It’s plain and simple; upcycling makes a positive impact on the environment. But do you know what upcycling actually is? Upcycling is the process of converting old or discarded materials into something new or useful.
Each time you shop at the grocery store, you are sure to get boxes, cartons, jars, and other containers that are easily upcycled. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Baby Food Jar Grass BuddyThis is the perfect project for kids. They love to watch things grow and making a friend out of it is fun too. All you need is a baby food jar, dirt, grass seeds, glue and some decorations (googly eyes, buttons, etc.) then follow these easy steps: 1) Fill about ¾ of the jar with dirt and then add the grass seeds. 2) Water the seeds and then place a little more dirt over them. 3) Create a face on the jar with the googly eyes, buttons and other decorations. 4) Watch the grass grow (and don’t forget to water it, when the dirt is dry).
- Wipe Canister/Grocery Bag Dispenser
Grocery bags are great to reuse for trash can liners, dirty diapers, wet clothes, etc. but storing those bags can often be a challenge. Our solution is to put all of the bags in a wipe canister, which makes them easy to pull out one at a time. If you are feeling ambitious you can also decorate the canister with fabric or paper.
- Decorative Jar
Take a pickle or pasta jar and create a cute jar to hold snacks for your kids, q-tips or any other items that need a jar. To create this jar you will need a jar, sand paper, a drill, a knob, a washer and paint. Then follow these steps: 1) Sand the lid of your jar until the paint or writing on the jar is gone. 2) Paint the lid. 3) Very carefully drill a whole in the center of the lid. 4) Place the knob through the whole and twist the washer in place.
- Mint Container Organizer
Small things like poppy pins and paper clips can easily get lost in a drawer or purse. Use a mint container to easily organize these items and keep them together. You can also use them to store your head phone, this keeps them from getting tangled and makes them easy to find in your purse or back back.
- Tin Can Lantern
Create a rustic tin can lantern for holiday decor, wedding or party. To get started find a tin can, remove the label and fill it with water. Then put the can in the freezer until the water is completely frozen. Then follow these steps: 1) Draw your desired design on a peice of paper. 2) Tape your paper to the outside of your can. 3) Use a small nail and a hammer to get each hole started. 4) Use your drill to complete the holes. Be sure to go very slowly, as the can is not very thick. 5) Cut five inch piece off a wire hanger and bend the wire to create a half circle for the handle. 6) use needle nose pliers to bend a small “c” at each end of wire. 7) Slide the wire in the hole on each side of your latern to create a handle.
Hopefully, this will inspire you to take another look at items you might consider trash and find a practical way to upcycle them.