Last year I blogged (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. Every day.) about how I could do better recycling in my own household. I am happy to say that I implemented nearly all of the action items I identified last year. I still believe that everyone, doing their small part, can truly make a difference and help save our environment. I am very pleased to know that my recycling mentality has rubbed off on my son, Ben. He is an Industrial Design student at ASU and has a love of invention and building things in the workshop. Fortunately his dad taught him a great deal over the years about woodworking. My son decided this summer that he was going to “make all the furniture for my new apartment at college”. Given he qualifies as a starving college student, he set out to design and make furniture on the cheap. He did not know it at the time, but the type of work he was embarking on had a name – Upcycling. Or as I like to call it, Creative Reuse!
Upcycling, or Creative Reuse, is a great way to reuse materials and reduce our carbon footprint.
The phrase, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” is so apropos. Ben did not have to look far to discover all sorts of valuable materials just lying around our neighborhood and community. Some of the materials were truly just trashed, while others may have found their way to scrap yards. But he certainly created new, high quality furniture from unwanted or useless materials. Here is his summer Upcycling portfolio…
Aluminum Wheels from his old car. No takers on Craig’s list. These aluminum wheels were just too cool to take to the aluminum recycling center.
Steel Pipe from scrap yard
Fishing Boat Seats (new) and very affordable.
Restaurant Bathroom Door from a local second-hand furniture store
Aluminum Panels from scrap yard
Aluminum I-beams from old patio awning
Landscape Lights destined for recycling center
Used wood pallet
Stakes (for concrete forms)
Living Room Chair
Beams from our neighbor’s old patio awning, discarded in a bulk trash pile
Sturdy Lawn Chair with new cushions
Cam shaft from his old car
Old transmission gear donated from local mechanic shop
Aluminum drafting lamp (new)
Corrugated aluminum sheet
Extra Christmas lights
November 15th is America Recycles Day. It takes very little effort to do the right thing, so do your part… Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Upcycle! Do you have a great Upcycling project? Please share with our readers.