Upcycling: From Gardening to Thrifting

Upcycling: From Gardening to Thrifting, Here’s What You Need to Know 

Upcycling has become quite a popular trend in recent years. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, upcycling is the process of reusing items to transform them into something of higher value than before. This might seem a bit time consuming. But learning to upcycle is actually an easy activity that yields positive, planet-friendly results. Read on to discover ways to upcycle both as a gardener and at home.

Upcycling ideas for your garden

Composting 

Maybe you are already upcycling for your garden, and you didn’t even realize. When you think about it: composting is upcycling. Composting turns leftover food scraps and waste into a higher value product: compost (affectionately called ‘black gold’ by some gardeners. Find out how to start upcycling your food waste into nutrient and microbe rich compost with an indoor bokashi composter (how to get started with bokashi composting).

Composting will help you upcycle the impossible by turning trash into nourishing and delicious produce.  

Using unwanted ‘stuff’ from your home

Upcycling - Planter ideas
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If we’re honest, most of us have a lot of older items in our homes that are taking up space and collecting dust. It might be tempting to drop off your unwanted items at the dump. But a more eco-friendly option is to assess which items (with a little DIY) would work well in your garden! When it comes to making what was once old new again, the processes of DIY and upcycling are almost synonymous.

Here are just a couple of ideas, the list is endless:

  • Old worn out silverware can be upcycled by reshaped forks and spoons into wind chimes.
  • With a little imagination, metal cutlery can be also transformed into beautiful reusable plant labels.
  • Or add a fresh coat of pastel paint to that old trunk in your basement to turn it into a large planter for some summer flowers. Or get even more creative with desks and dressers!

If you can dream it, you can DIY it. There are thousands of fun online DIY resources you can utilize. So, next time you’re looking for a new item for your garden think about upcycling items you haven’t used in years.  

Thrift store finds

Thrift store finds

Spending the day making fun finds at a local thrift store is becoming an increasingly popular pastime. Though you might be going to find the perfect pair of mom jeans or to sift through old records, it’s important to remember the positive environmental impact buying used actually has. The more you choose used, the less waste there is to end up in landfills.

Thrift stores are a great source of items for your upcycling ideas. Get creative with your finds by transforming used tea cups into fun focal points for your new garden. Or upcycle your wardrobe by turning vintage clothing pieces into modern looks. Become a super upcycler by DIYing the items you thrift!

There are plenty of ways to get hold of second-hand thrifted items. Whether you decide to look around consignment shops locally, or you look for used items online, thrifting is the perfect way to pay it forward to our planet. Make use of online thrifting sites like thredUP to find a selection of name brand options as well. Allow the thrifting process to be a transformative one by embracing the endless possibilities of choosing used.  

One Man’s Trash… upcycling waste

The phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is not one that is lost on most individuals. Apart from composting, there are other ways you can upcycle items to create beautiful garden accents. Here are just a few items many would consider trash that can actually be repurpose for your outdoor space : 

Old Boots: Turn your old boots into eclectic and fun flower or cactus planters instead of tossing them the next time you buy new shoes! 

Upcycled herb garden using pallets
Pinterest

Wooden Pallet: Old wooden pallets can be repurposed for several different uses, but most don’t know they make great shelves for your herb garden. You can even glam them up by painting them a fun new color as well.

Strainer: Rusty and dented kitchens strainers make great pots for plants that require excess water to be drained quickly. 

Tea pot: Flip your used teapots on their side and use them as birdhouses for your winged garden life. 

Used Tire: Do your research on how to build a small garden pond out of an old tire. Your pond will need more than just water. Make sure you invest in some essential pond equipment, such as marginal plants that inhabit shallow water in the margins. This upcycling option might involve a bit more work, but will also yield beautiful results.  

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