What is in your “trash-sure box”?

Did you ever consider possible other uses before throwing items into the trash bin?

What about creating something out of food cans, used light bulbs, old bike tires or paper toilet rolls, shipping boxes, old used stained pair of jeans, plastic bags, or glass bottles…What if we could extend the life of a used item?

This innovative spirit – called upcycling – gained traction in the mid 90’s. The term “upcycle” was then brought into the public eyes in 2002, by the authors of “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things”, Mc Donough and Braungart, and its use was solidified through pop culture.

Upcycling becomes more and more popular because of Companies and people’s awareness of environmental responsibility, but that spirit comes from the 30’s, when people re-used and re-purposed as much as they could to save money – an old dress into an apron, or flour bags into kids clothes -

What is Upcycling? Is that not just like recycling?

Recycling consists in treating or processing used or waste materials so as to make these suitable for reuse without changing their essential form or nature.

Upcycling is about taking an item that is no longer needed or wanted and giving/updating it new life as something that is either useful or artistic. It is pretty close to the term Repurposing, where the idea is to reuse a used item and upcycle it something that has a new purpose.

Do you mean my trash is a treasure box?

Yes! As an artist in this realm - Aline's Cardboard - I can assure that you can transform trash into unique pieces of art. I have been working with Cardboard boxes for a long time and explored so many ways to make unique creations, especially this dress made of shipping boxes.

I also met so many creative people and artists using the most unusual items for their creations, like old fridge doors turned into sea creatures, used reward cards turned into beautiful landscapes mosaics, earrings made from beverages and food tin cans, or wallets made out of bike tires.


Since Halloween is coming, how about we upcycle common household items for Halloween décor?

Here are 2 simple DIY to do at home with your kids:

Spooky houses with Juice or milk cartons

#1 Clean up and dry your juice carton

#2 Paint it with black paint – Let it dry

#3 Cut out windows and door

#4 Decorate with paper spiders, ghosts and witches

#5 Insert mini LED lights

Halloween milk jug Ghosts

#1 Clean the milk jug out and let it dry

#2 Draw spooky faces with a black sharpie

#3 cut out a small flap and insert mini LED lights to create a lantern

“This story was first published in Issaquah Highlands’ Connections news, June 2020”

Hi, I am Aline

Eco- Lifestyle and Mindset Coach.

I help eco-conscious people simplify and "green" their lifestyle, so they can thrive, make meaningful decisions while making tangible impact in the world.

Explore simple and sustainable ways to live.

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