June 24 is Upcycling Day. Why recycle stuff when you can improve them? Learn more about upcycling and this special date here. Upcycling things is more fun than you think!

We’ve all heard about recycling, the practice of reusing materials like plastic or cardboard to make new virgin material. Entire cars can be stripped down and recycled, but there’s a problem. As some experts say, recycling is downcycling. When you recycle, you always end up with lower-quality material.

That’s where upcycling comes in. The philosophy behind it is that you can take something you have no use for anymore and bring it back to life. An ugly shirt can become a fun little tank top, an old desk can become the loveliest of dining tables, and an old lamp can be turned into a fantastic bird feeder. The sky’s the limit!

Unlike recycling, upcycling requires truly little energy but lots of creativity. Here’s where crafty and artsy people make their appearance. Entire Etsy stores dedicated to upcycled stuff sell thousands of dollars every month, and items are often sold for more than what they cost when they were brand new. Adding value is the name of the game, and sometimes you just need a bottle of paint to return an item to its former glory.

Upcycling is not only fun but also vital for the planet’s wellbeing. It’s great for reducing waste, and that’s the real endgame. Be part of the movement and upcycle some stuff. If you’re not a crafty person, donate your stuff to someone who will give them a better use. Just don’t complain when you see your old lamp selling for hundreds of dollars!

History of Upcycling Day

Upcycling day is celebrated every June 24, thanks to a community effort in 2015 in the UK. Now it’s a global movement of people upcycling items we would otherwise throw away.

The term upcycling was applied to adding value to items instead of recycling or disposing of them somewhere around 1994. It gained traction, mainly in Germany, after author Gunter Pauli published Upcycling (1999).

By 2013, upcycling was in vogue, as thousands of people saw a business opportunity in creating something new from the old, and helping reduce waste, preserving the environment at the same time. Upcycling soon found its way to the art world, and it became the hottest furnishing and interior design trend.

The best part about upcycling is that we can all be part of it. You might not be turning an old phone into a lamp soon, but you can undoubtedly cut those old denim jeans to make some neat shorts!

How to Celebrate Upcycling Day

Clean up your home, but instead of throwing away the stuff you don’t want anymore, find a fun way of upcycling it. There are tons of videos online to learn how to make some artsy pieces.

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