Upcycle is considered as the best application of the 3R principles, especially for a zero waste lifestyle and environmental sustainability. The question is, what is an upcycle?
The upcycle method is currently in vogue, and there is a positive reason why this is happening. Most importantly, upcycle prevents new trash from forming. Apart from helping the environment, this method is beneficial for social and financial aspects.
As the condition of the earth worsens, reducing the carbon footprint is more important than ever. One of the best methods is to apply the upcycle technique.
Broadly speaking, upcycle not only helps the environment free of waste, but useful for producing creative goods with high benefits. As one of the best methods for dealing with waste, upcycles don't take much time. One upcycle project can be finished in just a few hours.
Upcycle practice basically refers to the process of changing old items into new items with creative methods. The item can be anything, and it can be a combination of several things.
The upcycle technique aims to find other benefits from items that are not used and then turn them into a product that offers benefits again. Thus, upcycle is like giving a second life in an innovative way. So, it is possible to get a higher benefit than its initial function.
Fortunately, there are many individuals who are now more aware that everyday behavior can have an impact on the environment. They are actively looking for ways to reduce waste while saving money, and upcycle can be the solution.
Though, it's important to note that upcycles are made using used items that are available, not by buying new things. The upcycle is to take advantage of what is around to avoid becoming a new garbage.
The main benefit of upcycle is to reduce unused material that will become waste. The reason is the majority of waste produces methane when it decomposes, a pollutant that triggers the greenhouse.
Upcycle is useful for reducing the extraction of minerals so the natural resources are maintained. By implementing an upcycle, the extraction of natural raw materials is reduced because humans already have the materials they need.
A simple analogy, think about how many trees you can save if all the furniture is made with scrap wood. This applies not only to wood, also to other natural products. Upcycle reduces the need for new raw materials from nature to make new products.
With an upcycle, used goods are ensured that they do not end up as waste that pollutes the soil, water, and air.
For example, fast fashion continuously generates new trends which triggers overconsumption. Fast fashion triggers fashion fans to buy new products which are then discarded when the trend has changed.
It is true that the upcycle is not able to clean up the waste, at least it is useful in reducing the waste that will be disposed of. So, because unused goods are transformed into something new, there are more used goods that are prevented from turning into waste.
The best way to avoid waste is to make no waste at all. But what if you already have some unused items?
Through an upcycle, unused items can be reprocessed to offer benefits for the umpteenth time. This is important, especially for products that fall into the non-biodegradable category.
Upcycle helps reduce production costs. Raw materials will be processed through various stages of production before being finished products. Upcycle will cut the production chain so the operational costs can be reduced.
For businesses, reducing production costs means optimizing the profit margins. This method can be applied in a wide range of industries, both small and large scale.
New raw materials are more expensive than used materials, and this can reduce the cost of purchasing raw materials besides reducing production costs.
The best thing is, upcycle allows individuals to express their creativity. Upcycle can be used as one of the most creative ways to earn an income. This method is not only fun to do, but also productive.
Currently, there are many upcycle products that are used as souvenirs or unique ornaments to enhance the home appearance. So, if you have furniture, clothes, or other used items, try selling them. By changing the shape of existing goods, the cost of raw materials can be reduced while increasing profit.
The majority of upcycle techniques produce unique and distinctive products that can be made with high creativity because they use used goods as the main material.
This waste management method requires you to think more creatively to provide more value from waste. From here, humans seem to be forced to be more creative in using unused stuff.
Reducing the consumption of energy has two positive impacts: preserving natural resources and reducing the production process. That means, reducing carbon emissions.
The process of converting raw materials into new products will produce large amounts of carbon emissions, especially during mass production. According to the EPA, the industrial sector generated 23% of carbon emissions in just 2019.
As an illustration, recycle still triggers carbon even in small amounts, while downcycle is only good to avoid new waste, but upcycle is superior because it reuses waste.