Turn Your Trash Into Treasures: 7 Best Upcycling Ideas

by James Flint on February 09, 2022

Turn Trash Into Treasures 7 Best Upcycling Ideas

As sustainability continues as a top trend in the Australian retail industry, consumers are choosing sustainable solutions and brands that support environmental issues.

According to new research conducted by leading parcel delivery service CouriersPlease, 90% of Australian consumers want sustainable products. The report also found that an estimated 85% of consumers base purchasing decisions on their values – ethical and environmental – and 2 in 5 consumers would be willing to pay more for ethical and sustainable products.

They say one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and lately, as consumers become more conscientious, that applies to everything! Enter one of the best sustainability trends in the Australian retail industry: upcycling.

Benefits Of Upcycling (For You And The Environment)

Upcycling is a growing trend for DIY projects – and with good reason. But what exactly is upcycling? Remember, recycled is not the same as upcycled! Upcycling is transforming discarded material or objects to create products perceived to be of higher quality or greater value – artistic, monetary, or environmental – than the original.

You may be wondering, is upcycling really necessary? From a general point of view, sifting through your old items, local yard sales, or thrift shops to find that one suitable item to give a new purpose may seem to be time-consuming and wasteful. However, as long as you’re willing to make the effort and exercise your creativity, it can pay off in a major way. Here are a couple of reasons why it is good to upcycle:

  • It conserves the environment
  • It lowers production costs
  • It conserves limited resources
  • It encourages creativity and innovation
  • It supports local industries

Did you know that the fashion industry is expected to contribute more than 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050? When you upcycle, it helps reduce the amount of waste ending up in the ocean or landfills. Upcycling also encourages you to think outside the box and use problem-solving skills – it can even earn you some extra cash.

Top 7 Upcycling Ideas

Are you overwhelmed with heaps of clutter in your home and don’t know what to don with it? Or maybe you’re looking for some creative and eco-friendly organising solution? Regardless of whether you’re looking for a useful DIY furniture piece or a creative way to repurpose unused household items or old clothing, these top seven upcycling ideas are sure to inspire you.

Idea #1: Plastic Bottle And Tin Can Planters

Are you looking for super easy projects to help you grow your favourite flowers or herbs? If so, before you send those cans and plastic bottles off to the recycle bin, see if you can repurpose them first. Take your plastic bottles and tin food cans and turn them into self-watering plant holders. This is an excellent way to add unique decorations to your home. 

Turn Trash Into Treasures 7 Best Upcycling Ideas

Idea #2: Crafting With Candy Wrappers

In a 2016 survey, Australia was among the top ten countries with the highest per capita candy consumption. In another 2019 survey, approximately 4 million Australian respondents said they had consumed a combination of chocolate bars in an average four-week period. This goes to show just how many candy and chocolate wrappers end up in the garbage.

You can turn candy wrappers into useful objects, including:

  • Festive curtains: Turn wrappers into bowls, suspend them on threads, and hang them to serve a brightly coloured curtain.  
  • Jewelry: You can fold a wrapper over and over and tie the ends with a ribbon or add beads to use them as bracelets, necklaces, or earrings.

Idea #3: Make Art From Found Objects

If you like art, every bit of trash or unused items in the house has creative potential. You can save things like toilet paper rolls, cardboard, egg cartons, straws, popsicle sticks, and much more for DIY crafting projects.

For instance, you can upcycle used fabric, metal scraps, or tiles to create mosaics or mobiles. You can also transform a dumpster-bound window frame into an entryway organiser to add a pop of colour and pizazz to an otherwise plain-looking wall.

Idea #4: Fabric Gift Wrap

Repurposing fabrics into gift wraps are an ingenious upcycling hack. When you’re sending gifts to many people, even a $2 non-recyclable paper wrap can be a stretch. Wrapping gifts with fabric is eco-friendly and more economical, but more importantly, it looks personalised and beautiful! Also, the receiver of the gift can repurpose the fabric wrap again.

Idea #5: T-Shirt Produce Bag

Got some old t-shirts in the house? You can make simple produce bags with any t-shirt! Even with novice sewing skills, you can make a bunch of colourful storage bags to keep your groceries organised and fresh.

Idea #6: Repurposed Dresser Drawers

You’ll love these unique repurposed drawers! If you no longer have any use for a dresser drawer, why not repurpose it into a stylish serving cart or a self-watering planter? Brass wheels, metal handles, and leather hardware can turn an old dresser into a chic cart. This would make a great DIY project for summer.

Idea #7: Bird Feeder Easy Projects

There are many ways to repurpose humble plastic bottles and tin cans – from planters to bird feeders to cutlery holders – the possibilities are limitless. Plus, if your children enjoy learning nature, making bird feeders from tin cans and plastic bottles can be an educational opportunity.

Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Products From Goods That Give!

Upcycling doesn’t just benefit the environment; it is also a great way to challenge your creativity. Be creative and transform trash into treasure. Don’t want to do the heavy-lifting but are passionate about sustainability and upcycling? We've got your covered. Get started with helping save the planet by checking the sustainable and eco-friendly products at Goods That Give.