Upcycling & Recycling

~ The Concept ~

Find reasons on why upcycling and recycling is important and find crafting ideas and projects!


Do you know what RECYCLING is?

How about UPCYCLING?

3 out of 3 high school kids didn't.

So what is UPCYCLING and RECYCLING really????


To use objects/ materials to their full value or reuse (discarded objects or materials) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original


The treatment process of waste that can re-introduce materials for production or fabrications

The Materials Economy -_-

  • It's the process of how production works from beginning to end
  • Let's go and find all the flaws in this system!!!! :D
  • The system includes: (in order)
  1. extraction
  2. production
  3. distribution
  4. consumption
  5. disposal

1. Extraction

A must! Check out the Video Below to find out what extraction is! ;)

  • Extraction is harmful because it ruins the earth by removing resources such as trees and water which keep the animals alive and the earth ~beautiful~.
  • By removing resources we are creating dead lands and destroying ecosystems
  • We are also disrupting wildlife
E.g. Imagine having no trees, this is what would happen :(
  1. Make areas more prone to erosion due to the removal of support from the roots of the trees
  2. Take away homes from animals
  3. Take away beauty, filtered water
  4. Lose oxygen and air filtration
  5. Cause more winds
  6. Nothing will absorb the Co2 emission causing more gas in the ozone layer breaking patches of it to let in more heat and sunlight
  7. Cause climate change which can result in big changes like the melting of the icecaps and sea level rises
  • It's so simple! Check out this explanation ;P
Arthur | George reports on global warming | PBS KIDS GO!

2. Production

  1. After extraction is production which turns the natural resources into products sold in stores.
  2. The resources that are bought into factories are then broken down and assembled into different products. (They often look nothing like they originally did like when the products were trees and rock, etc.)
  3. (A lot of the time but basically all the time) - Chemicals are added into the products for various purposes such as image, fireproof, smell, charge ability (e.g. batteries).
  4. The producst are usually packaged in boxes or (a ton of!!!!!) plastic wrap and are shipped off for distribution.
  • Many of these chemicals are bad for the health of the environment and to us.
  • Often also cause a lot of products to not be recyclable (or easily recyclable anyways). Which results in the huge landfills everywhere.... :/
  • The by-products of production often cause air and water pollution which contaminates the environment.
  • Since the start of the 21 century the by-products in the air have increased many health problems involving the lungs such as asthma, allergies, cancer

Important Points about Production

3. Distribution

This is when all the products are shipped off to be sold


  • quality (is it still there?) :P

4. Consumption

  • the using up of a resources (but actually) :P
  • Consumption is scary!!!! (When we consume too much)
First world countries especially consume way to much! In the U.S.A only 1% of total material bought in a range of 6 months is kept or is still in use after 6 months or buying it. That means 99% of the material is thrown out after 6 months (to the dumps). Since people buy too many things these days, houses are 2 times bigger now then in the 1970s!
Big image

(What over consuming can look like)

  • Though there is a reason. The quality of products have dropped massively!!!! The products we buy these days break, stop working, or ware out too quickly. Check around your house, you'll notice. ;)
  • Plus companies design them so we keep buying and consuming by making them bad quality or go out of date in modern society too quickly! Need a new program for school or something? Chances are instead of getting just that program you'll probably need to get a new device to run it because the old one can't (even if it's like a year old) :P Check around, you'll notice. ;)
  • Also products are built so you cannot recycle them (did you know you can't recycle paper to-go cups from fast food restaurants?)
  • Then it all goes to the trash, but what really happens? (look below)

5. Disposal


Big image

  • In Canada 25% of CH4 emissions come from landfills (CH4 is a hydro carbon gas that acts as a green house gas)
  • Recycling can help reduce waste and pollution


Paper (Simplified)

1. Paper is bought to the recycling plant where it is separated into types and grades.

2. Washed with soapy water to remove inks, plastic film, staples and glue. The in is mixed with water to create ‘slurry’.

3. The slurry is spread using large rollers into large thin sheets. Pulp is added (to structure it into paper again).

4. The paper is left to dry, and then it is rolled up

5. Cut and sent back to the production line.

Glass (Simplified)

1. Glass is taken to the glass treatment plant.

2. The glass is sorted (by colour)

3. The glass is washed to remove any impurities.

4.The glass is crushed and melted

5. The glass is then molded into products again (e.g. bottles and jars)

(5). Sometimes the glass is used for other purposes such as brick manufacture or decorative uses.

6. The glass is sent back to the production step, to be ready to distribute again.


It takes glass 1 million years to degrade into the earth. (Good thing we recycle or there would be glass everywhere!)

Aluminium (Simplified)

1. The aluminium is taken to a treatment plant.

2. The aluminium is sorted and cleaned.

3. The aluminium is re-melted into molten aluminium. This is done to removes coatings and inks from the older product.

4.The aluminium is then made into large blocks called ingots.

5. The ingots are sent to mills where they are rolled out to give the aluminium greater flexibility and strength.

6. The aluminium is then put through production to make products such as cans, and chocolate wrapping.


  • Each ingot contains about 1.6 million drinks cans.
  • It takes 6 weeks to recycle aluminium products before they are ready to be used again.



