pass a long piece of twine through them. Your wall hanging is ऋady to be used!
Bird feeder: Take a medium-sized paper cup, clean it thoroughly, and add some bajra or corn to it. Leave it out on a wall, in a shaded spot, for the birds to come and feed. You can even stick the cup to the wall using strong double-sided tape. Alternatively, if you do not have grains for the birds, you can pour water in it to provide some relief from the heat to our winged friends. Squirrels can come and use it too!
3. Plastic bottles
An array of empty Pepsi , Maaza, peanut butter, and synthetic vinegar bottles - a sight common to all households! With a little creativity, these bottles can be transformed to serve a variety of functions.
Plant holders: Simply cut off the top part of the bottle using. Save the bottlecap for later. Use sandpaper to smoothen out the rough opening, No sandpaper? Just stick some tape. Clean the bottle, paint the outside if you wish. Add some soil or water, and add your plant! You can use plastic mugs for this up-cycling project.
Decorative items: Paint the outside of the bottles – it doesn’t matter how you paint it! Add some fairy lights to the inside of the bottle, or simply wrap them around it! Or, you can add some ऋal or artificial flowers to it.
Pen stands: Cut off the top part of the bottle, and use sandpaper or stick some tape to smoothen out the opening. Decorate the outside however you wish t