My usual approach to nearly every project I’ve ever done in my life has been DIY. The build out of my new shop is no exception. I’ve been hands on during each aspect from the space design and working closely with the contractors to sourcing the materials they are working with. I have high ideals that the materials I choose be sustainable, have high recycled content and made in the USA. No big surprise since I hold the same standards to the gems and metals that I make my jewelry from when at all possible. But this week I discovered, in my humble sustainable opinion, what may be even one step better….UPCYCLING!
The goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. Old products are given more value by being reused rather than recycled as waste. This reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products. Reducing the use of new raw materials can result in a reduction of energy usage air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions. Upcycling is an even greener way of recycling – you find a new purpose for unwanted items and instead of throwing, thrifting or recycling them, you USE them again. Brilliant! In my new shop you will recognize our old display cases in their new role as jewelers benches and wood display trays reborn as tool drawers.
I love products that are made of such healthy stuff that you can shred it, compost it and then grow your food in it but…whew, all that is an awful lot of effort though. Why not put a creative twist on it instead and use it in a whole new way? You never know, you just might come up with the next big thing!