Upcycling, a term that was coined over 24 years ago by Reiner Pilz, gives “new life” to something that has “outlived” its original purpose.
In addition to lessening the amount of waste going into landfills, upcycling and repurposing:
- Reduces CO2 emissions. For every ton of discarded textiles used again, 20 tons of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere;
- Saves you money. When you upcycle, you are creating something that you, or someone else, can use or need;
- Promotes innovation and creativity; and
- Preserves limited resources.
This month we have been providing you with tips on how you can have a greener, more sustainable holiday season. In our fourth and final piece we have suggestions on how you can repurpose common household items to create green thumb gifts for your favorite gardener.
The most common gardening gift that can be created are planters. You can make planters out of tea or coffee cups, colanders, and old coffee pots/carafes, along with tea kettles/pots. You can also use old toys like wagons, dump trucks, and even hollow animals like dinosaurs or rubber ducks. All of these planters can easily grow succulents or a miniature herb gardens.
Rethink Old Kitchen Tools
One of the easiest things to repurpose are wooden spoons. With a little paint wooden spoons can be transformed into garden markers or a wind chime. A wind chime can also be constructed using a colander.
Give Garden Tools a Greener Life
Before you get rid of old garden tools, consider giving it a green makeover.
Faded or stained terra cotta pots can be given a facelift with a little paint. Pots can be painted using acrylic or spray paint. Nail polish can be used to give a pot a marbled effect and is a simple project that you can do with kids. Chalkboard paint will allow you to personalize the gift by writing the recipient’s name on the post, write a message or label what kind of plant you are giving.
Giving a green gift for someone with a green thumb is as easy as using something you want to trash and rethinking how you can make it a treasure.
For other tips on how you can have a greener holiday, please see our previous blogs using the links below:
- Green Gift Giving, Part 1: The Art of Regifting
- Green Gift Giving, Part 2: Giving Local and DIY Gifts
- Green Gift Giving, Part 3: Upcycling Old Clothes
- Going Green: Alternative Gift Wrapping
- Being “Ever Green” During the Holiday Season
For tips on how you can have a greener holiday meal, check out, Sustainability Tips You Can Be Thankful For.