I’ve always been a huge recycler, even fishing through other people’s trashcans at work as a kind of self-proclaimed recycling police.
But you won’t find me digging in the trash anymore. Instead, I am bin-diving into the recyclables on an almost-daily basis — hunting for a new toy, utensil holder, coloring book, snack dispenser or anything else my little family and I might need.
I’m all about reusing before recycling these days.
“Upcycling” — the process of turning otherwise wasted objects into something of greater value — is nothing new. But, like a new mom who suddenly becomes hyper-aware of toxins in our food, air and clothing (been there), my living-with-less reality right now has reminded me that I can use a lot of things that normally land in the recycling bin.
1. Made by Joel
This is my go-to site for upcycled toys, such as a snack dispenser, kite or marble run made from cereal boxes or these sweet fabric nesting dolls. Joel graciously provides free templates and instructions for those of us who wish we were more artistic.
Ever thought of using paper towel or toilet paper tubes to store extension cords? UpCycleIt, the blog dedicated to turning trash into treasure, has.
3. Daily Danny
This is the blog of green-living expert Danny Seo, who has written a book called Upcycling, due out next fall. How cool is that Tennis Ball Swing?!
User-submitted homemade gift ideas complete with how-tos — from the bizarre to super-practical, like this e-reader case made from a hardcover book.
DIY for environmentalists, including a few clever ideas for repurposing coffee cans.
Photo credit: Joel Henriques, Made by Joel