Recycling doesn’t need to be a mundane and everyday chore. It’s not always a case of government figures, labelled bins and making sure your wheelie is on the kerb in time for the bin men. Instead it can be turned into a fun and creative way to make the world a better place in more ways than one.
Take upcycling, for example. This goes beyond reusing (e.g. using a plastic cup multiple times) and instead changes old items into something entirely different. It could be a case of fashioning the plastic cup into anything from a cutlery caddy to a jewellery box simply by applying a little imagination, and it’s a trend that’s on the rise due to it being environmentally responsible, an enjoyable hobby, and in many cases a money saver too. Thrifty living is nothing to be ashamed of, and even some of the wealthiest people enjoy the challenge and benefits of using as little as possible for as long as possible.
You could choose to go one further and turn upcycling into a family activity, as it’s a great way to spend time with the kids and encourage them to take recycling and green waste management seriously. For example, the plastic bottle birdfeeder pictured is functional, attractive and directly supports the local ecosystem. This is something else that we’re very passionate about, as it isn’t simply a case of keeping Earth clean for humans. If each of us can help wildlife in all of its forms, it in turn will do its job, whether that’s transporting pollen, breaking up the soil or designing beautiful cobwebs that catch the morning dew.
We’ve chosen this plastic bottle birdfeeder as an example of intermediate level upcycling. See, some forms are incredibly basic, like a plastic milk carton turned into a watering can or a cheese grater attached upside-down to the wall to create a stationery holder. Others are extremely advanced, like converting an old bath tub into a safe and eye-catching garden seat. (By all means try as many types of upcycling as you can, and if it goes wrong you can still put the materials into the recycling bin, but please keep safety in mind at all times.) This birdfeeder shouldn’t be too much work, and it’s especially great as kids will love the additional feathered friends attracted to your garden.