upcycling and repurposing your stuff

Don’t Fill a Landfill – Try Upcycling and Repurposing!

I have a confession to make. I rummage through other people’s garbage. Well, I used to. If I were living back in Canada I would again. I’m totally into upcycling and repurposing stuff – it’s truly amazing what people throw away.

We do live in a “throw-away” society though. Landfills fill up, so they make another, and another, or a city pays off another city to take their trash (I’m looking in your direction Toronto).

But there are much better ways to reduce trash.

I used to live in the town where the blue box recycling program was created – Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. People are very proud of it, and rightfully so. Fast forward to today and there are now green bins for food waste. ALL food waste. And cardboard food containers can be included. Heck, you can even put your kitty litter and dog’s turds in there. And then you know what happens to all that waste from the green bins? They make fertilizer out of it and sell it back to people. Talk about benefiting from other people’s garbage!

Upcycling and repurposing not only saves people money on buying new stuff, it saves stuff from landfills!

And you too can benefit from other people’s garbage by upcycling and repurposing some of your dumpster bound stuff. Heck, if I could do it, anyone can. Here are some examples:

My neighbor threw out a mirror that appeared to be from the back of a dresser. It was straight at the bottom and the top was arched like a doorway. The mirror and frame were in great shape – the frame just wasn’t holding the mirror and it needed a paint job. So a $5 can of spray paint, and a reason to use my staple gun and we had ourselves a nice mirror for our hallway.

Another neighbor threw out one of those butcher-block trolleys. It was in pretty rough shape, but again, not ready for the garbage in my opinion. Another $5 can of spray paint, a few screws I already owned, a piece of scrap wood leftover from another project and the trolley was back in business!

upcycling and repurposing
Can you believe someone tossed this to the curb? Paint, new top and this stuff got upcycled!

The third score I’ll talk about is from yet another neighbor. They tossed out a small desk. I didn’t need it. I just saw the potential in it. So, (you guessed it), another $5 can of spray paint, a slab of pine I used elsewhere in our home (but was no longer using), and some ‘L’ brackets I had sitting around and yet another item was saved from the trash.

The best part of all this was when we sold all our stuff, these three items brought in $20, $25, and $40, respectively.

There were times I would grab something thinking I could do something with it and had to put it out on my own curb for various reasons. Okay, pretty much two reasons;

  • It really was broken beyond repair and un-repurposeable (I think I just made up new word)
  • It would have cost too much to repurpose

But otherwise, that’s not bad for a few hours work and rummaging through other people’s garbage to save some things from the landfill!

Your turn, have you done any upcycling and repurposing of some found treasures?

Now go sell all your stuff!

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