Think about a juice box has both:

  • Paper (75%)
  • Aluminium (Where the straw goes) (5%)
  • you can't recycle the straw.....or the wrapping......so...trash??? (20%, also considering plastic is crude oil)
ANSWER: Juice boxes have there own treatment plants. They go through "hydro-pulping" machines where they are smashed up and separated, before being moved to the usual treatment plants again (it's a long process). Each juice box has like 6 layers (relatively) of paper and plastic.

  • 4, 000, 000, 000 juice boxes every year are thrown out

  • It can take up to 300 year for juice boxes to "truly" be recycled so if they are not in 300 years...prepare for 1, 200, 000, 000, 000 (1.2 trillion) juice boxes!!!! That's a big number considering earth is 4.54 billion years old....

Canada is trying!

Check out just Brampton! We have a place called, Algonquin Power + Utilities Corp. which turns garbage into energy. It's still in it's basic stages, but nevertheless one day it may be able to save the world!


Recycling is only the beginning. The earth recycles but it actually takes a lot of time and effort to recycle. Same with how humans recycle. By recycling we can re-introduce production back into our economy but have you ever considered the effort and energy put in? Sure there's less waste, but that doesn't mean there's no waste. It still takes a lot of effort and energy to remold glass and aluminium. So what else can we do to save our planet?

ANSWER: Upcycle

Why Upcycling?

Big image

From real people:

  • "yepp ofc, we have limited resoures on earth and we need to perserve them for future ppls :c" - Andy Ye (Grade 12)
  • “Yes, because the earth has a limited amount of resources so we can’t waste thing by throwing them away. Also, upcycling is a great way to make better things out of something small or old” - Niveditha (Grade 9)
  • Pyro Vektor (Michelle, Grade 9)
Big image


Up-cycling can help you tap into your creative side. Check out what you can do with simple items around your house!

1. Lunch Bag

You will need:

  • cloth (subtitle size average ~80cm X 80cm)
  • 2 ribbons 3x longer than the length of the cloth

How to make it:

  1. Sew the ribbon to the front side (the side that will be visible from the outside) on the 1/3 point of the cloth
  2. Do the same for the other side
  3. Sew the two ribbons together
  4. Lay it out straight with the front side not visible
  5. Put your lunch box in the middle (amusing the longest side is around 30cm or less)
  6. Pull the fabric up around the box and tie a bow to seal it together

  • Tip: Have the sides folded in slightly and sewn together to make it stronger (2 cm in)

2. Newspaper Boxes (Origami) ;)

3 Ways to Upcycling with Edible Things!

There super simple and they work!

1. coffee refrigerator freshener

Coffee is known for having a great aroma. We can use coffee's aroma to create an air fresher! It keeps our fridge from smelling like a mix of different foods by using coffee. Plus it's really simple to make!

You need:

  • A container (maybe from a cream cheese container or something reusable)
  • Coffee beans (grinned)
  • Coffee filter
Everything on this list can be used before. How to make it:
  1. First, you can make coffee and drink it :D But instead of throwing out the coffee filter with your coffee keep it.
  2. Put the coffee filter in the container (making sure the container is empty and clean)
  3. But it in the fridge
That's it! But it actually works, so try it out! :D (Remember you will have to replace it once in awhile, but remember to compost it!)

2./3. Rice Water

Rice water has been used in East Asia for many reasons since ancient history. Here is 2 ways you can use them:

  • Skin and hair treatment
Rice water is really good for our skin and hair because it has a lot of vitamins and minerals. How to prepare it? Cook some rice! Clean the rice once in cold water and pour it into a spare jar. Then wash your hair with it or apply it as a mask on your face. See the results! :P To keep this "beauty" water working, place it in the fridge when not in use (don't worry if someone drinks it because it is rice water)

  • Cleaning solution

Rice is good for our skin and hair because it cleans! So we can use rice water to clean things such as dishes or even walls. If you eat rice as much as an average East Asian family does you can create a lot of cleaning solution. The same procedure applies to making this solution as making the "beauty" water.

Some tips to keep over consuming from invading

  • To avoid waste, go for the good quality. It might be more expensive at first, but it's going to be worth it
  • Rent or borrow things such as books, movies, even tools.
  • Buy locally, it can help to make your community a greener place. By buying locally we can avoid needing to get products shipped to us. Plus by spending around $100 locally, about $45 will go directly to the community! :D
  • Gifts? Pay for experiences instead of items. Don't clutter items, create memories! It is proven that experiences bring more joy than items. It will make you happier too! :)
  • Check out thrift stores. You'll never know what you will find! You'll understand the true meaning of "using materials to their full value" in a thrift store

Check this out for inspiration!


  • Special places to watch: 7:00-12:00, 16:00-23:00
Girl Meets Crazy Hat - Episode Clip - Girl Meets World -Disney Channel Official


Conclusion ( In point form)

  • The earth is running out of resources and that's a problem
  • Our materials economy is only a one way line and is only for the present and is killing our future
  • Recycling is the important because that's how the earth has been sustaining itself
  • Upcycling helps us find the full potential in waste that isn't really waste
  • We over consume and waste materials (Which is why libraries are cool! do we all really need a copy of a book? Unless it's one of your favourites, no. Sharing is good :D)
  • We are the step to change!!!!