To celebrate Pass it on Week, we thought we’d share some of our favourite examples of upcycled or reused items. On this team, we’re big fans of reusing, repairing and upcycling things, whether for ourselves or as part of our projects at work, so we had quite a lot of examples to choose from!
Why do we love reuse so much? Well, aside from the fact that reuse is absolutely the best thing you can do to avoid creating waste, it’s a great way to get creative. All it takes is a bit of imagination and some DIY to give an unloved or past-its-best item a new life as something else. And there’s something quite satisfying about looking at your creation and thinking ‘Wow, I made that!’.
So (drum roll, please!) here is our Top Ten:
- The Re-Thinker: This amazing sculpture was created by artist Lucas Dew from steel items reclaimed from Aberdeen’s recycling centres. Lucas transformed a pile of old metal, including pipes, bedsprings, spoons and a digger bucket, into a work of art. You can see the Re-Thinker for yourself at Grove Recycling Centre in Hazlehead.
- Our upcycled bus: You might have seen the Recycle for Aberdeen bus out and about in the town, but have you been inside since its amazing makeover? If not, have a look at the photos on Facebook to see some of the upcycled and reused materials it features.
- Textiles animation: Talented pupils at Gilcomstoun Primary School made this short video to encourage people to use the charity banks at Recycling Points to donate their unwanted clothes. The video is one of a series created as part of a project we did with The Reading Bus.
- Hand warmer: Martina made this heating pad from fabric scraps and cherry stones. It can be heated up in the microwave and is great for sore muscles, cold hands or to make your bed toasty! If you want to know how to make a similar one, there are instructions here. And you don’t even have to eat a lot of cherries first as you can buy the stones online.
- Recycled art: Liina follows Recyclart on Facebook which has some great upcycling ideas. Her recent favourites include these cute reindeer made from sticks, jewellery made from textiles and this simple and pretty way of displaying flowers.
- Lightbulb vases: There’s no way to recycle the old style of non-energy efficient lightbulbs but luckily they can be reused instead. Christina made hers into hanging vases. Don’t they look great?
- Old faithfuls: Dave couldn’t choose a favourite between his faithful boots, bought 18 years ago, resoled every 3 years and lovingly polished on a regular basis, or his beloved mountain bike, which over the years has had 3 new cassettes, 2 new cranks, a new back wheel and new handlebars. Both are still going strong for many miles for come, and the message is clear: cherish what you have rather than buying something new.
- Cassette tape lamp: If you’ve got a box of old tapes lurking at home, follow Christina’s example and make a lamp out of them! There are instructions online for various versions – why not try making one with fairy lights?
- Teapot herb garden: Inspired by this photo, but lacking any outside space, Elaine decided to line her windowsill with a row of teapots and plant some herbs in them. If you don’t have a teapot collection, you could plant herbs in tin cans instead.
- Desk tidy: Martina’s desk features biscuit and sweetie tins which are now being used to keep her stationery in order. This is just one example of how you can get creative with reusing containers for storage. And you get to enjoy a tasty treat first!
We’d love to hear about your favourite examples of reuse and upcycling. Let us know in the comments or leave a message or post a photo on our Facebook page.