Contributor Ivy Lane calls repurposing objects and materials “upcycling”, in stark contrast to downcycling, which typically refers to the deterioration of plastic as it undergoes multiple recycling processes. Repurposing is the ultimate sustainable thing to do with stuff that already exists. It extends its life, creates something new (our brains thrive on novelty, hence the rampant consumer culture), and inspires creative thinking to imagine objects being used for another purpose in new combinations. It’s easy to think of repurposing as taking something easily recyclable and giving it a new lease on life, but where it succeeds most wonderfully is in saving garbage-bound objects from an eternity in a landfill, bringing to mind the old adage, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” (Just check out some select submissions to see what I mean.)
I hope repurposing can find a home nestled between the handmade revolution and high design so as to appeal to anyone. In fact, there is no reason it cannot.
It’s that time of year again, and just our luck — it’s on a Friday! That might explain why it seems crazier than years past. I am back at the old haunt, but didn’t decorate it for the first time… save a few candles in the kitchen as we kept all of the lights off! Hey it’s good for the planet. I was feeling unmotivated to carve a jack-o-lantern and had a battered one to deal with, so I thought, why don’t I make it a piece of art and that way I’ll enjoy it. And it was TOUGH. I need to invest in some pumpkin carving tools.